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HACKENSACK WATER, ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS AGREE TO SETTLE LAND-RELATED LAWSUITS; PACT WILL PRESERVE 350 ADDITIONAL ACRES OF OPEN SPACE

 TRENTON, N.J., April 27, /PRNewswire/ -- Hackensack Water Company, a subsidiary of United Water Resources (NYSE: UWR), announced today that it has reached a conceptual agreement with two environmental groups and a state agency that will preserve open space and bring to a close issues arising from earlier land transfers.
 Donald L. Correll, president and chief executive officer of Hackensack Water Company and United Water Resources, said the agreement was reached Monday with the Environmental Defense Fund and Save the Watershed Action Network (SWAN) and the New Jersey Public Advocate.
 The proposed settlement is scheduled to be taken up soon by the Board of Regulatory Commissioners and the Watershed Property Review Board for formal ratification.
 Correll summarized the settlement, saying that it will:
 -- reinstate the 1990 transfer of approximately 290 acres of golf course property to Rivervale Realty Company (another United Water Resources subsidiary), with deed restrictions that permanently dedicate the land to golf course use;
 -- restore 350 acres to the utility's watershed protective holdings from a 1984 transfer at a capped amount close to fair market value;
 -- use golf course proceeds to cushion the rate impact of restoring the 350 acres; and
 -- provide for customers to benefit from the net proceeds of a future golf course sale.
 The settlement will end four lawsuits challenging various aspects of the land transfers or related actions.
 Correll described the settlement as "a fair and balanced agreement that benefits our customers and investors as well as our neighbors."
 Hackensack Water, Environmental Groups Agree To Settle
 Land-Related Lawsuits
 "It preserves open space in our region, and upholds the right of our customers to good water quality while addressing their desire to control costs," Correll said. "And the agreement recognizes the value of the investments by our shareholders in company assets, and leaves our remaining non-utility real estate unencumbered by further legal challenges." The compromise was made possible by the efforts of many people in constructive, persistent and creative negotiations that began over a year ago, he added.
 He noted that although the reincorporation of the acreage to the utility holdings will raise customer rates by about 3.2 percent, customers' bills will remain stable for about two years, through a formula that offsets the rate increase with proceeds of the golf course transfer. Besides the golf course properties, Rivervale Realty Company will retain about 230 of the almost 700 acres transferred to it in 1984. Correll said the remaining land has significant development potential and higher value with the cloud of the litigation removed. About 80 other acres have been sold to third parties since the 1984 transfer. In addition to the acreage involved in the settlement, Rivervale Realty owns approximately 200 acres of developable land in other areas.
 Hackensack Water Company serves about 750,000 people in Bergen and Hudson Counties in New Jersey. Rivervale Realty Company owns developable land and several office buildings in the metropolitan area. They are both subsidiaries of United Water Resources, a holding company engaged in water-related businesses and real estate.
 -0- 4/27/93
 /CONTACT: Martha Green of Hackensack Water Company, 201-767-2841, or (evenings, weekends) 201-487-0011/
 (UWR)


CO: Hackensack Water Company ST: New Jersey IN: UTI SU:

TS -- NY093 -- 1644 04/27/93 14:02 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 27, 1993
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