Aurora offers $502,500 in incentives to Niagara Bottling in move to help create jobs

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Aurora is a friend to the bottled water industry. Readers may remember the city leasing augmentation water to Nestlé Waters North America up in Chaffee County. The city has offered incentives to California-based Niagara Water to locate a bottling plant in the city anticipating the creation of 36 jobs. Here’s a report from Sara Castellanos writing for the Aurora Sentinel. From the article:

Aurora City Council members at their council meeting Monday approved the incentive package on a vote of 9 to 1 with Councilwoman Renie Peterson opposing the deal. The proposed 10-year agreement would provide California-based Niagara Bottling with waivers and rebates of city taxes up to $502,500. The agreement also contains a provision for the company to repay a portion of the incentive if the number of jobs is not maintained throughout the agreement, according to the documents. The company is set to construct a 177,000 square foot facility at Prologis Park 70 near E-470 and I-70 and create 36 full-time jobs while investing about $10 million for land and building improvements and $20 million in capital equipment.

Peterson said before the formal vote that all of Aurora’s water should be kept for its residents, not sold to a private company. “I would not be for having a water bottling company come into Aurora even if it was not incentivized,” she said. “To allow it to come with an incentive is really against what my people that I represent would expect of me.” She also reprimanded her fellow council members for their unwillingness to share information about the incentive deal with the public or the media until it came to council for a formal vote…

Niagara is set to use about 300,000 gallons of Aurora’s water per day, six days per week, which totals to about 290 acre-feet of water per year, according to Aurora Water spokesman Greg Baker. Aurora produces about 77,000 acre-feet of water on average annually, he said. That means the company will use less than one percent of Aurora’s total water production. Councilman Bob Roth said it’s important to be cognizant of that fact. “It sounds like a lot, but I want to keep in mind that it’s three-tenths of one percent of our average normal yield,” he said.

Niagara would pay market rate for the water, said Mayor Steve Hogan. “Aurora cannot continue to have residential customers bear the full weight of paying water bills,” Hogan said in an email. “We must have a balanced package of residential users, tap fees payers, industrial users, and other users. If we don’t, residential users will be totally abused by rate increases. This company will fall nicely into the category of industrial users.”

More coverage from Melanie Asmar writing for Westword. From the article:

Aurora’s city council has agreed to offer waivers and rebates of city taxes up to $502,500 to the California-based Niagara Bottling, according to the Aurora Sentinel. The company hopes to construct a plant at ProLogis Park that would create up to 36 jobs, the Sentinel reports. Niagara would use about 300,000 gallons of water a day, which city officials say is less than one percent of Aurora’s total water production.

More Aurora coverage here and here.

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