It was with amusement that I read the article (TNT, 3-9) on Save Tacoma Water Charter Amendment 5. This is the ballot initiative that would require new business applicants to get voter approval for any water use in excess of one million gallons per day. Existing businesses would be grandfathered in.
The article cites the opposition of some business groups: The president of the Economic Development Board said he would not be happy about a public vote on “whether a company can use a legal public utility.” Similarly, the Chamber of Commerce stressed that the initiative could mean “an approach that shuts down business in Tacoma and Pierce County.”
Currently, there are three businesses that use a million or more gallons of fresh Tacoma water per day: Westrock Mill (formerly Simpson), at 16 million gallons; the City of Fife, at 1.4 million; and Niagara Bottling, LLC, at 1 million gallons.
Tacoma Water has more than 6,000 business customers that use less than the threshold of 1 million gallons per day. This charter amendment would have no effect on them.
The proposed methanol plant would shut down a lot more local businesses than Charter Amendment 5.
Who’s TNT trying to fool?