HAMILTON TOWNSHIP-It’s not often you see a politician actually standing up for others, but most politicians aren’t Berkeley Township Mayor Carmen Amato who has made a habit of standing up for his town’s residents. Whether Amato is fighting for residents against FEMA after Superstorm Sandy devastated portions of the community in 2012 or standing up against Governor Phil Murphy’s bad decisions in Trenton, one thing is for sure, Amato can be seen standing somewhere.
That’s where he was this week, standing up for his residents against a proposed 19% wate rate increase.
“I explained to the Honorable Judge Tricia Caliguire and the Division of Rate Counsel that these are difficult economic times for everyone and for Aqua Water to be asking for an 18.7% increase is unconscionable. I also provided testimony that out of the approximately 4,000 businesses and residences in the Bayville section of Berkeley Township, one third are seniors on fixed incomes,” Amato said. “I also submitted, on the record, a Township Council resolution strongly opposing the increase. I also explained to her Honor that not only is the rate increase unacceptable, but the water quality is poor with high concentrations of iron. I also explained that after years of neglect, only after pressure by the mayor and council and public outcry that Aqua moved to correct the water quality.”
Amato said that company does nothing to improve their services in his town, but has no problem collecting their fees.
“It’s not fair that now they are asking us to pay for these improvements when for the last 14 years they did nothing but collect our fees,” he said. “For our residents in the Aqua water franchise area, who would like to provide written testimony in opposition can send a letter to the Honorable Judge Tricia Caliguire, Office of Administrative Law, PO Box 049, Trenton NJ 08625. Refer to case: WR18121352 Aqua NJ.”