Copeland Sand & Gravel Might Be Forced to Move

The Grants Pass City Council is looking for land to build a new water filtration plant and wants the property Copeland is on.

Posted: Mar. 14, 2019 11:37 PM

GRANTS PASS, Ore. -- The Grants Pass city coucil is looking for land to build a new water filtration plant on. On Tuesday, Copeland Sand & Gravel got a letter from Grants Pass about their intent to buy the land Copeland is currently located on. 

The 72-year-old business, Copeland Sand & Gravel, could be forced to close their doors and give their property to the city within the next six months.

The letter shocked Jennifer Ausland, the Vice President of Copeland. 

"It was more than devastating," Ausland said. 

The Grants Pass City Council fear the current water filtration plant won't be able to keep up with the city's growing population. 

"We are very willing to work with the city," Ausland told Newswatch12. "We're citizens here in Grants Pass, we need a water filtration plant as much as the next person."

But Ausland says she hopes they can find a compromise that is "less devastating than running several businesses out of work because of an unrealistic timeline".

Copeland employees fear the impact on not only their business, but the other businesses they share these 16.76 acres with. Eight other businesses and 20 individual trucks rent space on Copeland's property.

Ausland says Copeland relies on these businesses and they rely on Copeland. If they do relocate, she wants to make sure they find a place that can accomodate everyone together. 

Project Manager. Ryan Reeves, says summer is their busy season. The most profitable season of the year is summertime for the construction industry.

"For us to continue our work plus try to move, the resources just aren't there to do that," Reeves said. "Financially it would be impossible."

Reeves said to pack up everything and move equipment during such a busy time of year wouldn't be manageable. He says it's also going to be difficult to find property that would work for their machinery and customers. Ausland described their current location and property ideal for their business and hard to replicate. 

"We don't even have anywhere to go right now," Ausland said.

The next city council meeting is Wednesday. Newswatch12 will bring you updates on Wednesday's meeting and continue to try to find out what the city of Grants Pass will be doing in the weeks ahead to build the water treatment plant, as well as how they will accommodate the private businesses impacted by that decision.

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