What’s the best solution for Tacoma’s Click Network? As the Public Utility Board and the Tacoma City Council grapple with this challenge, I am often asked what makes the most sense from an economic development perspective.
Of the options being considered, the lease option is clearly the best solution for the city, the utility, power rate payers and, ultimately, Click customers.
Why lease? It is a net positive for the city’s budget, avoids having Click services subsidized by the general fund or electricity customers, and invites additional private sector investment in the marketplace.
The alternative approach – the All-In Retail Option – would depend on vastly deeper public subsidies of Click at the risk of jeopardizing the competitive power rates we enjoy in the South Sound.
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Those rates are part of the mix of assets that enable us to recruit and retain companies in Tacoma and beyond that employ thousands of people.
For these reasons, the board of directors of my organization – a public-private partnership – recently voted overwhelmingly to support the lease option for Click.
(Kendall is president and CEO of the Economic Development Board for Tacoma-Pierce County.)