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PIERCE COUNTY COMPLETES $33.3-MILLION LAND PURCHASE

 TACOMA, Wash., Dec. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Pierce County today concluded an agreement to purchase approximately 610 acres of waterfront property from Oregon City Leasing Co. for $33.3 million, Pierce County Department of Utilities said today.
 Current operator Lone Star Northwest and previous operators have excavated sand and gravel from the University Place site since the turn of the century. The conditional agreement, reached last June, called for a purchase cost of $42 million. The adjusted $33.3-million agreement allows Lone Star Northwest to continue sand and gravel extraction activities for the next seven years.
 The county will use a portion of the land for expansion of the adjacent Chambers Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant. According to Pierce County Executive Joe Stortini, future uses of the majority of the property will be determined by Pierce County citizens.
 The agreement concludes a process that began five years ago when the county began discussions with Lone Star Northwest about the property. "The fact that we are able to acquire the entire 610-acre parcel without a sewer rate increase is a wonderful benefit to the citizens of Pierce County and a tribute to Pierce County Department of Utilities' fiscal policies," Stortini said.
 The purchase will allow the Department of Utilities to treat increasing amounts of wastewater flowing from Pierce County. Plans call for a five-decade, phased expansion of the plant to accommodate the sewerage needs of the burgeoning population within the area.
 While no sewer rate increases are planned to fund the purchase, several system improvements and enlargements will be delayed several years to minimize any impact on sewer rates. According to Department of Utilities officials, none of these delays will impact the availability or quality of current service.
 "This acquisition concerns long-term development," Stortini said. "Our sewage treatment capability is sufficient for the 1990s and into the first part of the next century. But the county's population will be increasing dramatically over the next 20 to 40 years, and much greater capacity will be needed to meet sewer demands. That's when we will fully realize the wisdom of this acquisition."
 The property is bordered to the north by 48th Street West, to the east by Grandview Drive West, to the south by Chambers Creek Road and Chambers Bay, and to the west by Puget Sound.
 -0- 12/29/92
 /CONTACT: Tony Tipton of Pierce County Department of Utilities, 206-593-4050; or Michael Wasem of Jacobson Ray McLaughlin Fillips, 206-627-9128, for Pierce County Department of Utilities/


CO: Pierce County Department of Utilities; Oregon City Leasing Co.;
 Lone Star Northwest ST: Washington IN: UTI SU:


LM-TM -- SE006 -- 0356 12/29/92 13:53 EST
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Date:Dec 29, 1992
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