A proposed water bottling plant for Florida is facing delays because of water availability concerns.
Niagara Bottling LLC wants to build a bottling plant in Lake County, Fla., that would draw 490,000 gallons of water daily from underground.
The operation could qualify for $2.3 million in incentives, but local county commissioners have not agreed to the project.
``We are not interested in them pulling so much water from the aquifer,'' commissioner Elaine Renick said in a recent telephone interview.
``We want to send a clear message this is not the type of business to attract here.''
Published details of the project are sketchy. But Niagara Bottling, based in Ontario, Calif., has said the operation would produce plastic bottles with 20 percent less plastic in them and the firm would recycle its materials. To house the operation, the company spent $15 million to purchase a 291,000-square-foot building, near Groveland, Fla., that formerly was owned by Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., based in Akron, Ohio.
Niagara has submitted an application to the St. Johns River Water Management District to withdraw water. Renick said she was instructed by fellow commissioners to try to persuade the water management agency to not accept the application.
Niagara officials declined requests for interviews. On its Web site, the firm is publicizing a Nov. 14 job fair for the Lake County project. The project comes up for review again at the next commissioners' meeting, set for Nov. 20. At a Nov. 6 commissioners meeting, Niagara Bottling asked for postponement of the incentives hearing.