Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Town welcomes bottled water plant

This town is ready to take flak from opponents of bottled water in the name of reviving its economy, says Smiths Falls's top administrator.

Wayne Brown, the town's chief administrative officer, made the comments in the wake of criticism from the Council of Canadians, which is questioning the choice of a bottled water firm to move into the vacant Hershey chocolate factory.

"Smiths Falls is a very resilient town and we will not only survive, we will thrive," said Brown.

The town, which has suffered a severe economic battering in recent years, has been the subject of "ghost town" predictions in the past with its economic misfortunes, said Brown.

And the recent news that Aquablue Spring Water International plans to set up a bottled water operation at the Hershey site shows how Smiths Falls will bounce back again, he said.

If some people object to the idea of bottled water being manufactured here, town officials are "prepared to take flak over it," added Brown.

Aquablue Spring Water International, a British Columbia-based subsidiary of Aquablue International Inc., a manufacturer of bottled water for domestic and export markets, officially announced on Monday it has agreed with Hershey Canada "to terms on the acquisition of the facility and equipment located in Smiths Falls," according to a statement on the firm's web-site.

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