The city released a statement at Monday night’s council meeting on the failed negotiations that would have brought a water bottling plant to the city. The negotiations took place during 2014 and, according to the statement, cost the city $27,700 in legal fees.
“Greenwood City Council is open for business to improve the economic development of the city,” said administrator Robin Dalziel as he read the statement. He said that, over the past year, the city has been contacted by seven companies that were exploring mutually beneficial business opportunities.
“Protecting the assets and resources of the City of Greenwood for the residents of Greenwood was foremost in council’s deliberations. The amount of water requested would have had a negligible impact on the city’s aquifer and clauses were negotiated to protect the supply and pressure of the water system in emergency situations.”
According to the statement, the contract would have brought in $100,000 per year in addition to commercial property taxes. When asked later to clarify what the company would be receiving for their $100,000, Dalziel said it would be paying for the distribution service supplying the water.
Dalziel explained that the Water Master Plan that was done in 2010 reported seven trillion litres of water per year refreshing the aquifer; and that the amount proposed for extraction by the plant was “not even close to one per cent.”
The statement also said, “The selling of capital assets of the city was considered within the proposed agreement. Council is fully aware of the disclosure and procedural requirements of the Community Charter as it relates to the disposition of city-owned assets. This was written into the proposed contract.
”According to the statement, the last significant meeting between the two parties was in September 2014. “The new council sought confirmation of the intentions of the business party shortly after they were elected. As the business did not reply, this has released the City of Greenwood from the negotiations.”
Dalziel said the city now has a contract (format) that considers the rights of the city and the business as it relates to the provision of water for commercial purposes. “Council welcomes inquiries from businesses that would like to set up in Greenwood whether it is related to Greenwood water or other city resources.”
During question period at the end of the regular meeting, Jim Nathorst suggested that a request for proposal process should have been carried out on the water bottling plant proposal. He also questioned the value for money spent on the $27,000 legal bill for the project.