Voorhees, NJ - November 08, 2006
Voters in Lexington, KY, on Tuesday rejected local government's attempt to use eminent domain to condemn Kentucky American Water by a decisive 61-39 percent margin, ending five years of debate over the issue of public vs. private ownership of the local water utility.
"Our customers in Lexington sent a clear message that they value the trusted water service provided by the private sector for more than a century," said Donald L. Correll, President and Chief Executive Officer of American Water.
The overwhelming vote marks the second time voters in Lexington have rejected the arguments for condemnation. The Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council voted in 2003 to condemn Kentucky American Water after 17 months of community debate. In November 2004, voters elected a new council that ended the condemnation action in April 2005. Community activists then gathered the required signatures to place referendum on Tuesday's ballot.
"Our employees have operated with this issue in the background for the past few years and during this time continued to provide quality, reliable service and safe drinking water to this community. They have always been proud to serve Central Kentucky and are very much looking forward continuing that tradition," continued Correll. "Our customers have consistently opposed the idea of using eminent domain to put a well-run business out of business. Yesterday's vote confirms that once again."
Kentucky American Water serves approximately 300,000 citizens in Central Kentucky. Recent research showed that 93 percent of the company's customers were satisfied with their water service.
Kentucky American Water is a subsidiary of American Water and has served the Lexington community since 1927. Water service in Lexington has been provided by private utilities for more than a century. Since 2002, a vocal minority of the Lexington community supported by international environmental activists have pursued condemnation of the Kentucky utility.
With headquarters in Voorhees, NJ, American Water employs approximately 7,000 who provide high quality water, wastewater, and other related services to more than 18 million people in 29 states and Canada. Background information related to the subject matter in this communication can be found by visiting www.lexingtonwaterfacts.com.