Updated: KID board approves Red Mountain pipeline contracts

Tri-City Herald Staff WriterAugust 26, 2013 

— Construction of 90,000 feet of pipes to bring Yakima River water to prime wine grape growing land on Red Mountain near Benton City may begin next month.

The Kennewick Irrigation District’s board unanimously awarded $4.5 million contracts Monday to three Washington companies for their portion of the project.

Rotschy Inc. of Vancouver will extend piping from the booster pump station to the first of the two reservoirs and the distribution piping for that section, said Jason McShane, KID’s engineering and operations manager. Its portion of the project is $1.9 million.

Tapani Inc. of Battle Ground will extend piping between the two reservoirs and the distribution piping for that section. Its portion of the project is $1.7 million.

And Sharpe & Preszler of Kennewick will extend the distribution piping above the second reservoir. That portion of the project is worth about $884,000.

In total, the bids for the project came in about $1.5 million less than budgeted, McShane said.

Rotschy and Tapani can begin construction on some parts of the pipeline at the end of September, he said. Sharpe & Preszler will need to wait until the end of October because it needs to wait until harvest is complete to avoid creating dust near existing vineyards.

The distribution mainlines range in size from 24-inch to 4-inch pipe, McShane said.

The pipelines should be finished by June, he said.

Members of the local improvement district, or LID, also will connect their own private systems to the service connection built by KID, McShane said.

KID still will need to issue contracts for the construction of the two reservoirs. McShane said he expects to go out to bid for that portion of the project in September.

Construction already has begun on the Kiona intake station, pump house and other improvements needed to deliver water to landowners on Red Mountain. The intake station is near the intersection of Highway 224 and Demoss Road.

Property owners within the LID will pay the almost $20.2 million cost of the project. KID is one of the landowners, with about 554 acres of its property receiving water through the project.

Officials hope to have river water flowing to all 1,785 acres in the Red Mountain American Viticultural Area between West Richland and Benton City by summer 2014. That’s about a year earlier than originally expected.

KID is also preparing to sell the land it has in the Red Mountain LID. Recently, the KID board hired Musser Bros. Auctions and Real Estate of Pasco to auction off KID-owned property at Red Mountain.

The auction has been set to start 2 p.m. Nov. 16, said Chuck Freeman, KID’s manager.

There are 21 parcels that will be up for bid, ranging in size from 20 acres to more than 100 acres, according to Musser Bros. Those parcels will all receive project water where it can be beneficially used.

In total, there are more than 667 acres that will be offered for sale in the auction, according to the company.

An open house will be offered the day before the auction, said Patrick McGuire, KID board vice president.

For more information, go to www.mbauction.com.

-- To submit business news, go to bit.ly/bizformtch.

-- Kristi Pihl: 582-1512; kpihl@tricityherald.com

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