Hamilton’s Aqua New Jersey Water Customers may see 19 percent rate hike

Hamilton Mayor Demands Reconsideration of Proposed Rate hike

While one side of Hamilton is dealing with years of mismanagement of Trenton Water Works by the City of Trenton that has led to lead in the water and subpar quality water , the other side of Hamilton is facing the proposition of their pockets being drained.

Hamilton is split between two water suppliers that provide water service to customers.

Trenton Water Works customers were recently notified after the department received new violations.

Many residents are concerned to have received the letter, which says their drinking water did not meet the water quality requirements for about a year. 

Though Trenton Water Works hasn’t met their water requirement for about a year now, they say the trend has been going down. They don’t expect their water quality requirements to be met in a month or two, but they say they’re moving in the right direction and they hope this is the year those requirements will be met. 

Now Hamilton residents that are serviced by Aqua New Jersey maybe facing a different type of problem than their neighboors.

Aqua New Jersey is seeking approval to increase rates by approximately 19 percent – which would impact 11,000 Hamiltonians serviced by the water provider, as well as fire services.

According to the company’s filing with the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, Aqua New Jersey is petitioning to increase its general metered service from $5.409/per thousand gallons to $6.492/per thousand gallons (an increase of $1.083 per thousand gallons), as well as proposing to increase fixed monthly charges, which vary according to meter size.

For a residential customer with a 5/8” meter using 5,000 gallons of water per month, costs would increase by $8.30 per month (from $42.95 to $51.25) – approximately a 19.3 percent increase.  The proposal does not reflect the inclusion in rates of a DSIC (Distribution System Improvement Charge) that may be subsequently approved.

One Aqua customer not happy with the proposed rate hike was Hamilton Mayor Kelly Yaede.

“In the interest of the 11,000 Hamilton taxpayers that would be impacted by these rate increases, I am demanding that Aqua NJ reconsider this proposal and make every effort to reduce the amount of increase it is seeking, as a 19 percent increase is unconscionable and unacceptable,” says Mayor Kelly Yaede. “I have and will continue to fight for safe drinking water; however, a 19 percent increase is appalling.” 

Yaede stated she will be formally writing to Aqua NJ, an Administrative Law Judge that will preside over the public hearings and Board of Public Utilities regarding this matter, before meeting with an Aqua NJ representative later this month.

Back to back water related public meetings

Trenton Water Works Customers Public Meeting March 27, 2019.

The TWW public meeting will take place on Wednesday, March 27, 2019, at Grice Middle School (located at 901 White Horse Hamilton Rd, Hamilton Township, NJ 08610) from 6 PM – 8 PM.   

Hamilton residents will have another opportunity to get first-hand updates on Trenton Water Works (TWW), its service line replacement program and the utilities’ ongoing efforts in March.

TWW officials plan to hold a question and answer session to address issues such as lead in drinking water, corrosion-control efforts and the lead service line replacement program, as well as offer residents access to GIS mapping to help determine if their property has a lead service line and an opportunity to register to receive alerts from TWW’s Water Quality Information System.

Aqua NJ Rate Increase Public Hearing March 28, 2019

Public hearings that will take place on March 28, 2019, at the Hamilton Township Public Library (1 Justice Samuel A. Alito Way, Hamilton, NJ 08619) at 4 PM and 5:30 PM.         

An Administrative Law Judge from the Office of Administrative Law will preside over the public hearings. Members of the public are invited to attend and express their views on the proposed rate increase and the DSIC Foundational Filing. Such comments will be made a part of the final record in those proceedings.

Whether or not you attend the public hearings on the Aqua New Jersey price increase, written comments may be submitted to the Hon. Tricia Caliguire, Office of Administrative Law, P. 0. Box 49, Trenton, New Jersey 08625-0049; or the Hon. Aida Camacho-Welch, Secretary, Board of Public Utilities, 44 South Clinton Street, 3rd Floor, Suite 314, Trenton, New Jersey

About The Author

Irving Lawrence Duckwald III is a freelance writer and blogger based in Central New Jersey. He has a penchant for fried chicken, fast cars, and fancy suits. With a knack for "setting the record straight", he can argue till the cows come home why it's Pork Roll and not Taylor Ham.