Aqua to provide lower wastewater rates, commits $7.5 million for capital investments
BRYN MAWR, Pa. & MANTENO, Ill.– Aqua America Inc. (NYSE: WTR) and the Village of Manteno, Illinois announced today they have completed the acquisition of the village’s wastewater system, which serves more than 9,000 people through approximately 3,800 wastewater connections. Under the agreement, approved by the Illinois Commerce Commission May 31, Aqua Illinois purchased the system for $25 million.
Aqua has committed to investing more than $7.5 million in wastewater system upgrades over the next ten years to continue enhancements already initiated by the village. The company is also planning other future investments to improve reliability, ensure adequate capacity for growth, and protect receiving streams through new and innovative treatment techniques.
“Aqua Illinois is happy to be able to provide the residents and businesses of Manteno with quality wastewater services, reasonable rates and excellent customer service,” said Craig Blanchette, president of Aqua Illinois. “We have provided our award-winning water service to the village since 2007, and our company has been providing water and wastewater utility service throughout Illinois for more than 130 years, serving more than 250,000 people in 13 counties throughout the state. Our staff has extensive industry experience, and we look forward to serving Manteno for decades to come.”
Aqua America Chairman and CEO Christopher Franklin noted the continued opportunity he sees in the municipal market.
“We are excited by the momentum we are gaining in reaching agreements with municipal systems,” said Franklin. “This purchase is all part of Aqua’s efforts to do our part to strengthen infrastructure for communities in the states we serve, which means improved compliance, service and environmental stewardship for generations to come.”
In addition, Manteno Mayor Tim Nugent outlined several benefits to the sale.
“We are very happy to continue to work with Aqua. The sale of our wastewater system allows the village to reduce costs to our homeowners and still maintain the sale proceeds in an investment account,” said Nugent. “Our citizens will see an immediate, positive impact on their monthly expenses, as the village eliminates each resident’s garbage collection fee of $16.55 per month for the coming year. This will save each homeowner almost $200 per year this year and more in the years to come as garbage rates rise. This transaction locks in Manteno’s stable financial future for generations.”
Aqua Illinois provides water and wastewater service to approximately 250,000 people in 13 counties.
Including the Village of Manteno, Aqua America has five fair market value asset purchase agreements in place. Other agreements are with Cheltenham, East Bradford, Limerick and New Garden townships in Pennsylvania. A settlement agreement with Limerick is before the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, and the New Garden commission order is on appeal to Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court. When it completes these acquisitions, the company will welcome approximately 23,000 new customer connections to the Aqua family.
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 in the system over the next ten years. 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 company’s ability to fund needed infrastructure; changes in regulations or regulatory treatment; availability and access to capital; the cost of capital; disruptions in the credit markets; and other factors discussed in our Annual Report on Form 10-K and our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q, which are filed 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.