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How would Nestle Waters impact Centre County? The company is closer to choosing a location

Nestle Waters has released a study that its proposed facility in Centre County would have a positive economic impact on the state and local communities.

The county is the frontrunner for a potential $50 million water bottling facility, according to Nestle Waters Natural Resources Manager Eric Andreus. The facility would take up to 250,000-square-feet of space and achieve the goal of the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design in a commitment to sustainability.

The study was commissioned by Nestle Waters and conducted by Econsult Solutions and concluded that the county would benefit from $50.6 million in “annual economic impact” and 50 jobs that would earn on average about $58,000 per year.

“The $50.6 million in Centre County alone is really the value of what is being produced by Nestle,” Econsult Solutions President Richard Voith said. “They have to produce water and sell water to pay their employees, the cost of construction and more.”

The potential facility would be located at one of five possible sites in Spring or Benner townships, according to Andreus, and the study’s completion is one step forward to being closer to making a commitment to Centre County. Andreus said everything Nestle Waters has reviewed points toward Centre County being a good place to invest in a facility.

The next steps would be to secure an agreement to annually purchase about $525,000 worth of water from the Spring Township Water Authority and acquiring private land from a site in the county to build the facility. The rate per 1,000 gallons is about $4.50, according to Andreus.

” Nestle Waters is committed to moving this project forward, assuming that we can get those certain agreements in place for land and water and so forth,” Andreus said. “We intend to move this project forward.”

Nestle Waters also plans to hold an open house event at an undetermined time and location in March in Centre County for local residents. Andreus said the company would take community feedback into consideration for its plans.

There are other locations in Pennsylvania and Maryland that Nestle Waters has under consideration for a new facility, but Centre County is the lone area where an economic study was commissioned.

The study also concluded that the construction of a facility would support 240 jobs at an average of $50,000 per employee, most of which would come from within the county. Nestle Waters initially estimated the construction would support 100 jobs, and Andreus said preliminary figures were rounded down with the knowledge that some numbers “might come in higher” through an economic study.

The study revealed that Nestle Waters operations would generate more than $700,000 in annual tax revenue, including $21,000 to Centre County, $22,000 to local municipalities and $159,000 to school districts in Pennsylvania.

By Shawn Annarelli, Centre Daily Times (State College, Pa.)

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