Businessman wants to bottle

Spring City water, and tout

city’s artists and history

 

By James Tilson

Staff writer

Nov. 9, 2017

 

SPRING CITY—A Salt Lake City man wants to locate a new business in Spring City that will be based on the three things that the town is known for: artists, history and the water from its spring.

The actual product he wants to sell, however, is the water.

David Figgat presented his idea for the new business during a meeting of the city council on Thursday, Nov. 2.

Figgat introduced himself as a native Utahan who, although living in the Salt Lake City area, has connections to Spring City through friends, and is familiar with the city. He described the city’s featuring characteristics: local artists, the city’s history, and the local water. Figgat’s proposed business would combine the three elements to make a bottled water featuring the artwork of local artists.

Figgat pointed out the efforts of PepsiCo with its “Life Water” brand, and Starbucks’ “Ethos Water.” His company would be unique in a similar way, by using not only local water but also the work of local artists in the packaging.

He also mentioned the “Newman’s Own” line of products, which is a non-profit business giving away 100 percent of after-tax profits to charitable causes. Figgat said his proposed company would be a B-Corporation, which would mean that a significant amount of the corporation’s net income would, like Newman’s Own, go to a charitable organization. In this case, that organization would be Spring City itself.

In the market research that Figgat had done in preparing his proposal, he found that the idea, while being a niche within the overall bottled water market, would be unique within that niche.

Figgat said his business would not ask for any money from Spring City to start at all. All that it would need would be access to local water and exclusivity. In return, the corporation would donate a significant amount of money to the city.

In response to a question from the audience asking how much money the corporation would give to Spring City, Figgat said that his expectations were that by its fourth year the corporation would donate $250,000 to the city.

But on top of that, there would also be increased attention placed on the town through the corporation’s social media campaign, as well as new jobs created by a bottling plant to be located within the city.

He said the plant would only need 1.3 acre feet of water rights to meet the expected demand.

Figgat ended by saying that he believed that his corporation would be an “environmentally sustainable product,” and that even though access to water was key, he “did not want to be a corporate raider.”

In other business, Stewart reported that the city’s application to the Community Impact Board (CIB) for grant money to fund the renovation of the city’s water springs had hit a snag.

She said that the CIB had informed her that the city’s water rates, which are significantly less than anyone else in the county, were too low and that their rates should be closer to $55 a month. However, the rationale behind the CIB’s analysis was based on the 2010 census. Stewart said if the city conducted an income survey and excluded any secondary or vacation homes, the amount the city needed to charge could be reduced.

Stewart said the CIB would insist that the city meet the CIB’s water-rate criterion or else no funds would be awarded.