(By Jamie Henneman/The Independent Staff)
The Stevens County Public Works Department is planning to build a new road maintenance shop just south of the Chewelah City limits in order to respond to more service requests in the south county.
Public Works Director Jim Whitbread said plans are underway to replace the old shop with a new facility that will help the county be more efficient.
“The new facility will replace the old shop for all mechanical repair, preventative maintenance, administrative functions and likely storage for parts and equipment,” said Whitbread. “It will be a new facility based on the Colville maintenance facility constructed about 10 years ago. The new shop will house, maintain and repair our county road fleet for the south half of Stevens County.”
The preliminary cost estimate for the facility is roughly $2.5 million. Whitbread said the new facility is needed due to the age of the old shop and growing requests for road maintenance from residents.
“We are not yet certain the disposition of the old shop yet, but it is well past it’s useful life for our maintenance purposes,” he said. “The new shop will have a 5-ton crane, lube, welding and fabrication facilities as well as bays for other maintenance. We are seeing an increase in request for service from the south area so we are trying to make sure we can take care of our customers.”
A start date for construction of the new shop has not yet been determined.