Land purchase would expand Tacoma's stormwater operations

Tacoma City Council is scheduled to vote next month on whether to purchase land in South Tacoma in order to expand the city’s solid waste management operations.

If city council approves the purchase resolution, it would authorize the execution of a purchase and sale agreement with the owner of a single-family residence on a 9,100-square-foot parcel located east of the city’s landfill, near the intersection of South 36th Street and Mason Avenue. This acquisition will allow for the future expansion of the landfill stormwater holding ponds. The agreed purchase price is $160,000, plus a $1,600 moving benefit.

According documents prepared by city staff requesting the purchase resolution, the city’s solid waste management division acquired a 4.67-acre tract of land for the expansion of the landfill for $26,000 in 1967. Two years later, it was determined that a portion of the property, which included a single-family home, was not needed for a public purpose and this property was subsequently sold.

Recent construction projects at the landfill, however, require enlargement of the existing stormwater holding ponds. To be in compliance with the surface water manual, the construction of the new solid waste management recovery and transfer center required the expansion of the existing surface water flow and water quality treatment pond located east of the landfill. This project has impacted the adjoining private property and, as a result of these impacts and the City’s desire to acquire additional surface water capacity for future improvements at the landfall, staff recommends acquisition of this property. City ownership surrounds this property on three sides. According to city staff, if the property is not purchased, future expansion of the pond would have to occur to the south, and is projected to require special design considerations, wetland mitigation, and a higher overall project cost.

Tacoma City Council is scheduled to vote on the purchase resolution during its meeting on Tues., May 8 at 5 p.m. in the City Council Chambers, located on the first floor of the Tacoma Municipal Building, 747 Market Street.