Clarkston council member doesn't want projects going to Riedesel Engineering

CLARKSTON, WA - Monday night's Clarkston City Council meeting appeared to be fairly cut and dry according to the agenda, but things took a turn when Public Works Director Jim Martin took the floor.

Martin requested approval to work with Riedesel Engineering on two improvement projects.

"Riedesel engineering rose to the top and we have worked with them in the past," said Martin.

The first project would install a number of drywells in some problem drainage areas. A roadway re-surfacing project on 12th street is the second.

The projects were approved but not before Councilor Terry Beadles voiced his concerns about working with Riedesel Engineering. The firm employs, Lewiston Mayor Kevin Poole as the Senior Project Manager, and Beadles said he doesn't see eye-to-eye with Poole.

"He doesn't own the firm but we're still sending money to that firm and that helps pay everyone's salary that works there," said Beadles.

According to Beadles, Poole has been uncooperative in the mutual aid agreement process that would provide emergency responder support to Clarkston from the surrounding agencies, regardless of jurisdiction.

"It's something we need to keep in mind," said Beadles. "People who aren't friendly to Clarkston, we need to reanalyze things."

"I don't agree with his statement that I'm not supportive of the city of Clarkston, at all," said Poole.

Poole said local entities will come together Wednesday evening at the EMS task force meeting to discuss those possible issues. He said he is, and has been, open to possible cooperation between the two cities. As far as his work with Riedesel Engineering, Poole said he's in no way involved in the projects approved in Monday night's meeting.

"I try to do my best to remove myself from projects that affect Lewiston and Clarkston and other folks in our office are assigned the work that's here locally," said Poole.

The engineering firm was selected by a panel, that includes Martin and Asotin County Public Works Director Jim Bridges.

The EMS Meeting is scheduled for Wednesday night at 6:30 in the Clarkston City Council chambers, and it's open to the public.