Osceola planners turn down Nestle pumping request

April 20, 2017

By John Raffel

Planning commissioners in Osceola Township voted on Tuesday to deny Nestle Waters’ permit to build a new booster pump.

There’s been heavy debate over the company taking more water from a well near Evart. It’s currently 250 gallons per minute. But the Nestle is looking to take 400 gallons per minute.

Nestles booster pump would have been located at Spring Hill camp. The commissioners unanimously voted against it.

The Department of Environmental Quality is also giving people until Friday to share their comments publicly about Nestle’s original request to pump more water.

The meeting, attended by 42 individuals, was in the Evart Middle School Auditorium.

Ice Mountain wants to increase the draw on water from the White Springs Well Number 101 in Osceola Township.

Ice Mountain wants to increase the draw on water from the White Springs Well Number 101 in Osceola Township.

Osceola County supervisor Tim Ladd said Nestle still has other options.

“They can file an appeal which would go to the Planning Board of Appeals,” Ladd said, “which is another board in the township. If there’s any new evidence for that board, they could overturn the planning commission’s decision. If they uphold the planning commissioners decision, Ice Mountain could appeal it and it would go before the Osceola County Circuit court judge. The judge would look at the zoning, look at the permit and make a ruling on it.”

The process could take place within a month. Ladd said if the judge upheld the planning commission’s decision, it would stand.

Zoning administrator Dick Douglas said the commission voted 5-0 to deny the permit.

“It didn’t fit our zoning as (Nestle Waters) had presented it,” Douglas told the Marion Press on Wednesday night. “They wanted to present it as a service. But in our zoning, the service is to be to the community and here, it was no service to the community, just for their own use. That was the gist of why it was turned down.”

Douglas said Nestle “has a lot of other options. They do have the option to appeal it.”

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