Kennewick Irrigation District has awarded contracts for nearly all of the work needed to finish a $20.2 million project to bring Yakima River water to prime wine grape growing land on Red Mountain near Benton City.
KID board members on Friday unanimously approved awarding two contracts to build the reservoirs and associated piping.
Tapani Inc. of Battle Ground will build a 400,000-gallon reinforced concrete reservoir and booster pump station for about $1.9 million, said Rebecca Hiles, KID staff engineer.
The reservoir will be buried, which added cost to the project. KID officials made the decision to change plans when some property owners expressed concerns about a 30-foot tank obstructing views. One of those property owners is Ste. Michelle Wine Estates. The reservoir, southwest of Ste. Michelle's Col Solare property, would have been right in the middle of the winery's vista.
A 100,000-gallon welded steel reservoir will be built by Pipe of Washington Inc. of Pasco for nearly $782,000, Hiles said.
Chuck Freeman, KID's manager, said KID may need to buy an additional one-tenth of an acre of land near that reservoir because Benton County is requiring KID to provide a turnaround for fire vehicles.
Since it's a steel reservoir with water, it's not going to burn, he said. But it would take too long to appeal, he said.
The project remains a year ahead of schedule, with testing of the finished system planned during summer 2014, Freeman said.
Piping for the project is already under construction. Freeman said KID still needs to award a contract for the automatic meter reading system, which may go to bid this spring.
Property owners within the local improvement district, or LID, are paying for the cost of the project, which will irrigate 1,785 acres.
KID also remains on track to close an $8.3 million sale of Red Mountain land by Jan. 7.
Aquilini Properties, owned by a family who also owns the Vancouver Canucks, bought all 670 acres of undeveloped land offered up in a recent auction.
The company has created a new company, Aquilini Red Mountain Vineyards, for the properties, Freeman said.
The company also must pay $7.6 million for its part of KID's local improvement district project to bring Yakima River water to Red Mountain.
-- Kristi Pihl: 582-1512; firstname.lastname@example.org