.

Aqua Illinois to Buy North Maine Utilities Water and Wastewater System

Aqua Illinois has committed to a rate freeze through 2020 on most of the costs to customers. The purchase of the North Maine utility still needs final approval.

The following was provided by the Village of Glenview:

Aqua America, Inc. (NYSE: WTR) and the Village of Glenview, Ill. announced today that Aqua’s Illinois subsidiary will acquire the North Maine Utilities (NMU) water and wastewater system, which serves more than 44,000 people through 4,700 water meters and almost 2,500 wastewater connections. Under the agreement, which trustees of the Village approved on May 6, Aqua Illinois will buy the system for up to $22 million pending an evaluation of assets. The sale of the utility is also subject to Illinois Commerce Commission approval, which includes a process by which three appraisers will be hired to set the final value of the system. The sale is expected to close in the summer of 2015. Once completed, it will be added to Aqua America’s current list of 25 municipal acquisitions it’s completed since 1992.  

By selling the NMU system to Aqua Illinois, the Village of Glenview will ensure that customers are provided with rate stability, a concern the Village sought to address through the sale. Aqua Illinois has committed to a rate freeze for most of the costs to NMU customers through June of 2020, excluding annual wholesale water rate increases from Chicago/Niles, which must be passed through. Aqua Illinois has also committed $10 million in capital investments to the system to construct an interconnection with Glenview to purchase Lake Michigan water from Glenview/Wilmette by 2020 at a significantly lower price than the projected Chicago/Niles rate.  

“Aqua Illinois is glad to be able to provide the residents and businesses of North Maine with quality water and wastewater services, reasonable rates and excellent customer service,” said Craig Blanchette, vice president of operations for Aqua Illinois. “With more than 125 years of experience in the water industry, we have the operational capacity, technical expertise and resources needed to meet the needs of NMU customers. We look forward to being a community partner with the Village of Glenview for many years to come.”  

“During its 17-year ownership, the Village of Glenview provided greatly needed repairs and improvements to NMU, such as proactively replacing underground water and sanitary sewer pipes, performing system maintenance and repainting a larger water tank that had been an eyesore,” stated Glenview Village President Jim Patterson. “With an agreement to sell the system to Aqua and provide NMU with less expensive water from Wilmette as part of the sale, we believe NMU customers can now benefit from a new owner that has more flexibility, especially to provide rate stability.”  

Aqua America has completed 25 acquisitions in Illinois since 1999, and more than 300 acquisitions company-wide since 1995. Last year, Aqua America completed 15 water and wastewater acquisitions and grew its number of customers a total of 1.3 percent. 
 
Aqua Illinois provides water and wastewater service to 175,000 people in 12 counties throughout Illinois.  

Aqua America is one of the largest U.S.-based, publicly traded water utilities and serves nearly 3 million people in Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Carolina, Illinois, Texas, New Jersey, Indiana and Virginia. Aqua America is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol WTR. Visit AquaAmerica.com for more information, or follow Aqua on Facebook at facebook.com/MyAquaAmerica and on Twitter at @MyAquaAmerica.  

This release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including, among others: the company’s ability to invest capital, receive governmental approval of the transition and close the acquisition. There are important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements including: general economic business conditions; the receipt of governmental approvals; the successful closing of the acquisition; the successful integration of the customers and the facility; and other factors discussed in our Annual Report on Form 10-K, which is on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission. For more information regarding risks and uncertainties associated with Aqua America’s business, please refer to Aqua America’s annual, quarterly and other SEC filings. Aqua America is not under any obligation — and expressly disclaims any such obligation — to update or alter its forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.  #
Richard Epping May 08, 2014 at 08:50 AM
THIS IS AN EPIC BAD IDEA! Aqua Illinois promises to freeze water rates until 2020, but doesn't include their "surcharges" that can add big increases to Glenview residents' bills. Here's what foodandwaterwatch.org says about Aqua Illinois: “Illinois: What Will You Be Charged? When Aqua America buys a new system, the transition period can be especially rocky. An hour south of Chicago, in Kankakee County, Ill., Aqua’s 45,000 customers have endured rough tides. After Aqua took over their water system, the community did not receive any water bills throughout the summer of 2007. The honeymoon didn’t last long, though. The other shoe soon fell, and in the village of Manteno, households began receiving huge bills and even notices that Aqua would shut off their water. Aqua Illinois overcharged more than 100 customers, some by as much as nine times. Everyone has similar stories. Aqua charged one customer for supposedly using 270,000 gallons of water on a vacant lot. Roy Hodges, another consumer, found Aqua’s bill practices suspicious. He usually uses 4,500 gallons per month, yet in December 2007 Aqua charged him for 27,500 gallons, an unreasonably high amount. He also said his water bill varies the size of his waterline pipe from month to month — something he was positive had not changed. Hodges believed these are tactics of Aqua Illinois to squeeze even more money out of communities that do not always have the resources to protest irregular and questionable bills. “We have a lot of senior citizens in town who don’t know what their water charges are,” he said. “[Aqua is] scalping people by overcharging them.” Village officials agreed that billing has been very erratic since Aqua took over in June. “Most bills are exceedingly high, several hundred dollars more than they should be,” said Janice Schulteis, the village’s resource manager. Aqua is offering to re-read meters, but it remains to be seen if this provides a solution. Meanwhile, as residents struggle for fair service, a former village official is riding high. Aqua Illinois hired Craig Blanchette — the village administrator who pushed through the sale of Manteno’s water system — to serve as its vice president and regional manager.” http://documents.foodandwaterwatch.org/doc/AquaAmerica.pdf "Why Aqua NC customers are furious about their service At Juli Williams' house, you have just three seconds to wet your toothbrush. A shower can last no more than 10 minutes. The dishwasher may be operated only with permission. Even with these austerity measures, Williams' monthly water and sewer bill runs as high as $423, more than most car payments. And for that money, Williams says, the bathtub is stained brown from water that comes from community wells operated by Aqua North Carolina. "Our neighborhood has been fighting Aqua for years," says Williams, who lives with her husband and three children in Mallard Crossing, a 200-home subdivision in eastern Wake County. Aqua North Carolina, which owns 800 water and/or sewer systems statewide, is a subsidiary of one of the nation's largest private water utilities, Aqua America. While the company touts its "well-deserved reputation for rehabilitating water and wastewater facilities" to meet its "high performance standards," many of its North Carolina customers dispute that claim." http://www.indyweek.com/indyweek/why-aqua-north-carolina-customers-are-furious-about-their-service/Content?oid=3232822 FIGHT THIS EVIL COMPANY!!!

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »