RUMFORD — Amid requests from the public, the Rumford Water District has decided to defer any action on executing an agreement with Poland Spring until after the June 13 town meeting.

That decision was made public Wednesday by the board of trustees at its regular meeting.

The schedule proposed in January by the district called to execute an agreement at the board’s May 10 meeting.

Meanwhile, the district will continue negotiations. The revised schedule calls for a proposed agreement posted by April 5, a meeting on the proposed agreement on May 10 and an agreement to be executed in late June or early July.

Much of Wednesday’s meeting involved a negotiations update with Nestle Waters North America/Poland Spring. Using a slide presentation, trustees read the potential terms with the company, which included the following:

* Water purchase at specific Public Utility Commission rates. 1. The district may explore special PUC water rates during the first few years of the agreement, then apply standard district rates if a bottling plant is planned and sited in Rumford. 2. At the current district large customer water rates, Nestle estimated 100 million gallons per year would result in the company paying $300,000 to $400,000 per year to the district.

* Terms of the agreement. 1. The district will propose a shorter term than proposed by Nestle Waters, the parent company of Poland Spring, and would offer an extended term if Nestle commits to plan and site a water bottling plant in Rumford. 2. Both parties agree to a 24-month notice of termination.

* Infrastructure. 1. The district has a backlog of infrastructure needs: replacement of old distribution mains (estimated cost of $825,000 per year for the next 25 years), providing redundancy between the Milligan and Scotties Brook wells. 2. The district will seek to have Nestle provide annual infrastructure benefit payments to the district.

* Community benefits for Rumford. 1. Current proposed community benefits by Nestle: creating shared values investment of $250,000 per year over the first four years of water extraction in Rumford to create an investment fund of $1 million. Additionally, Nestle would provide $50,000 per year in each of the first four years to provide Rumford money for projects now. 2. Additional community benefits: $20,000 per year payment in lieu of taxes throughout the term of the water supply agreement; Nestle estimates the loading station will produce $20,000-$30,000 per year in property taxes.

At the District’s request, the parties now agree that any failure to comply with the community benefit arrangements will be treated as a breach of the water supply agreement with the District.

* Path to water bottling plant in Rumford. 1. Allow for sufficient time to gather long-term data on reliability of the water source and allow for time to find two additional sources of spring water that could, in addition to the Ellis River aquifer, support a bottling plant in Rumford.

Nestle has agreed to meet twice a year with the town and the district to engage in good-faith discussions on the potential for planning and siting a water bottling plant.

Nestle Waters has also agreed to spend $100,000 to find additional spring water sources in the Rumford area.

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