CLINTON, Conn., Nov. 20, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Connecticut Water Service, Inc. (NASDAQ:CTWS) announced today that the Company’s Board of Directors approved an overall $65.9 million Capital Spending Plan for 2016 with $58.6 million for The Connecticut Water Company (Connecticut Water), and $7.3 million for The Maine Water Company (Maine Water). Those regulated water utility subsidiaries serve about 90,000 customers, or about 300,000 people in Connecticut and about 32,000 customers, or about 85,000 people in Maine, respectively.
According to Eric W. Thornburg, CTWS’s President and Chief Executive Officer, investing in infrastructure continues to be a priority to reliably serve customers and provide world-class customer service. Mr. Thornburg stated, “$22.6 million has been allocated this year for pipeline replacement and other eligible infrastructure improvements in Connecticut through the Water Infrastructure and Conservation Adjustment (WICA) program and in Maine through the Water Infrastructure Charge (WISC). Continued investments in replacement of older water mains and other components of our water systems improves reliability and water quality, protects the environment, and enhances public fire protection through the hydrants on our water systems.” Mr. Thornburg further noted, “These types of investments are key to our business plan, providing an added financial benefit for our customers and shareholders as a significant portion of this investment will reduce operating expenses, in the form of lower tax expense. The needed continuing investment in infrastructure replacement fundamentally reduces the cost of providing high quality water service to our customers."
The Capital Spending Plan also includes $24.6 million in treatment plant improvements. The majority is allocated to a major upgrade at Connecticut Water’s Rockville Water Treatment Plant, the Company’s oldest surface water treatment plant that went into service in 1970. The Plant is undergoing a major treatment technology update utilizing newer Dissolved Air Flotation technology to provide high-quality water to customers more efficiently and effectively. The treatment plant upgrade will ensure that the Company has reliable capacity and system redundancy to meet the water needs of current and future customers in northern Connecticut. The plant upgrade is expected to be completed and put into service in late 2017.
Approximately, $4.9 million of the $55.1 million capital spending plan approved for 2015 is being carried forward and is included in the 2016 capital spending plan. The majority of the unspent capital in 2015 is related to a later start on the Rockville Water Treatment Plant project.
CTWS’s Board also declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.2675 per common share payable on December 15, 2015, for shareholders of record as of December 1, 2015. This quarterly dividend remains unchanged from the previous quarter and represents an annualized dividend of $1.07 per share. CTWS’s annual dividend yield at the stock market closing on Thursday, November 19, 2015, was 3.0%. Connecticut Water has paid quarterly dividends on common stock since its founding in 1956 without interruption or reduction and has increased dividend payments for each of the last 46 years.
A quarterly cash dividend of $0.20 per share was declared on Preferred A shares (CTWSO) payable on January 14, 2016, for shareholders of record as of December 31, 2015, and $0.225 quarterly cash dividend was declared on Preferred 90 shares (CTWSP) payable on February 1, 2016, for shareholders of record as of January 18, 2016.
The Company’s Dividend Reinvestment Plan and Common Stock Purchase Plan (DRIP) is available to registered shareholders, employees, and residential customers of the Connecticut Water and Maine Water companies. Other investors who wish to participate in the DRIP should contact investor relations at the company for more information. Additional information about the DRIP and the plan prospectus are available online at the Company’s Web site, http://ir.ctwater.com, or upon request.
This news release may contain certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 regarding the Company’s results of operation, financial position and long-term strategy. These forward-looking statements are based on current information and expectations, and are subject to risks and uncertainties discussed in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which could cause the Company’s actual results to differ materially from expected results. We undertake no obligation to update or revise forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.
News media contact: Daniel J. Meaney, APR Director of Corporate Communications Connecticut Water Service, Inc. 93 West Main Street, Clinton, CT 06413-1600 (860) 664-6016
Source:Connecticut Water Service, Inc.