Company withdraws bottling facility proposal at City Council meeting

Published: Jun. 14, 2022 at 5:25 PM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - A proposal for a water bottling facility is withdrawn. Purple Rain Properties, LLC, which is the developer for the Niagara Water Bottling plant that was planned for the northwest side of Eau Claire, withdrew its proposal at Tuesday’s Eau Claire City Council Meeting.

On Monday, community members rallied ahead of a public hearing on the proposed plant in Eau Claire in hopes the City Council would vote against it. If built, the plant would have used around nine percent of the city’s current water plant capacity. The proposed facility would have been built in the Gateway Northwest Business Park. City Council members were split about the decision by the developer to withdraw, postponing the proposal indefinitely.

“This would have been a really excellent addition to the growing technical colleges, a state of the arts robotics lab and I know that this particular opportunity would have excited a lot of young employees,” Jill Christopherson, City Council member, said.

“We didn’t even have a split community on this decision,” Andrew Werthmann, City Council member, said. “I had to see a lot more folks come forward and say, ‘you know what, this is a benefit we have. There are some costs to selling water, but as a community, we’re okay forgoing those costs for the added revenue and the added jobs.’ That wasn’t the message we heard.”

In addition to the withdrawn water bottling plant proposal, City Council members discussed for over an hour and then approved with a 9-2 vote the annexation of land in the Town of Washington for a potential new housing development near Lowes Creek Road.

“I respect my dear colleagues in their desire to want to postpone this vote. But, I also believe that we are delaying the inevitable,” Dr. Roderick Jones, City Council member, said. “At the core, it is the decision that must be made on whether or not to annex.”

The next City Council meeting is scheduled for June 27.

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