Fryeburg Faces Nestle Lawsuit Yet Again: Local Control of Streets at Issue

The folks of Fryeburg aren’t enamored of the idea of a 24/7 truck loading station in a residentially zoned area, but when Nestle Waters of North America is involved, local control over water, streets and lifestyle dies not with a bang, but with a lawsuit.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=47_e3VWKJgc[/youtube]

As is often the case, the argument ultimately doesn’t revolve around what’s right or reasonable (I’m suggesting a 24/7 truck loading station in a residential area – running 50 trucks per day – isn’t a particularly reasonable land use).

Instead, it revolves around interpretation of of ambiguous passages of the law – a practice similar to divining the future via goat entrails.

What’s clear is Nestle’s “good corporate neighbor” PR spin is a facade; a truck loading station returns little to the town of Fryeburg save a small bump in property taxes. Yet the downside is clear; Fryeburg “enjoys” trucks rumbling along at all hours of the day or night, diesel fumes, the noise, etc.

Nestle knows this, and it’s treating Fryeburg in the same manner it treats other small, rural towns who don’t roll over and play dead – they release the legal hounds, who are better funded than their citizen counterparts.

No matter how the decision goes in Fryeburg, the real lesson has already been learned.

4 thoughts on “Fryeburg Faces Nestle Lawsuit Yet Again: Local Control of Streets at Issue

  1. It’s absolutely amazing that in McCloud, the MCSD, the water board, currently does not have a contract with Nestle. They are very close to agreeing to start negotiating with them in another week or so. Why would they want to do that. I personally have been working to educate a large mailing list about bottled water and Nestle Waters, (including the lawsuits ), for the past 5 years. Recently, many of these emails have gone to the MCSD board. The president of the board, who is very much in Nestle’s pocket, has not notified me of his new email address. I guess he feels he knows all there is to know….”Let Nestle come to McCloud.”

    Others on the board thank me for the education, and then, go the same course that they previously have gone. I have sent them info about lawsuits in other parts of the country. The board is seemingly so mesmorized by the Nestle “slick snake oil salesman”, that they trust everything that he says, even when he states that the opposition, including me, have no factual information.

    I can prove where, many times he has misled his “congregation”. No one on old the board, seemingly has changed their mind about wanting Nestle to come to McCloud.
    Now, why do you think that would be? Nestle had contributed large money to the campaign of 3 of the board members.(This is in a town of around 700 full time residents.) Do you think that and the continued lunch dates , etc, for the board members has had any effect on the board members? I do! Follow the money!

  2. Ms. Phair: About the same time you were posting your comment, I received an email from a Maine resident complaining that his board of selectmen continued to pursue contact with Nestle – despite the fact the citizens of the town had repeatedly voted in favor of moratoriums.

    I just posted a new article about the MCSD and Nestle, and as you know, the litany of Nestle’s influence games in McCloud is a very, very long one. The interference in the 2006 election, the paid “consultants” and the legal bullying are just the tip of the iceberg, and it’s likely we’ll never actually know the extent of their meddling.

  3. I just talked to the Nestle rep about this in Cascade Locks where they’re planning to put a plant. He said they protected themselves against a lawsuit; they didn’t sue. He also said they’ve NEVER affected or dried up an aquifer. Do you have any research or newspaper articles about this that I can have better facts when they have another meeting?

  4. Kim: I just talked to the Nestle rep about this in Cascade Locks where they’re planning to put a plant. He said they protected themselves against a lawsuit; they didn’t sue. He also said they’ve NEVER affected or dried up an aquifer. Do you have any research or newspaper articles about this that I can have better facts when they have another meeting?

    Kim: He’s not telling the truth.

    When Fryeburg’s planning commission met and overturned Nestle’s permit application (a 24/7 truck loading station is not a “low impact” use in a residentially zoned area), Nestle filed suit and four subsequent appeals (essentially all but the last).

    In simple terms, the town said “no” and the whole group ended up in court under Nestle’s impetus – how is that not a lawsuit?

    As for never affecting an aquifer, that’s absolute bullshit. In Mecosta County (MI), a judge said that Nestle’s pumping levels were harming a watershed, and Nestle did everything it could to avoid reduced pumping. Later, they attempted to alter the terms of the judge’s injunction to remove even more water, but were forced – because of real data from the MCWC – to settle on the first day of their trial… to remove less water, not more.

    To find out what really happened in Mecosta, read Jim Olson’s excellent (and lengthy) Op-Ed piece.

    In simplest terms, your Nestle rep is lying on both counts.

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