Water Bottling company faces heat, causes political battle
By Jonquil Newland, Weekend Today Anchor/Reporter - bio | email
WALKER COUNTY, GA. (WRCB) -- Walker County Commissioner Bebe Heiskell's announcement to bring a water bottling company to the county has set off a firestorm of online criticism.
"It would create jobs, it is strictly a private enterprise between the owner of the property and the person leasing the property," Heiskell says.
Sunrae Water will initially bring 20 jobs to Walker County.
Lafayette Underground is an online blog that has been outspoken in its opposition to bringing the water company to the old Barwick Mills plant.
In a Facebook post the blog states, "this is the biggest pile of crap in lies in the three years we've been doing this."
"I will not be drinking any bottled water out of there, I promise you," says Paul Shaw.
Shaw is running against Heiskell for county commissioner. He says the bloggers are some of his biggest supporters. "They see a lot of the same problems I see with the county government," he says.
"We don't need to be in the real estate business, we don't need to be in the water business, we don't need to be in the warehouse rental business," Shaw says.
Channel 3 spoke with Sunrae Water Company's owner Mike Schieck. "Politics is ugly," he says. "We're coming, we're going to bottle water, we're going to create jobs, hopefully sell some water, hopefully grow into a successful business."
Critics say the county is going to have to flip the bill and an old nearby chemical plant has contaminated the area.
However, Schieck says he's paying for the project out of his pocket and the land has been cleaned up.
"My process is totally encapsulated. It's a house within a house," Schieck says.
However, there may be a bigger issue at hand.
"Politics aside, you shouldn't run us down publicly, this county and deter new development from coming in," Heiskell says.
Wednesday, April 16 2014 11:40 PM EDT2014-04-17 03:40:13 GMT
In November 1978, the world watched in horror members of a cult called "The People's Temple", committed mass suicide at Jonestown, Guyana. A woman who escaped death, only because she was away from Jonestown on that fateful day, spoke at UTC and the Chattanooga Public Library, Wednesday night.More
In November 1978, the world watched in horror members of a cult called "The People's Temple", committed mass suicide at Jonestown, Guyana. A woman who escaped death, only because she was away from Jonestown on that fateful day, spoke at UTC and the Chattanooga Public Library, Wednesday night. More