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Another View: Wells was right to turn down ‘devil’s deal’ with Nestle

Regarding the inaccuracies in the editorial regarding water rate hikes in the Kennebunk-Kennebunkport-Wells Water District (“Water use battles play out in rate hike talk,” April 6): In the words of President Obama, “You can’t make stuff up!”

Nestle, the world’s largest food and beverage corporation, owns the Poland Spring brand. There is no longer a Maine company named Poland Spring. And when you deal with multinational corporations like Nestle, international trade agreements take precedence over local ordinances. Any “regulatory ordinance” the town of Wells could have come up with could not have controlled this corporate behemoth.

The so-called regulatory ordinance would have allowed large-scale extraction by Nestle of 432,000 gallons per day of our water, for which they would have paid nothing to the town of Wells. Nestle already mines millions of gallons of Maine water each year, and it pays no per-gallon state tax. Further, the Wells taxpayers would have had to foot the bill for damage to our roads caused by Nestle’s trucks hauling our water away.

Nestle claimed that there would be “good jobs in Maine,” not that there would be any jobs for Mainers. The only possible jobs would have been a few truck-driving positions. But since our water would have been sent off to a bottling plant in Massachusetts, there would have been no need to hire local Maine drivers.

The town of Wells overwhelmingly turned down a devil’s deal with Nestle. Do you really think that giving away millions of gallons of our water to the giant Nestle Corp. would be a proposition that Wells voters would ever want to revisit? Do you think that there is any possible reason the people of Wells would want to give Nestle a second look? I don’t think so.

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