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STANWOOD, MI-The Ice Mountain Spring Water Co. has opened a $100-million bottling facility here. The facility took a year to build, plant manager Brendan O’Rourke says.

The plant launches its first year of business with 80 employees, expecting to grow to 100 by the end of 2002.

Eventually the plant will employ more than 200 people, making Ice Mountain one of the largest employers in Mecosta County, company officials say.

O’Rourke has noted a number of commitments the company has made when it planned to build the plant. More than 70% of the contractors and suppliers were from western Michigan or elsewhere in the state. More than 80% of plant employees come from a 30-mile radius of the plant. It will generate approximately $700,000 annually in tax revenues. With a $3.4-million annual start-up payroll, it will have a $14-million annual economic impact.

In addition, the company is making a $500,000 investment with the Fremont Area Community Foundation’s Ice Mountain Environmental Stewardship Fund, benefiting the Muskegon River Watershed, a comprehensive monitoring program. It also gave $50,000 to the county for fire equipment, including an ambulance.

Nestlé Waters North America Inc. is a bottled water company serving the US and Canada.

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