Tacoma Water looks like best deal

By Dennis Box-The Courier-Herald

The Bonney Lake City Council has looked into the future and come up with a plan for purchasing water.

The council has been wrestling with a decision whether to buy water from Tacoma Water or the Lakewood Water District.

RH2, a consulting firm with offices in Tacoma, compared the two and informed the council that Tacoma Water was the best deal.

At the council workshop April 15, council members considered an update of the system development charges and how much water should be purchased for the future.

A tentative consensus of the council indicated the city would be authorized to purchase up to 4 million gallons per day (MGD) form Tacoma Water.

City staff will bring the contract and cost before the council for authorization.

The council could have decided to purchase only 2 MGD, but 4 MGD means the city's water needs are filled for the next 50 years.

“This takes it off the table of concern,” Councilman Mark Hamilton said. “The city will have water for a long time.”

Deputy Mayor Dan Swatman said at the meeting he thought the city was “on the wrong side of things” with the purchase.

Councilman Jim Rackley countered by stating the city was in the “water purveying business.”

Hamilton said the city's water business, “heavily subsidizes our rates inside the city. And I don't believe we can stop growth by not providing water. Tacoma Water will come in and provide the water and we will be stuck with development and no money for water.”

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