OLYMPIA – Officials with the LOTT Cleanwater Alliance remain “seriously interested” in some of the former Olympia brewery property and said that other potential brewery buyers no longer are in the picture.
That information was disclosed Tuesday at LOTT’s downtown Olympia headquarters as U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Camas, toured the facility.
Herrera Beutler represents the 3rd Congressional District, which includes Olympia.
LOTT is interested in several brewery parcels and plans to have another meeting with the property’s broker, said Karla Fowler, director of community relations and environmental policy for LOTT. Under consideration are three parcels owned by Capital Salvage of California that total about 47 acres. One is at 4090 Capitol Blvd. S.E.; the others are in the valley.
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LOTT would use the land for a new plant that would convert wastewater into reclaimed water. The new plant is viewed as a long-term project that one day might convert 5 million gallons of wastewater per day into Class A reclaimed water – water that would be good enough for public use, such as for irrigation, but not to drink.
“We’re ready to initiate an appraisal and, as far as we know, there are no other active players right now,” Fowler said about other potential buyers. Commercial real estate broker Troy Dana, who is trying to sell the remaining brewery property, declined to comment Tuesday.
LOTT’s growth plans were one of several discussions Herrera Beutler had as she toured the facility, one of many stops she made Tuesday in Olympia. She also met with Olympia city officials, took a driving tour with Mayor Doug Mah, and visited the Thurston County Food Bank and the Olympia Downtown Association. Mah also led the tour at LOTT, pointing out the planned development at East Bay and the Hands On Children’s Museum, which is under construction.
“We have great things going on, and we welcome your partnership,” Mah said. Others who participated in the LOTT tour included Port of Olympia Executive Director Ed Galligan and Michael Cade, executive director of the Thurston County Economic Development Council.
Herrera Beutler said Thurston County is one of seven she represents, and each has unique needs and challenges.
“This is an effort for me to learn more,” she said about the tour.
After the tour and lunch at LOTT, she headed to the Thurston County Food Bank, where Executive Director Robert Coit took over, explaining how the food bank works from the prospective of a client and donor. Herrera Beutler also met with other representatives of South Sound social-service agencies, who all said demand for their services remains high and funding remains a critical issue in a slower economy.
At the food bank, client visits increased to about 150,000 people in 2010 from about 120,000 in 2009, Coit said.
Herrera Beutler said she values social-service organizations, and “believes in safety nets,” but the state of the federal budget presents some challenges.
“Even if we eliminate all discretionary spending, we still can’t balance the budget,” she told the group. “We have to think outside of the box like we never have before.”
Director of community development at the CHOICE Regional Health Network Holly Greenwood added that meeting Herrera Beutler was a good start. In the event there are cuts that might affect South Sound social-service groups, she hopes they can work with the congresswoman to be part of the discussion and solution, she said.
To reach U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, use the following numbers and addresses:
Vancouver office: 360-695-6292
Washington, D.C., office: 202-225-3536
Online: www.herrera beutler.house.gov