Good news from Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson (Our Santa Fe River): 250 locals appeared, 50 spoke out against the proposed water bottling plant (one spoke for it), and Blue Springs Properties’ request for a “special use permit” to build a water bottling facility was denied by a 4 to 1 vote.
It’s still not clear who the company behind the proposed water bottling plant really was. It was one of five proposed for a three-mile stretch of the Santa Fe River, but the company behind this particular development – Blue Springs Properties – refused to disclose the information.
Democracy may still work in the face of greedy water bottling companies, but it’s not speedy; the meeting started at 6 pm, but didn’t adjourn until 12:45 am the next morning.
In Florida, an overwhelming number of residents seemingly oppose issuing a permit for another water bottling plant on the Santa Fe River (five permits are in the works), yet a denial of the permit is hardly a done deal – even though the water bottling company involved has yet to be identified by the property owner.
A special Gilchrist County Commission meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. at the Trenton High School Auditorium to discuss a special permit that would allow a bottled water plant to pump 500,000 gallons of water a day from a spring system called Blue Springs near Rum Island.
The meeting is being held at the high school because at a previous meeting in March, there was no room for the more than 200 people who showed up at the county chambers to voice their opinions about the bottled water plant.
In fact, some people had to sit in a building across the street from the chambers and watch the meeting on a TV monitor.
Most of the people who spoke at that meeting were against the plant being built.
An interesting reader comment to the story helped illustrate why there’s so much resident hostility towards this project and several others:
With 5 permit applications for water bottling plants on a 3 mile stretch of the Santa Fe River it is estimated that we are facing 1200 diesel tanker trucks roaring day in night through High Springs
An article on Nestle’s activities in Florida is in the works; it highlights the fact Nestle lobbied hard to take more from their Blue Springs station than recommended by biologists, and then returned approximately half the number of jobs they promised to the area.
Good deal for the locals? Not unless you like truck traffic (and lots of it).