BURBANK -- The Port of Walla Walla is studying whether it makes sense to build a new sewer system in Burbank that would include a ground-breaking partnership with the city of Pasco for wastewater treatment.
Jim Kuntz, port executive director, said the idea is "very preliminary and may never come to fruition" at the port's meeting Thursday.
But he and commissioners Mike Fredrickson, Paul Schneidmiller and Ron Dunning reviewed a possible proposal to present to Pasco City Manager Gary Crutchfield.
The draft framework outlines a 75-year agreement, a maximum flow of 300,000 gallons per day and a payment system in which the port would collect fees from local users, then be solely responsible for paying Pasco.
Kuntz unanimously was autho-rized to present the proposal to Crutchfield for discussion. Commissioners see planning, construction and development of the Burbank Business Park as a long-term project.
"This is going to be a long work in progress," Schneidmiller said.
A sewer system is the latest piece in developing a multi-phased Burbank Business Park. Adjacent to U.S. Highway 12, two barge slips and rail served by BNSF Railroad, the port property features truck access, potable and fire suppression water and electrical and natural gas service.
A wastewater treatment system would complete the what's needed for additional industrial and mixed-use development, officials say. The site is already home to Harris Rebar and Westway Feed Products, among others.
It's also the future home of Cascade Pallet, which is relocating from Pasco. But as development takes place in an additional 112 acres zoned for light-industrial and mixed-use, other tenants could include everything from a hotel to retail to business services.
Kuntz said partnering with Pasco would not only demonstrate multijurisdictional cooperation but also would save at least $2.5 million in sewer system construction costs.
He said building a treatment plant would cost $4.5 million. A 40-inch sewer line under the Snake River would cost $2 million, he said.
Additional costs include fees based on use, maintenance costs and a one-time $5,000 construction oversight fee. Preliminary sewer treatment fees would be determined by taking Pasco's current usage charge per residential unit -- about $25 per month -- plus a 60 percent surcharge of about $15 for out-of-county service.
Burbank Business Park tenants would be the primary users, Kuntz said, but residents, schools and other users would have the option to hook into the system.