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Five Illinois towns are attempting to gain control of a water system owned by Illinois American Water.
- The group is preparing a $50 million bond issuance to buy the system, but did not rule out the use of eminent domain.
- In response, Illinois American Water has mailed out a pamphlet to ratepayers, citing rate increases and tax liens following other eminent domain acquisitions. The towns of Montara and Felton, Calif., and Charlotte County, Fla., are used as examples.
- Long Island American Water is in similar straits. The Water Authority of Southeastern Nassau County wants to take over the American Water subsidiary to boost school tax revenue. American paid Aqua America $39 million for the systems in May.
- Another California water system looks to be up for grabs. The California Public Utilities Commission filed documents in Barstow Superior Court to put the troubled Yermo Water Company into receivership. Yermo has crumbling infrastructure and outstanding fines for health violations.
- United Water pushed forward with its portfolio optimization strategy by agreeing to sell its regulated business in Arkansas to a subsidiary of Canada’s Algonquin Power & Utilities for $28.6 million. The purchase would give Algonquin 49,000 customers in the City of Pine Bluff.
- Meanwhile, Connecticut Water is still expanding in Maine, having agreed to acquire the Biddeford and Saco Water Company. The purchase would add $19.4 million in rate base and 15,500 customers. The deal is expected to close in 4QFY2012.