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Nestle permit dispute with Osceola Township will go to Michigan Court of Appeals

Klearchos Kapoutsis

The Michigan Court of Appeals announced last week that it will take up a case involving a Nestle pumping station near Evart, in Osceola County.

The court granted Osceola Township’s application for appeal on July 18th, but officials with the township say it could be over a year before the case reaches oral arguments.

At issue is a pumping station which Nestle wants to build in order to increase its water withdrawals in the region.

William Fahey is an attorney representing the township. He said Nestle tried to get a special permit to build the station in an agricultural district.

“In order to qualify you have to show that your facility is going to meet the public convenience and necessity. That’s where things fell down for Nestle.”

Fahey said the appeals court will determine whether that was a fair standard to apply to the station, among other things.

In a written statement a spokesperson for Nestle said they are not surprised by the Appellate Court’s decision and quote “we believe that the circuit court ruling… should be upheld.”

Nestle’s full statement can be read below:

The court’s decision to hear the appeal was not a surprise. As we have stated previously, we firmly believe that the Circuit Court ruling ordering Osceola Township to issue a permit for our request to build a small, 12-foot by 22-foot building to house a booster pump is appropriate and should be upheld.

We believe the favorable Circuit Court ruling demonstrates the plan we proposed met the Township’s site plan and special land use standards. From the beginning, our goal with this request has been to reduce, as much as possible, any impact to the local community and the environment. In addition, the structure will be a positive contribution and will add additional tax revenue to the Township.