A brewery and veterinary clinic are coming to downtown Palouse to complete a nearly decade long effort to develop a once-contaminated vacant property on Main Street.
Last month, the Palouse City Council accepted a bid and proposal from six Palouse residents to locate TLC Animal Care and Palouse Brewing Company on a downtown property next to Baggott Motors. There are also plans to add spaces that could be used as an office or other uses like a bed and breakfast, said Mayor Michael Echanove.
The bid was for $3,000 and Joseph Handley, one of the partners involved in developing the lot, said the owners are meeting with electrical companies, plumbers and Avista with their plans for the site and hope to start construction in the next 90 to 120 days.
“Being local residents, we wanted to see the site developed into something all community members can use,” he said.
Echanove said their proposal was chosen because of its potential benefits to the community.
He said it took nearly $900,000 to clean up the polluted land, also called a “brownfield.” It was once the location of a petroleum distribution site and blacksmith shop.
Echanove said the city used funds from the Washington Department of Ecology, the Washington Department of Commerce and federal money to undertake the brownfield cleanup efforts.
Palouse City Administrator Kyle Dixon said the cleanup started in 2010 and the city started asking for proposals for the site in summer 2018.
Echanove said the city will continue to test for contaminants using one of the wells on the site.
The accepted proposal came from six partners: William and Andra Edwards; Jessica and Delaun Smith; and Joseph and Rachel Handley.
Andra Edwards owns TLC Animal Care currently located on State Route 272 outside Palouse. Handley said Delaun Smith, William Edwards and he own the Palouse Brewing Company, named after the brewery that once was in operation around the early 20th century. He said its former bottling facility used to be in operation at a building next to the brownfield lot. Handley said it is important to the group to keep the history of Palouse alive with their new venture.
Echanove said the city felt a responsibility to pave the way for continued development in the downtown core of Palouse. He said the core is three blocks long, so the 100-by-180-square-foot brownfield site makes up a sizeable chunk of downtown.
“That means one-sixth of your core downtown is a brownfield site,” he said. “So, if we as a city did not work to clean it up, no one would have ever done it.”
Echanove said he remembered when the site would emit an unpleasant smell that could be detected across the street at the local post office. Now, he is happy the collaborative effort to revitalize it is starting to pay off.
“It was a journey,” he said. “Everyone worked so hard, so it’s very rewarding.”
Anthony Kuipers can be reached at (208) 883-4640, or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.