Years ago, long
before PSE&G or the
Electric Company, the
Pemberton had it's own electric
plant that supplied electricity to
the local businesses and residents.
It eventually became clear that it
would be far more economical for the
Borough to purchase power from the
larger generators on the open
market. Now, as part of the
Public Power Association of New
Jersey, the electric department
purchases the power and maintains
their own distribution system.
Also, as part
of their service to the community,
Pemberton Borough installed and
maintained their own water system
and invested in wells to provide
that resource for the community.
sounds like a good thing and at the
time it was a cost effective
solution their problems.
have generally been low in South
Jersey because the population was
pretty much rural and there was not
a lot of overhead. However as
the towns started to grow and more
services were demanded by the
residents, costs began to escalate.
Pemberton Borough had a large parcel of land available
for development. The powers
that be thought that bringing in an
adult community would be a wonderful
source of revenue and an attractive
Pemberton Borough. And
indeed, Hearthstone at Woodfield was developed
and new residents flooded into the
it. Taxes were kept low, even
lowered as the community expanded.
started getting more expensive.
More services were demanded.
The community began to be burdened
by the costs for services that were
continually increasing. About
that time the Republican
administration of the State, Chris
Cristy and his pals, decided to
restrict property taxes with a 2%
per year cap.
Pemberton Borough's costs were increasing
faster than could be managed with
the 2% cap.
began to look for other sources of
revenue, they started charging for
services that had previously been
free. They also discovered
that with the growth came a large
increase in profit from the Electric
and Water that they were providing.
some bad decisions,
Pemberton Borough's cost of electricity
spiraled out of control.
The costs had to be passed on to the
residents. The Borough was no
longer competitive with the
surrounding utilities but the profit
they were taking from the utility
and pouring into the general fund
was the only thing that kept
At this time,
Pemberton Borough has been
purchasing power through the PPANJ
for 11¢ per kilowatt hour.
They were selling it for 22¢. They
recently negotiated a reduction in
cost so electricity will cost them
about ½ what they were paying.
So far there has been no evidence of
a decrease in the price to the
residents. Will they be
willing to give up any of the profit
they will appreciate?