The Odessa Record -

Bio-diesel plant lays off staff while it "completes expansion"


Damon Pistulka, the restart specialist at TransMessis Columbia Plateau, LLC, on July 9 issued layoff notices to all employees and put them on standby status, saying, “Market conditions have forced (the company) to suspend operations while we complete the capacity expansion.” Pistulka’s notification to the Lincoln County Economic Development Council’s Margie Hall went on to say that the company anticipated calling the employees back to work by September 2, 2014.

At the plant itself, no one was answering phones and all doors were locked on July 10. Members of the Odessa Public Development Authority to whom The Record has talked were as much in the dark as most of the rest of the Odessa public. Another shutdown coming so closely on the heels of the plant’s reopening in December was certainly not expected.

Town Council

Although the closing of the biodiesel plant was mentioned in passing at the meeting of the council Monday night, its members had other items on the agenda to deal with.

Lise Ott, representing the Odessa Chamber of Commerce, proposed that the Council and Chamber form a joint committee to handle issues that come up with regard to the downtown beautification project and the trees that were planted as a result of that project and the efforts of members of the Council, the Chamber and the Lions Club. The joint committee would be responsible for pruning and otherwise maintaining the trees, as well as keeping the brickwork along the sidewalks looking professional.

Council members agreed to work with Ott and provided information on experts who might be contacted for assistance with the maintenance activities.

Ott also suggested that it may be time for a reminder to Odessa’s youngsters that riding bikes on the sidewalks in the downtown business district is prohibited. Many entry doors open outward toward the street, and inattention on the part of someone leaving a place of business or of a bike rider on the sidewalk could result in a serious accident. The town ordinance governing the issue states that riders of bicycles, skateboards and other such conveyances must dismount and walk their vehicles within the business district.

The Council approved several building permits, announced a 90-day period for entertaining a proposal from the Odessa Gun Club to purchase the property on which its building sits and voted to award the bid for the Fourth Avenue street project to Central Washington Asphalt.

Mayor Doug Plinski announced that the town’s engineering firm USKH has been bought out by a Canadian firm STANTEC Consulting Services, Inc. Kennet Bertelson, the engineer who has worked with the town on the street projects now going out for bid will continue with the firm, but his colleague, Lisa Corcoran, who dealt primarily with airport-related issues, has moved on to a position with the Spokane Airport.


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