Published DateCONWAY — There is less than a week left for people to comment on the proposed agreement between Nestle and Fryeburg Water Company, but the consumer advocate is hoping to extend the window.
The comment period ends Sept. 4, but Bill Black, attorney with the Maine Public Utilities Commission Office of the Consumer Advocate, intends to request an extension.
n the meantime, he said, people who want to comment on the agreement should do so before next Tuesday.
"If people want to submit comments to the PUC," he said, "those comments should be addressed as follows: Karen Geraghty, administrative director, Maine PUC, 18 State House Station, Augusta, Maine, 04333-0018. The docket number is 2008-00052."
The PUC originally failed at the start of the comment period to put the Nestle/FWC agreement on its website, but that has since been fixed. The PUC has been switching over its computer system to a new program, administrative director Karen Geraghty said, and older dockets items like Fryeburg Water Company's were not given priority. The full agreement is now available on the Maine PUC website.
Fryeburg selectman Rick Eastman, meanwhile, who himself is connected to bottled water through the We Corp., said he read the contract and "didn't have any real problems with the document per se."
"It seemed to sway in [Nestle's] direction," he said, but that is to be expected. "Their presence in the town has been very pleasant in the last three or four years."
There was really only one thing that gave him pause, he said. "I had some questions about the necessity of the Fryeburg Water Company seeking a secondary water source."
The company is simply following the recommendations of an independent expert in case the water source is contaminated or some other emergency occurs, said Jean Andrews, vice president of the Fryeburg Water Company. "Hopefully it never happens."
Nestle would its their expertise in finding an additional source, she said, not developing it.
"We're just doing some exploratory work," she said, "but these things take time."