Nestlé Waters North America (NWNA) is disappointed in the Michigan Court of Appeals ruling, which reversed the decision of the Circuit Court. We firmly believe that the Circuit Court was correct in ordering Osceola Township to issue a permit for our request to build a small, 12-foot by 22-foot building, to house a booster pump that would increase pressure along our pipeline to transport additional water from the White Pine Springs source. We believe the plan we proposed met the Township’s site plan and special land use standards.
For zoning purposes, the Osceola Township Planning Commission designated us as an “essential public service” and required us to file for a permit under that category. However, the Court of Appeals ruled that bottled water is not an “essential public service,” and we respect the court’s opinion. We believe that bottled water is an important alternative to sugar-sweetened beverages, especially at a time when more and more beverages are consumed away from home. Bottled water is also essential in times of natural disaster or other emergencies where access to safe, clean drinking water is unavailable.
We are evaluating our possible next steps in the legal process. From the beginning, our goal with this request has been to reduce, as much as possible, any impact to the local community and the environment. In addition, the structure would be a positive contribution and would provide additional tax revenue to Osceola Township. Nestlé Waters has worked to be a good neighbor to Osceola Township for over 17 years. We value our relationships with Township residents and community leaders, and always strive to create shared value within the communities where we operate.