SOURCE: Middlesex Water Company

August 11, 2005 12:35 ET

Pinelands Companies File for Rate Increase Citing Increased Capital Investment and Operating Costs

ISELIN, NJ -- (MARKET WIRE) -- August 11, 2005 -- Pinelands Water Company and Pinelands Wastewater Company, subsidiaries of Middlesex Water Company (NASDAQ: MSEX), have filed requests with the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) for an overall rate increase of 11.4% to help offset increased costs associated with the operation and maintenance of the water and wastewater systems as well as increased capital investment in those systems.

The companies, which last filed for increases in 2003, are requesting an overall increase of $150,159 over current revenues. The increases are necessary to cover the cost of rehabilitation of one of the water system's major wells, in addition to rising costs for both companies for maintenance, power, chemicals, insurance, labor and benefits, testing, security, depreciation, taxes, and other operating expense increases experienced since the 2003.

The companies provide water and wastewater service on a retail basis to approximately 2,300 customers in the communities of LeisureTowne and Hampton Lakes in Southampton Township in Burlington County, New Jersey. Customers receive a combined bill for their water and wastewater service.

"This rate filing will help us to continue to maintain the water supply, pipes, wells and treatment facilities that ensure reliable service to our customers," said Richard M. Risoldi, President.

If the proposed increase is approved, the average combined quarterly bill for water and wastewater would increase from $133.46 to $146.79, based on consumption of 19,000 gallons (approximately 2,600 cubic feet) and an average discharge of 9,610 gallons into the sewer.

The rate proposal will be examined by the NJBPU and the New Jersey Division of Ratepayer Advocate. A public hearing on the matter will be scheduled in the Company's service area where customers are welcome to comment on the filing request.

Middlesex Water Company, organized in 1897, is an investor-owned water utility and is engaged in the business of supplying water for domestic, commercial, industrial and fire protection purposes. The Company and its New Jersey subsidiaries are subject to the regulations of the NJBPU. These companies are also subject to various Federal and State regulatory agencies concerning water quality standards.

For additional information regarding Middlesex Water Company, visit the Company's website at or call (732) 634-1500.

Contact Information

    Richard M. Risoldi, President
    Pinelands Water Company
    Bernadette M. Sohler
    Director of Communications
    (732) 634-1500