County Calls on Judge to Reject Settlement in Rate Hike Case
Freeholder Director Bruce Garganio reacts to reports that the state Division of Rate Counsel may have struck a deal with New Jersey American Water.
Acting on reports that the state Division of Rate Counsel has tentatively struck a deal with New Jersey American Water on its request for a 20 percent rate increase, Freeholder Director Bruce Garganio has reached out to the judge hearing the case, and asked him to reject any settlement and proceed with hearings.
According to a release from the county, Garganio learned from constituents and through the media that Administrative Law Judge Leland S. McGhee, sitting in Newark, had signed an order cancelling all hearings on the rate increase, except for two at the end of April.
“I implore you not to accept a settlement increasing rates, but to give the public an opportunity to be heard, and an opportunity for me to present, before the court, a petition of 10,900 households from Burlington County residents and ratepayers opposing the increase and demanding hearings,” Garganio wrote. “We are already on record with the Rate Counsel asking them to present the case from their own experts calling for an actual decrease in water rates of $45.8 million."
Garganio noted the Senate has alsounanimously adopted a resolution expressing the same sentiment.
The freeholder director said the judge’s order cancelled hearings scheduled for April 4, 5, 10, 12, 18 and 19, only leaving in place hearings set for April 23 and 25.
- Courtesy of the Office of the Burlington County Freeholders