Home Moorestown News Moorestown opposes water rate increase

Moorestown opposes water rate increase

A proposed water increase has the township — and county, and just about every other municipality — up in arms.

New Jersey American Water Company is proposing a 20 percent rate increase for its customers, which Burlington County representatives say will affect 23 of the 40 municipalities in the county.

“Ratepayers keep paying more, the company’s employees are getting less, yet this monopoly’s bottom line gets bigger and bigger,” Freeholder Director Bruce Garganio said. “If that isn’t a wake up call to every official and agency reviewing the petition for a rate increase, I don’t know what is.”

Township Financial Officer Tom Merchel said Moorestown paid roughly about $1.9 million to NJAW last year. If this goes through, Merchel said it will most certainly cost township residents additional funding. The 20 percent increase is an average for county towns, he said, so it’s unknown how much it would increase Moorestown Township’s cost.

Last week, Garganio said that a federal agency’s complaint against the parent company of New Jersey American Water adds more weight to his argument that the utility company’s bid for a 20 percent rate increase is no good and needs to be rejected by state regulators.

In support of the county, Moorestown Township Council members approved of a resolution formally opposing the water rate increase.

The resolution was passed unanimously by the council.

Garganio noted that a hearing on the NLRB complaint is scheduled for March, just about the time the hearing process is slated to begin on New Jersey American Water’s quest for a 20 percent increase.

But the freeholder renewed his request for another round of local hearings, with residents receiving notices of the hearings — date, time and place — in their monthly bills. The law allows companies to do this, he said, but New Jersey American Water “quietly declined.”

Garganio noted that the NLRB’s complaint, coincidentally, was announced the same day he announced that Burlington County residents could sign an online petition objecting to the rate increase and demanding hearings.

Want to have your voice heard in the matter? Here is a direct link to the petition through the county website at www.co.burlington.nj.us/waterpetition.

Exit mobile version