The Gardner City Council agreed April 5 to pay $1.5 million to Water One to provide water service to Grata Development, located at the Southwest Corner of Clare Rd and 175th.
The item was on the consent agenda for the April 5 meeting. WaterOne will retain ownership of the service and collect the revenue.
“ We attempted to negotiate a transfer of water rights territory with Water One, but they declined,” said Jim Pruetting, city administrator. “ Because they are formed under a different state statute than the rural water districts, they are not required to negotiate a territory transfer with cities.”
The GRATA development, which was annexed in September 2019, includes: Over 450,000 SF of retail, restaurant, convenience store and office space; 50,000 SF retail anchor tenant; approximately 200 standard-family homes; 168 compact single-family home (Prairie Trace); 424 apartments (Prairie Forge) and three hotels, according to the developer’s 2020 press release. The development agreement was approved Oct. 7, 2019.
“Gardner will benefit from the GRATA development through the expansion of our tax base,” Pruetting said. “The investment in water infrastructure was part of the development agreement that paved the way for us to secure a long-sought-after presence on the east side of I-35. Residents will also see increased entertainment, retail, and restaurant options coming to our city.”
Gardner had the capability of serving the development’s water needs but was unable to negotiate the transfer of water rights from WaterOne, Pruetting said.
Gardner will provide electric utility service to the development and collect the revenue.
Water One was formed in 1957 and now serves covers 272 square miles and nearly 425,000 customers, according to their website.