MOORESTOWN - The township will save more than $1 million on water purchases from New Jersey American Water Co., local officials announced Friday.
Mayor Phil Garwood announced the township and the water company were able to achieve a "breakthrough" agreement will save taxpayers $1.1 million from August to December through an amendment to the current contract to cap the cost for water purchased.
Garwood said the agreement was achieved with the "considerable assistance" of state Assemblyman Troy Singleton, D-Burlington.
“New Jersey American Water recognizes the challenges that the closure of township Wells #7 and #9 presented and we appreciate their willingness to agree to this good faith solution to ease the burden on our township and our taxpayers,” Garwood said.
“This is a terrific result for our property taxpayers and proof that elected officials in different parties can work together effectively to get things done for their shared constituents,” Garwood said. “Assemblyman Singleton has worked closely with us and New Jersey American Water on this issue, and we would not have been able to secure this commitment from NJAWC without his help and his hard work.”
Councilman Manny Delgado said ensuring high-quality drinking water for township families should never be about partisan politics but rather about bipartisan cooperation.
The township hired a contractor earlier this year to install filtration systems to remove well contaminants—TCP, TCE and radionucleides—at the North Church Street water treatment plant, where Well No. 7 and back-up Well No. 9 are located. Those wells cannot be used until installation is complete.
Chief township financial officer Thomas Merchel said the township no longer will have to buy as much water from New Jersey American once the installation is complete by the end of the year.
Meanwhile at Monday night's meeting, township council approved a $7.1 million bond issue to cover a major upgrade and increase in pumping capacity at the Kings Highway water treatment plant, the only one of three township water plants operating. Council then awarded a $6.2 million contract for the construction to M.B.E. Mark III Electric, Inc. of Madison. Township Councilwoman Lisa Petriello voted against both measures, which passed by 4-1 votes.
Township officials also are exploring the possibility of improving the long-closed Hartford Road treatment.
However, Merchel said the township will have to continue to buy some of its water because the state has set a limit on the amount township wells can draw from the underground aquifer.