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HACKENSACK WATER, ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS AND STATE AGENCIES SIGN AGREEMENT

 HARRINGTON PARK, N.J., June 7 /PRNewswire/ -- An agreement intended to preserve more than 650 acres of watershed land and open space and end years of complex litigation moved a step closer to reality today, as copies of the signed agreement were filed with the Watershed Property Review Board and the Board of Regulatory Commissioners, the two state agencies whose approval is required. The 47-page document is signed by representatives of Hackensack Water Company, a subsidiary of United Water Resources (NYSE: UWR), the Environmental Defense Fund, Save the Watershed Action Network, the New Jersey Department of the Public Advocate (Division of Rate Counsel) and the staff of the New Jersey Board of Regulatory Commissioners (BRC).
 The settlement seeks to end four lawsuits challenging various aspects of past land transfers and 1988 legislation that imposed a moratorium on transfers of watershed protective land.
 Donald L. Correll, president and chief executive officer of Hackensack Water Company and United Water Resources, characterized the pact as a fair and balanced compromise. He noted that the agreement embodies the conceptual accord announced by the parties a month ago.
 The settlement proposes to:
 -- conclude the 1990 transfer of about 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 and that require future owners to follow environmentally beneficial practices;
 -- restore 355 acres to the utility's watershed protective holdings from a 1984 transfer at a value of $26 million, a negotiated amount that reflects increases in the property's value;
 -- use $11 million in golf course proceeds to cushion the rate impact of the utility's reacquisitions; and
 -- provide for water customers to benefit in the event of additional gains from any future sales of the golf course property.
 The reincorporation of the acreage to the utility holdings will have no impact on customer bills for about two years. This is because of a formula that offsets the rate impact with proceeds of the golf course transfer. After the two years, bills will rise by about 3.1% (about $2.43 for the average customer's quarterly bill).
 When the agreement is implemented, Hackensack Water Company's bi- state reservoir system will contribute over 6,000 acres to the region's supply of protected watershed and open space.
 The Watershed Property Review Board must decide if the proposed transfer of the golf courses should be exempted from a 1988 moratorium on transfers of land used to protect water quality in reservoirs. The review board will hold a public hearing before deciding. The review board includes the heads of the Department of Environmental Protection and Energy, the BRC and the Department of Community Affairs. The BRC is expected to hold a separate public hearing on the proposed settlement.
 The water company will reacquire a total of 16 parcels in six northern New Jersey municipalities and one New York town. Hackensack Water also agreed to analyze the feasibility of acquiring additional property or easements, where feasible, in environmentally sensitive locations where doing so could significantly enhance reservoir protection. Although it is not part of the settlement, the agreement also notes that Rivervale Realty has agreed to provide the borough of Haworth with a 2-year option to purchase a 15-acre tract.
 The golf course land to be transferred to Rivervale Realty include Emerson Golf Club -- about 125 acres in Oradell and Emerson; Pascack Golf and Country Club -- about 96 acres in River Vale and Harrington Park; and part of Haworth Golf and Country Club -- about 67 acres in Haworth.
 Besides the golf course properties, Rivervale Realty Company will retain about 225 of the roughly 700 acres the water company transferred to it in 1984. Because of fine-tuning of property lines through surveys, and a change in the buffer zone for one of the larger parcels, the number of acres actually transferred to Rivervale Realty was reduced to 663. About 80 other acres had already been sold to third parties since the 1984 transfer.
 In addition to the proceeds from the golf course transfer, the $11 million fund also includes the proceeds of a long-term lease of a 32- acre water company tract in the township of River Vale for use as a golf course.
 The following properties will be reacquired by the water company:
 NO. OF I.D. SPECIFIC PARCEL INFO ACRES BY
 TOWN PARCELS NUMBER(A) APPROXIMATE LOCATION ACRES TOWN
 Closter, 1 A-4 Old Hook Rd. west of
 N.J. West Shore RR. 66.48 66.48
 Emerson, 2 B-2 Randolph & Palisade Ave. 4.86
 N.J. B-5 Old Hook Rd. 106.17 11.03
 Harrington
 Park, N.J. 4 C-1 Livingston St. &
 Highland Ave .41
 C-2 Bogerts Mill Rd. .36
 C-7 Hackensack Ave. &
 Lakeside Ave. 14.39
 C-9 Pine Pl. 25.00 40.16
 Old Tappan, 2 G-7 Old Tappan Rd. near
 Hackensack River 22.01
 G-8 Willow Dr. 31.38 53.39
 River Vale, 4 I-3 Coopers La. near
 Eckerson Rd. 16.20
 I-4 Rivervale Rd. near
 Holdrum Brook 12.57
 I-5 Westwood Ave. near
 Hackensack River 6.07
 I-9 Orangeburgh Rd. at
 state line 1.64 36.48
 Woodcliff
 Lake, N.J. 1 K-1 Pascack Rd. & Old
 Pascack Rd. 7.98 7.98
 Orangetown,
 N.Y. 2 L-1 Blue Hill Rd. at state line 13.79
 L-12 Off Western Hwy near
 Leber Rd. 25.85 39.64
 TOTAL 16 355.16
 (A) I.D. numbers were assigned by Havens & Emerson Inc., in a 1983 study.
 Copies of the agreement document will be available for public review during business hours at the following locations:
 -- several state offices including, in Newark -- the Board of Regulatory Commissioners, 2 Gateway Plaza, and the Division of Rate Counsel of the Department of the Public Advocate, 31 Clinton Street, 11th Floor; and in Trenton -- the Department of Community Affairs, c/o assistant commissioner's office, 101 S. Broad Street, and the Department of Environmental Protection and Energy, 501 E. State Street;
 -- Hackensack Water Company's main office at 200 Old Hook Road, Harrington Park; the water company's customer service center at 190 Moore Street, Hackensack;
 -- selected public libraries.
 Hackensack Water Company serves about 750,000 people in Bergen and Hudson Counties in New Jersey. Both Hackensack Water and Rivervale Realty Company are subsidiaries of United Water Resources, a holding company engaged in water-related businesses and real estate.
 -0- 6/7/93
 /CONTACT: Martha Green, 201-767-2841, or evenings and weekends, 201-487-0011, for Hackensack Water Company/
 (UWR)


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

LR -- NY071 -- 6170 06/07/93 15:58 EDT
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Date:Jun 7, 1993
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