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August 16, 2017

Poland Spring inks 15-year deal with Rumford Water District

Poland Spring Water Co. has signed a 15-year agreement with the Rumford Water District to draw up to 150 million gallons of water annually from two of the district's wells.

The Lewiston Sun Journal reported that the agreement signed Tuesday includes what water district trustee Brad Adley described as a pathway to a new bottling plant "that would bring much-needed jobs and tax base to Rumford."

On Monday, in an advance story of Tuesday's meeting, the Sun Journal reported that the agreement calls for Poland Spring to pay between $200,000 and $300,000 per year to the district based on current large-customer rates and that Nestle Waters would invest $250,000 per year over the first four years to create a $1 million investment fund.

Nestle Waters also agreed to spend $100,000 to find additional spring water sources in the Rumford area and would pay the water district $175,000 for an evaluation impact fee.

Rumford is one of several sites identified this spring by Stamford, Conn.-based Nestle Waters, owner of Poland Spring, as being under consideration for a $50 million to $60 million bottling plant. Other sites being evaluated are the Penobscot County town of Lincoln and the greater Fryeburg area in western Maine.

Nestle Waters North America has stated it hopes to build the plant within the next two to five years, creating 40 to 50 jobs. Since 2000, Poland Spring has opened bottling plants in Hollis and Kingfield. It has 850 full-time employees and produces 900 million gallons of water a year in Maine.

The Sun Journal reported that the 15-year agreement between Rumford Water District and Poland Spring included a clause stating that five additional renewal terms of five years each would be contingent upon getting the bottling plant in Rumford.

District Superintendent Brian Gagnon told the newspaper that the agreement would support investments in the district's infrastructure and operations.

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