Nestlé Waters Chaffee County project: County commissioners still deliberating permit

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Update: Here’s a recap of the meeting from the Ark Valley Voice (Sterling R. Quinton). From the article:

[Nestlé Waters North America] submitted a request to put off a decision by the Commissioners until such time as the contractual conditions for the permit could be “word-smithed” with input from NWNA. To some, such overtures appeared to be the company angling for negotiations. Possibly anticipating such an accusation, NWNA Regional Manager Bruce Lauerman stated that, “We’re not writing these conditions, but we have some suggestions.”

Chaffee Citizens for Sustainability’s John Graham requested that any potential decision be held off until a public-comment period could be held for community input on the contract conditions. Graham suggested that the public and various consulting firms should be able to offer input on conditions of such magnitude. The Commissioners denied both requests.

From The Denver Post (Jason Blevins):

Chaffee County commissioners spent hours Wednesday deliberating a proposal by Nestle Waters to ship Arkansas River Valley spring water to Denver for bottling…The commissioners will take up the Nestle plan again Aug. 19.

More coverage from The Colorado Springs Gazette (R. Scott Rappold):

Since last fall, Chaffee County commissioners have been wrestling with the project and harsh public reaction to it. On Wednesday, they went over a long list of conditions under which they would approve Nestle’s plan. But the board, which held a half-dozen marathon public hearings in the spring and has debated it twice in meetings since, again balked at taking a vote on a land-use plan. Commissioners set Aug. 19 for the next meeting, at which county staff will present refined conditions…

The commissioners denied requests by Nestle to delay the discussion and by opponents to reopen public comment.

“We have worked a long time reaching this point where we have these conditions,” said Commissioner Frank Holman, “Even though I believe we need to go through them and ask a number of questions and clarify and perhaps request staff do some more work on them, I, for one, believe we have the input we need.”

Among the 47 conditions are the hiring of local workers, limitations on the number of trucks per day on U.S. Highway 285, requirements for monitoring ground water in the area and stipulations that the city of Aurora, from whom Nestle is buying replacement water, release water upstream from the springs. The wells would have to be shut off in years when extreme drought compels Aurora to lease water from downriver farmers.

More Nestlé Waters Chaffee County project coverage here.

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