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Gainesville bottles water to attract economic benefits

POSTED: November 24, 2013 11:58 p.m.

Like Gainesville? Try the water.

The city is hoping to attract economic development by handing out bottles of Gainesville H2O to out-of-town visitors. It’s an idea that had been discussed for a few years that recently became a reality.

The signature water was introduced at a Gainesville City Council work session last week.

“We’ve got some of the best water in the state and certainly the best water in Hall County,” said Don Dye, assistant Public Utilities director.

City employees took a 3,000-gallon tanker of purified water from the Riverside Water Treatment plant to a Blue Ridge bottling plant to have Gainesville H2O made. The label was designed by the communications and tourism office.

“I think it’s a great promotional event for the city of Gainesville,” Dye said. “When people like developers, economic development interests come into town, they can have something tangible that shows that Gainesville’s in the water business.”

There are 600 cases, and Dye is the “gatekeeper” of the water. Each case is signed out by him, and a few cases have already been handed out internally to the City Council, the communications office, the city manager’s office and the utilities department. Many visitors first have contact with the city through the communications office.

The endeavor cost about $2,500, which breaks down to about $5 a case and less than 25 cents a bottle. Dye said thicker plastic was used so the bottles can be refilled with tap water and people can continue to enjoy the local refreshment.

“It’s not that thin-walled, crinkling plastic,” he said.

The water isn’t for any particular event, but Dye said it’s a promotion the city will use to continue to draw people into the area to discover the other amenities Gainesville offers.

Drinking Gainesville’s tap water is also economically smart for residents, he said.

“If you drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day from (the) tap for 365 days, do you know what that’s going to cost you?” Dye asked. “Less than $1.”

Gainesville H2O is 16.9 ounces per bottle, and the label says the water was “Bottled with Pride.”


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