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A year of fundraisers finally pays off

The Othello Outlook of Othello, Washington

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The Othello Beatification Committee's drive to finish its next phase of the Main Street Lighting project between 12th and 13th Avenue is finally nearing completion.

Months of fundraising and organizing have finally resulted in work being completed on the next phase. Workers from Farmers Electric and Avista began preparing the infrastructure for the new light poles.

"They're working with us for the second year now and really have buy in to this project," Ly-nette Caruthers, Othello Beautification Committee president said. "They're proud of what's been accomplished and are very, very anxious to come on board again and work with this."

According to Caruthers, the committee just wrote a check for $34,000 for the cost of the light poles. All of these funds have come from the generous donations of individuals, businesses and organizations in Othello.

"Every penny of that came from the citizens of this community," she said. "It is amazing to me, the generosity that has been shown toward this project... It's just been very heartening to see how people have contributed to this project."

Along Main Street, concrete panels have been removed to make way for the new light poles and allow crews to bore under the sidewalk to bring electricity to them. The project hit a bit of a snag when it was discovered crews would have to bore almost twice the distance as originally expected.

"In order to bring power to the block we're currently doing, we had to go to the stop light on 11th and that would be in front of Lep-Re-Kon," Caruthers said.

This increased the boring costs almost twofold and the committee was unsure if it was going to be able to afford this year's addition. However, Farmer's Electric saved the project.

"Farmer's Electric is donating all of the electrical they're going to be doing in our current block, every penny of it, and that's going to help us pay for the boring and some of the other expenses," Caruthers said.

This means the $25,000 the city contributes to the project can be used to cover the additional costs that were incurred extending power to the new block.

The positive of having utilities bored to the current block is that it lays the groundwork for the subsequent blocks in the project and reduces the amount of money the committee needs to raise for the next phase.

"So basically, we'll have concrete costs, electrical costs and, of course, the lighting. We already have three lights for the next block," Caruthers said.

The installation of the lights is expected to begin early next week. According to Caruthers, the project is at a standstill for the moment because it is elk season and many of the workers are now out hunting.

"We'll look forward to the project proceeding when the guys get home," she said.

Caruthers estimated the entire project would be completed by mid-November.

With the third phase of the project already well underway, Beautification requested the city continue to provide support in the form of $25,000 for 2016.

The Main Street Lighting Project is being completed as a Community Service Project, which allows the Beautification Committee to utilize local contractors directly instead of putting the project out to bid.

Under RCW 35.21.278, which governs Community Service Projects, the city can contribute a maximum of $25,000 each year.

In addition to the main project, Caruthers also reported that the Christmas lights for the second phase of the project had also been delivered and that they would be going up sometime after Thanksgiving.



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Original Publication Date: November 5, 2015



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