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Amy's Kitchen studies ways to cut huge water, sewer fees for expansion

Santa Rosa officials have told Amy's Kitchen that the company's expansion plans could trigger up to $34 million in water and sewer permit fees alone, a figure that stunned the company and has set off a furious effort to prevent it from once again expanding to Oregon instead of Sonoma County.

Earlier this year, officials at the Petaluma-based maker of frozen foods asked Santa Rosa officials to give them an estimate of the permit costs associated with a two-phase expansion plan that could eventually bring 800 additional jobs to the city.

The first phase proposed taking over a vacant food processing facility on southwest Santa Rosa previously home to G&G Specialty Foods, which closed in 2011.

The second phase involved building a much larger state-of-the-art food processing facility on 10 acres of pasture land owned by Jim Ratto, founder of the garbage company North Bay Corp.

The fees for the first phase were manageable — $3.3 million, according to Amy's CFO Mark Rudolph. But the figure for the second phase bowled them over.

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