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E-M:/ Tapped in: Evart sits on precious commodity

EVART -- Economic development officials have parlayed this community's pure, cold well water into a bet any gambler would love.
While Evart officials hope for a decision on the plant early next year, Ice Mountain spokeswoman Deb Muchmore indicated the timing was less definite.

"Announcement of the second facility could come as early as 2008, depending on business projections," she said in an e-mail.

Muchmore said Evart is "a contender" because of the town's abundance of high-quality water and its long-standing relationship with the company.

Nestle also is considering out-of-state locations, she said, though "none of the other sites, outside of Michigan, is as far along as Evart with respect to possible development."

For the water itself, Ice Mountain pays Evart's regular commercial rate: 91 cents per 1,000 gallons. At that rate, a penny's worth of water could fill 82 half-liter bottles.

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