Opponents of Nestle plant want issue on ballot

Group aims to prohibit the selling of water rights to a corporation.

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A group opposed to a Nestle bottling plant in Cascade Locks aims for a ballot measure prohibiting the selling of water rights to a corporation.

“When your county is facing record drought conditions, the idea of sending millions of gallons of water a year out of the county in mountains of plastic piled on the back of trucks seems particularly irresponsible,” said Ed del Val, one of the measure’s chief petitioners and president of the newly formed Local Water Alliance PAC.

A controversial deal to build a bottling plant in the economically depressed city has been in the works for more than six years. It centers on state-owned water rights at Oxbow Springs, near Cascade Locks in the Columbia Gorge. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife uses the water for a nearby salmon hatchery.

(SOURCE: Statesman Journal)

Those in favor of the plant say the job impact in the small town will be huge.

Cascade Locks City Administrator Gordon Zimmerman said he can’t comment on the proposed ballot measure until lawyers have reviewed it. But he said the City Council views the facility as a critical economic boost for the town of 1,150 people.

“The 50 jobs to Cascade Locks is like 25,000 jobs to Portland,” Zimmerman said. “That’s the kind of magnitude it is for a small community.”

(SOURCE: Associated Press)

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