Is Niagara Bottled Water Worthy of UCCC Students? by Colleen Connors

Thanks to Start Up New York, it is very possible that Niagara Bottled Water company will receive:

  • No incomes taxes for their employees for 10 years
  • No sales tax on materials for 10 years
  • No state corporate taxes for 10 years
  • No town, county and school property breaks for 10 years
  • A waver of various other fees

Niagara Bottled Water company will also get 1.75 million gallons of water from Kingston’s water supply. Kingston will get 260 trucks a day in and out of the plant that will be in the Town of Ulster. 342,500 gallons of wastewater—the contents of which no one knows—will be dumped into the Esopus Creek each day.

Donald Katt, president of Ulster County Community College, is excited about the deal. Especially since Niagara will provide UCCC students with internships, possibly even jobs.

As a former student of UCCC, a plastic water bottle plant is the last place I’d want to have an internship or work. IBM, sure! Hospice, yes! Ulster Publishing, okay! All of these businesses contribute to a better quality of life for other humans.

People need work that is meaningful and fulfilling. Companies like Niagara prey on people’s bad habits: not drinking excellent tap water, not carrying a reusable bottle of water, not maintaining water fountains. Bottled water creates excessive waste and uses fossil fuels for production and transport. All in the interest of packaging a natural resource that, in most cases, doesn’t need to be packaged!

There are places in the world where tap water is not potable. Most of our country is not such a place. Making bottles of water for people who don’t need it is a waste of human capital.

I wonder how many people would wish this type of job for their own child. The thought of my child working in an environment with melted polyethylene terephthalate makes me shudder.

Donald Katt, you asked how people could be against a proposal that creates jobs. I’m telling you, the people of Ulster County deserve jobs with a future. Jobs that make us proud. Jobs that contribute positively to our environment and community. Working at a plastic water bottle plant is not such a job.

Considering all of the benefits a company in the Start Up New York plan will receive, I beg all of you—Donald Katt, James Quigley, Mayor Gallo, Judy Hansen, Mike Hein—please choose a company that is worthy of our precious, fragile, and amazing region.

Don’t UCCC students deserve better?

Colleen Connors

2 thoughts on “Is Niagara Bottled Water Worthy of UCCC Students? by Colleen Connors”

  1. Thank you Colleen. It is sad when the best your state and local governments can do to help you build a career, is to offer you, a college graduate a place on the slave wage production line filling plastic bottles with water and shipping them over the road to who knows where . So much for allowing you the opportunity to use the knowledge gained in a place of higher learning to improve yourself intellectually . One dead end job coming up . Exactly how much student debt does it cost to get that job ?

  2. Wonderful and well written! Thank you Colleen. It’s sad too that Jobs is always what they push down our throats as the reason. If you go on you can read what real Niagara employees have written about those winner 40 jobs Donald Klott is so excited about. Maybe he can take a shift when he gets booted as President for being a terrible leader of our youth. $10 or less an hour and some good fumes may do him some good.


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