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Western States Equipment Co.’s $30 million project moving forward following resolution of road dispute between Spokane Valley, Liberty Lake

UPDATED: Tue., Dec. 22, 2020

Spokane Valley has reached an agreement with Liberty Lake that will allow Western States Equipment Co. to move forward with building a new heavy-equipment dealership on Cataldo Avenue.

The authorized Caterpillar dealer based in Meridian, Idaho, is building a $30 million, 127,360-square-foot dealership campus that includes rental, retail and repair facilities at 20150 E. Cataldo Ave. in Liberty Lake.

The project site is about a quarter-mile east of the boundary between Spokane Valley and Liberty Lake.

Western States officials had planned to break ground on the project in September, but they halted the development after Spokane Valley appealed the project’s environmental review approved by Liberty Lake.

Spokane Valley planners cited concerns about potential traffic impacts and road wear from oversize vehicles on Cataldo Avenue, a two-lane local access street.

“During the permit review process, Spokane Valley identified that it was concerned about traffic impacts from the proposed project, as all traffic was proposed to use East Cataldo Avenue immediately east of Barker Road, all of which would flow only into the city of Spokane Valley,” the city wrote in an email.

“In addition to concerns over increased employee and customer traffic, Spokane Valley was concerned about impacts in Spokane Valley from oversize truck loads associated with the project that will occur 15-20 times per month.”

Spokane Valley, Liberty Lake and Western States arrived at an agreement to address traffic impacts by each contributing toward a project to widen a sharp curve along East Cataldo Avenue.

They also agreed to pay to overlay pavement between Barker Road and the boundary between the two cities to accommodate oversize trucks.

The widening and overlay project is estimated to cost $160,000.

Liberty Lake is contributing $55,000 in a credit of other fees paid by Western States, Spokane Valley is contributing $60,000 and Western States $45,000.

“When we found out the city of Spokane Valley was appealing Liberty Lake’s decision granting SEPA approval, it put us on hold,” said Kelly Olson, president of Western States Equipment Co. “We are very pleased to get through that process.”

Liberty Lake Mayor Shane Brickner did not respond to a request for comment on the agreement.

Western States will be breaking ground on the project early next year, weather permitting, with completion slated by 2022, Olson said.

The facility, when built, will consolidate Western States Equipment Co.’s two existing locations on Trent Avenue and Dyer Road.

It will employ more than 130 people, most of whom will be transferring from existing Western States locations, Olson added.

The primary reason behind building a new facility is to ensure employees are working in a modern space as the company’s existing facilities are aging, Olson said.

The new facility will also provide Western States with an opportunity to grow.

The company, which was landlocked at its existing locations in Spokane, has purchased nearly 30 acres in Liberty Lake, including the site of its new dealership campus.

Western States Equipment was founded in 1933 as Western Equipment. The company, which has 18 branches, provides machines and equipment to the construction industry.

Its service area covers Idaho, eastern Oregon and Washington, as well as parts of western Montana and Wyoming.

“We look forward to getting into the new location so we can serve clients,” Olson said. “It was a great Christmas present to get this behind us and move forward.”

Amy Edelen can be reached at (509) 459-5581 or at amye@spokesman.com

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