Osceola Township Planning Commissioners Deny Nestle Permit Request For New Pumping Station

Nestle is now facing a roadblock in its quest to take more water from a Northern Michigan well.

After hours of public discussion, planning commissioners in Osceola Township came back and denied Nestle’s permit to build a new booster pump.

Debate over the company taking more water from a well near Evart in Osceola County has been swirling for months.

Right now they can take 250 gallons per minute.

But the company is looking to take 400 gallons per minute.

It is unknown how this denial could affect those plans.

People were definitely surprised commissioners made a formal decision.

For hours community members shared their opinions.

But it wasn’t until commissioners came out of a closed door session that we learned they didn’t want to wait to make a decision.

Planning Commissioners in Osceola Township, coming back with a decision against Nestles booster pump. It would have been located at Spring Hill camp. Commissioners looked at whether the pump met requirements for public necessity and convenience in the township.

"How could I be in favor of that? I don’t feel those two terms are applicable or they are a summary of what we are involved with as far as the township," a commissioner said.

And the other commissioners unanimously agreed. They weren’t the only ones questioning the permit. Several, including the President of the Michigan Citizens For Water Conservation, weren’t convinced.

"Is the project within a wetland? Apparently Nestle thinks it’s not, but there is aquatic vegetation, reeds and canaries in the area. It doesn’t look like a typical wetland," she said.

But not all are against the pumping station, or the overall project. Kevinn Beemer supports it, because of the jobs it brings to the table.

"When you have a small area like the City of Evart everything counts. Every little bit counts. They need to be cheering for the industry and the businesses that are here and they do well," he said.

Nestle released a statement saying even though they don’t agree with the decision, they do respect it.

Planning Commissioners say they could submit another permit.

The DEQ is also giving people until Friday to share their comments publicly about Nestle’s original request to pump more water.