Water company’s customers will see increase in rates

MANALAPAN – The Manalapan Township Committee has adopted an ordinance adjusting water rates that will be charged to customers of the Suez Matchaponix Water Company, which services a portion of Manalapan.

During 2018, Suez Matchaponix filed for a water rate increase of 32 percent, according to municipal officials.

In September, committee members took action to oppose the requested rate increase and became an intervenor in the matter when it was before the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU).

At the time, Manalapan officials described the water company’s request as a “significant water rate increase.”

On Dec. 12, Timothy W. Gillen, a principal with the township’s engineering firm, CME Associates, reported that Suez Matchaponix had been granted an 8 percent increase by the BPU.

Gillen said Manalapan has a public-private partnership with the water company which will yield an actual increase of 4.28 percent.

In bottom line terms, Gillen said that means the average customer who has a five-eighths-inch water meter and uses 12,000 gallons per month will see an increase of 79 cents per month.

During the summer, accounting for lawn watering that could increase usage to 20,000 gallons per month, the average customer will see an increase of $2.17 per month, according to Gillen.

There was no comment from any member of the public prior to the committee’s vote to adopt the ordinance that memorialized the rate increase.

The Gordon’s Corner Water Company, which provides water to the southern third of Marlboro and the northern half of Manalapan, also opposed the Suez Matchaponix Water Company’s proposed 32 percent rate increase, according to a resolution Manalapan officials passed in September.

The committee’s resolution stated that the Gordon’s Corner Water Company is a bulk purchaser of water from Suez Matchaponix.

A message left at the Gordon’s Corner Water Company in an attempt to determine if the company will pass along the approved 8 percent rate increase to its customers was not returned.

In other business on Dec. 12, Manalapan officials adopted the township’s first new zoning map in 20 years.

Township Attorney Roger McLaughlin said the revised zoning map incorporates changes that have been made during the last two decades.

A zoning map divides a municipality into land use districts (zones), such as residential, agricultural, commercial, industrial or manufacturing.

Zoning regulations describe how construction may occur in a specific zone (i.e., height of structures, setbacks from roads and other properties, landscaping requirements).

There was no comment from the public prior to the committee’s vote to adopt the ordinance that memorialized the new zoning map.