News

City Council gives nod to water deal

By Dennis Box

The Courier-Herald

Give us water and lots of it.

That was the message sent by the Bonney Lake City Council, which gave the nod for city staff to begin water negotiations with Tacoma Water. Bonney Lake will be seeking up to 2 million gallons of water per day for the east side of city's water service area.

Public Works Director Dan Grigsby reported at a Nov. 2 workshop that Tacoma Water had sent a proposal offering to sell 2 million gallons per day "in perpetuity."

The system development charge would be in the area of $5.7 million paid over 10 years with either 10 or 20 percent down

According to Goeff Dillard from RH2 Engineering, a consulting firm contracted by the city, Bonney Lake currently provides water for 11,100 customers. The water system can serve 12,002 customers at peak capacity.

Bonney Lake has four water sources: Victor Falls spring, Granger Spring, the Tacoma Point well and Ball Park well.

Dillard pointed out during most of the year, the city has enough water, but during peak usage periods, July to September, resources begin to wan.

"We have optimized or maxed out our production," Dillard said. "The springs over the summer don't produce their full water right."

Grigsby told the council by purchasing water from Tacoma Water, Bonney Lake's immediate water problems would be solved.

"This will allow us to issue (water) extension agreements," Grigsby said. "If the Tacoma Water option is allowed, it is back to business."

The council questioned whether Tacoma Water would mingle with the city water.

Tacoma Water is fluoridated and the City Council fought a fluoride mandate from the Tacoma/Pierce County Health Board for two years. The mandate was overturned in May.

Grigsby explained Tacoma Water would join with Bonney Lake water on the east side, but water from the west side would come from non-fluoridated Bonney Lake sources.

Although Bonney Lake will negotiate for 2 million gallons per day, it will not need that much, at least initially.

"We are allowed to use up to that amount," Grigsby said. "But we will only pay for what we use."

Purchasing Tacoma Water will allow Bonney Lake to provide service to about 3,200 customers.

Grigsby will discuss with Tacoma Water adding another 2 million gallons, possibly under an option agreement, if growth in the area makes it necessary.

Dennis Box can be reached at dbox@courierherald.com.

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