One of Town Meeting's most debated warrant articles proposes a ban of single-serving bottled water. This tactic has seen sunlight before back in 2010 when a vote passed to for 2011.
In practice, the as state approval, and therefore the ban, was never issued. A with a vote of 265 to 272 at Town Meeting.
The ban is back on the table at this year's annual Town Meeting, and at least one man isn't happy about it.
Jim Crosby of on 211 Sudbury Road, went before the Board of Selectmen Monday night to speak out against the ban, claiming it would hurt his business and others.
“Those involved in selling bottled water, like myself, have good intentions," he said. "This ban could cause damage to local business in Concord.”
Crosby detailed that 30 percent of the bottled beverages he sells are either flavored or regular, single-serving water bottles, and the ban could lead to drying up these sales.
“The warrant attacks the supply side of my business and people will leave town for cases of water,” said Crosby. “I see it as a severe threat for delis, sub shops, convenience stores or what have you.”
Although the warrant article bans bottled water, it does list “emergency situations” as a time when the ban would be lifted, but Crosby expressed concern about this part of the article, relating that the language is “over-simplified.
"If the ban goes through, suppliers such as myself will not easily be able to get deliveries in town," Crosby said, estimating that it would take between one to three days to flood the town with bottled water in case of emergency.
Crosby also cited health concerns as a reason why the ban shouldn't be approved. Concord is a very active and health conscious community where people often engage in all types of physical activity around town, and banning bottled drinking water could cause consumers to veer towards buying more sugar-based drink, he said.
“I don't think we need this," Crosby concluded. "We recycle here in Concord and are a very responsible town, there is no need for [the article] and I hope the selectmen vote against it.”
Interim selectmen Chairwoman Carmin Reiss, filling in for regular Chair, Elise F. Woodward, asked Crosby if he was approached by anyone on behalf of the bottled water industry such as a representatives from Nestle, Coke or Pepsi.
Crosby explained that he is aware of the power the bottled water companies possess and their feelings on the issue, but stated he has no dealings with such companies aside from deliveries and speaks only for himself and his business.
The Selectmen expressed no other thoughts at Monday's meeting about how they will side on this issue. The time for debate concerning the ban is quickly closing as Town Meeting begins April 23.