QUESTIONS POURED ON PANEL
Nestle Waters addresses concerns over proposed facility
By EMMA GOSALVEZ
PLEASANT GAP — A panel of Nestle Waters employees came to Pleasant Gap last night to address questions and concerns over Nestle’s latest proposed facility.
The public information session, which ran from 6:30 to 8:30 at Central Pennsylvania Institute of Science and Technology (CPI), attracted a large crowd of residents from all over Centre County. To address a large array of questions, present at the session were three Nestle Waters employees: Eric Andreus, natural resources manager; Mike Franceschetti, plant manager of the Allentown, Pa. factory; and Tara Carraro, executive vice president and chief corporate affairs officer.
Prior to answering questions, Andreus gave a presentation on the plans for the proposed facility. He said that Nestle Waters is currently considering a location to bottle its Deer Park spring water in the townships of Spring and Benner. Nestle would be a customer of Spring Township Water Authority.
For the facility, the goal is to begin construction in 2019 and have the factory in operation in 2020. Andreus said Nestle chose Centre County for its next factory location because of its high-quality spring water and access to I-99.
The proposed facility would cost approximately $50 million to build and would bring 50 full-time jobs to the county once the factory is open, Andreus stated. Those employees would have full-time benefits and make an annual average salary of $58,000.
After Andreus presented Nestle’s plans and economic impact to the region, many questions were addressed by the Nestle Waters employees. Topics ranged from environmental impact to labor practices in Nestle factories.
In addition to Monday night’s information session, a public forum will be held on Wednesday, March 14 to give voice to residents concerned about the impacts of the proposed factory. The forum, hosted by the Sierra Club Moshannon Group and the Nittany Valley Environmental Coalition, will take place from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at CPI.
The full story on Monday night’s public session will be in the Wednesday, March 14 edition of The Express.