The Tauranga City Council may offer a sweet deal to attract a large company to set up shop in the city.
A representative from an unknown company addressed councillors during a public excluded section of a council meeting on Tuesday.
According to council reports, the company is a high water user that would bring significant economic and employment benefits to Tauranga and the region.
The company informed the council it would like to set up a facility on a 5ha piece of land and establish a park-like buffer zone to surround the facility.
The facility would initially use 500,000 to 700,000 litres of water a day in its activities and pump the same amount into the wastewater network, with potential to double these amounts in the future.
Five-hundred thousand litres is approximately the amount of water used by 1000 households.
Little more is publicly known about the company at this stage as the council has agreed to keep its identity secret.
Following the high water user's presentation, councillors debated two issues related to the proposed development - water/wastewater charges and development contributions.
In terms of development contributions, the council currently has a policy that caps the charges levied on exceptionally high water users at double the standard city-wide water and wastewater charges.
But for a large development like the one proposed, this charge would not cover the costs incurred by the council to supply the water and deal with the wastewater, and the shortfall would have to be collected through rates.
The council could scrap the cap to more accurately reflect the demand, but a higher development contribution charge might put the developer off and the economic benefits would be lost.
In the end, councillors chose to remove the cap and negotiate a separate charge with the developer.
Councillors also agreed to consider providing a grant to the developer to offset some of the development contribution charges. That would depend on the developer being able to show that the charge the council was asking for would not force it to go elsewhere.