BOTTLING PLANT COMMUNITY FORUM to be hosted by Fryeburg Business Association on Tuesday, April 11th at 5:30 PM at the Cafeteria Building at Fryeburg Fairgrounds
In 2016, bottled water consumption surpassed that of soda. The change in consumer preferences has increased the demand for bottling and is one of the reasons why Poland Spring is currently exploring options for a fourth bottling facility and new spring sources in Maine.
A new facility could represent a $50 million investment and 40-80 new jobs. Poland Spring’s average wage is about $20 per hour (plus benefits) at facilities in Hollis, Poland and Kingfield. Fryeburg is one of the communities under consideration for the new plant along with Rumford and locations northeast of Bangor. Because the amount of water Poland Spring can extract from the Fryeburg aquifer needs to remain sustainable, the company is looking for two new spring sites regionally in other areas to support the expansion. The company expects to open new plant between 2020 and 2022. With more than 900 employees, Poland Spring is one of Maine’s largest employers.
The company also makes significant economic contributions to the state. Poland Spring’s annual spending with other businesses in the state of Maine is greater than $60 million.
Over the years, Fryeburg has lost most of its manufacturing companies and mills, leaving a growing financial burden on residential taxpayers. Having tax-free New Hampshire right next door makes it increasing difficult for Fryeburg to attract retail business. With this challenging business environment in mind, the Fryeburg Business Association has scheduled this educational forum for the community to learn more about this potential opportunity. Fryeburg was once considered as a location for bottling in the early 2000s, but the facility was ultimately built in the town of Kingfield.
The meeting will be moderated by Gene Bergoffen of Maineway Services. Gene is a member of Fryeburg Business Association, has chaired several boards for town and non-profits, and has acted as a meeting moderator for many communities. Mark Dubois, Hydrogeologist and Natural Resource Manager for Poland Spring, will present information on impacts and benefits, as well as environmental and economic aspects. He will explain what Poland Spring is seeking for a bottling facility and what this could mean to the town.
After the presentation, the Fryeburg Business Association will collect questions from the audience for Poland Spring to address. Mark and his team will be on hand after the presentation and Q&A to peak individually to attendees.
Fryeburg Business Association strongly encourages attendees to submit questions prior to the presentation and ask that they be emailed to FBA@FryeburgBusiness.com. Please include your full name, address and telephone number for verification or your question may not be accepted. Priority will be given to questions submitted from Fryeburg taxpayers, businesses, and residents.
Poland Spring has an office on 639 Main Street in Fryeburg that is open to the public every Thursday from 9:00AM to 4:00PM. They invite you to stop by for a cup of coffee and conversation. You can also reach them at 207 935-1514.