Lakewood Mayor Ray Coles responds to your ‘Ask The Mayor’ questions: NJ American Water

The following is an ‘Ask The Mayor’ question submitted to TLS, and the Mayor’s response. Email your questions for the Mayor to [email protected].


I would appreciate if the Mayor would address what can be done to REVERSE years of water rate increases by NJ American Water and the concerns raised in the comments to the following Lakewood Scoop article:

Suggestions mentioned are eminent domain and legislative rate reversals. I would think that customer choice, similar to what exists for gas and electric should be an option.

Thank you for your time. Keep up the good work.

Response from Mayor Coles:

Good morning Michael

NJ American is a utility that is regulated by the state. Unfortunately there is very little we can do to at the local level to affect their rates. We work with our legislators to fight rate increases. Choice of providers is a nice idea but not practical in this case. Electric & gas infrastructure costs, while high, pale in the face of installing sewer & water lines. Even if another provider could sell the water, they would still need to pay NJ American for the use of their distribution system and most savings would disappear.



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  1. “We work with out legislators to fight rate increases”. Have there been any joint statements from the Township committee and our other elected officials denouncing the constant rate increases, and calling on the BPU to deny the rate increases? I can’t remember any such statement. Perhaps it is time for all of our elected officials that jointly speak up. We don’t want to keep hearing “rate increases are justified by investment in replacing aging infrastructure” or “investment in capacity to allow for future growth. That’s industry lingo for finding ways to deploy maximum capital just for the purpose of securing rate increases and generating earnings growth. It’s the name of the game. That’s looking out for the company shareholders, not for the customers…

  2. Dear Mayor,
    Just legalize well water for household usage. I believe the prohibition is from lakewood township other cities & municipalities it’s legal

  3. You do realize that LTMUA (the Township water company) is subsidized with tax money, that means you pay American Water Company for your water then you pay LTMUA with your tax money for their water. WOW!

  4. I don’t get how they can raise the rates before approval what’s the point of getting approval if they’re raising it anyway

Comments are closed.