TUMWATER - Officials with the LOTT Clean Water Alliance will meet next week with Tumwater officials and owners of the former Olympia brewery about purchasing brewery land for a new water-treatment plant.
The meeting is set for Thursday, and if the plan moves forward, it will become LOTT’s third satellite plant in Thurston County. LOTT operates a similar plant on Martin Way in Lacey and has purchased land on Mullen Road, near Komachin Middle School, for a second reclaimed-water plant.
A purchase of the property also means that a portion of the long-idled former Olympia brewery property would have a new owner. Centralia developer George Heidgerken owns the former Olympia brewery property north of Custer Way, while the brewery property south of Custer Way remains for sale.
Once completed, the Tumwater plant would convert wastewater into reclaimed water that the city could use for irrigation, fountains and new development and to flush toilets, said Karla Fowler, director of community relations and environmental policy for LOTT.
This is not a near-term project, Fowler said, but LOTT could purchase the brewery parcels now to meet community growth. Work on the site might begin in about 20 years.
“It’s important to get the site designated now and prepare for the long term,” she said.
Under consideration are three brewery parcels owned by Capital Salvage of California that total about 47 acres. One parcel is at 4090 Capitol Blvd. S.E.; the two other parcels are on brewery property in the valley. It wasn’t clear Thursday who might represent the brewery owners at next week’s meeting. Commercial real estate broker Troy Dana, who is trying to sell the remaining brewery property, could not be reached Thursday.
LOTT needs about 15 acres for its plant but wants to look at the entire acreage so that it can weigh its options for plant configurations, Fowler said. The plant could convert up to 5 million gallons of wastewater a day, and then that water would flow to groundwater recharge basins on recently purchased land near Henderson Boulevard and in the area of 103rd Avenue Southeast and Stedman Road Southeast, she said. Along its flow, the city could draw off water for irrigation and other applications, Fowler said. Reclaimed water is considered safe for public use but not for drinking.
A price for the property hasn’t been determined; LOTT paid $450,000 for its Mullen Road site and more than $1 million for the Martin Way site, Fowler said. Money for those purchases was generated from new sewer-connection fees and a lesser amount from monthly sewer rates, she said.
Meanwhile, not far from the brewery property, South Sound Bank and the City of Tumwater are working on a development agreement in which the city would purchase 30 of 42 acres along Capitol Boulevard that were formerly owned by developer Tri Vo. Vo at one time wanted to develop the acreage into a 10-building mixed-use development called Bellatorre. He defaulted on loans and South Sound Bank foreclosed on the property.
Tumwater permit manager Chris Carlson said the city could purchase the land for a new pond that would limit the amount of stormwater flowing directly into the Deschutes River. The development agreement is subject to a public hearing and City Council action, Carlson said. South Sound Bank also plans to subdivide the remaining 12 acres and sell the land in one- to three-acre parcels, said Dan Yerrington, president and chief executive of South Sound Bank.