Council to seek expansion

City eyes FruitSmart plant purchase

— The City Council will consider a deal with a local company tonight that could make a big difference in the city’s capacity to treat wastewater.

The council is expected to take action on a $3.8 million agreement to buy FruitSmart’s wastewater plant.

The deal calls for Prosser to pay $1.6 million in four quarterly installments beginning Oct. 1. That money will be paid through a state grant/loan package the city received in March, City Administrator Dave Stockdale said.

And FruitSmart will donate $1.3 million of the purchase price, city records show. Up to an additional $900,000 will be covered by crediting the company’s wastewater bill up to $12,500 per month for six years.

Stockdale said it is a “use or lose it” proposition, meaning if FruitSmart’s bill is less than $12,500 in any given month it will only receive the smaller amount.

“Both of us think it will be quite a bit less than $900,000 over six years,” he said of discussions with the company.

In a presentation to city business leaders last week, Stockdale called Prosser’s existing wastewater system the city’s “weakest link” in terms of handling future growth.

He estimates the city’s current population of 6,000 could grow to as much as 10,000 in the next 20 years.

The FruitSmart agreement is expected to increase the city’s wastewater capacity by 35 percent once the plant is updated and added to the city system, Stockdale said.

If council members approve the deal, the closing date is scheduled for on or before Jan. 15, 2018, records show.

The council tonight is also expected to approve an agreement with the Prosser Piranhas swim team for use of the city’s pool and an appointment to a city board.

The council meets at 7 p.m. in City Hall,601 Seventh St.



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