Tacoma City Council to discuss Niagara Bottling agreement, Foss Waterway development

Tacoma City Council is scheduled to meet Tuesday at City Hall to discuss an agreement to help develop a major water bottling facility in Pierce County.

Last month, Pierce County officials announced Niagara Bottling plans to open a state-of-the-art, 311,000-square-foot facility at Randles Business Park in the Frederickson Industrial Area. This will be Niagara’s first site in the Pacific Northwest, joining 13 others around the country. The new facility will create 36 jobs and the company plans to make a capital investment of approximately $50 million. The facility will serve the company’s customers throughout the region. Groundbreaking is expected this fall and the company is scheduled to be fully operational early next year.

During Tacoma City Council’s study session July 9, councilmembers will discuss a proposed five-year water supply agreement, which includes a temporary contract water service rate in return for minimum purchase quantities, between Tacoma Water and Niagara Bottling.

“In view of Tacoma Water’s significant water supply surplus, new water demands like those of Niagara Bottling will provide significant additional revenue at very little additional supply risk,” wrote Tacoma Water Division Manager Tony Lindgren in a June 28 memo to councilmembers. “Because of this, Tacoma Water has been working to provide an incentive to Niagara Bottling for choosing to locate in Tacoma’s service territory, given that Niagara Bottling has identified a number of viable alternative sites. In order to provide this incentive and retain a cost of service basis for the rates and charges paid by Niagara Bottling for water service, Tacoma Water has developed·a rate that is reduced from the applicable rate as published in the Tacoma Municipal Code. This rate reduction is designed to reflect the value of minimum purchases that Niagara Bottling will be obligated to make during the five-year term of the agreement even if no water is taken by the Company. Niagara Bottling has estimated demands up to one million gallons per day, which would translate into over $800,000 per year of additional non-budgeted water sales revenue in addition to system development charge revenues.”

City Council’s Government Performance and Finance Committee is scheduled to discuss the issue during its meeting on July 17. Councilmembers are expected to hear the first reading of an ordinance regarding the agreement during its meeting on July 23.

Additionally, councilmembers will also discuss two proposed agreements between Foss Waterway Development Authority and the Henry Foss Group related to the development of a 167-unit apartment building to be built at 1933 Dock Street. Councilmembers are scheduled to vote on the agreements during its weekly meeting later that day.

Councilmembers will not take public comment during the study session, which will be held on Tues., July 9 at 12 p.m. in Room 16 of Tacoma Municipal Building North, 733 Market St. Audio from the meeting will be broadcast live on TV Tacoma and online at tvtacoma.com. On-demand audio archives are available on the Web within 24 hours of the meeting online at tvtacoma.com.