Maine Water Company has announced the third rate credit within a year for its Camden/Rockland operating division. Starting February 4, and continuing for one year, customers will get a credit of 2.8 percent in each of their regular water bills. The credit is the result of a partnership with the Coastal Mountains Land Trust (CMLT) that protects 500 acres around Grassy Pond and Spruce Mountain.

The rate credits, when combined, will have put about $40 back into the pockets of the average customer between January 2019 and the end of 2020.
The credit comes from the proceeds of the sale in December of a conservation easement using a $500,000, publicly funded Land for Maine’s Future grant, through Maine Coast Heritage Trust. CMLT bought the Grassy Pond conservation easement from Maine Water Co. for a total sale price of $600,000.

The Camden/Rockland Division serves customers in Rockland, Rockport, Camden, Thomaston, Owls Head, Union and Warren, and the reduction will be applied to all residential, commercial, industrial and fire-protection water bills.

“The financial benefit to Camden/Rockland customers totals $185,000 and comes from the sale of a conservation easement that preserves the land for open-space and passive recreation,” Richard Knowlton, president of Maine Water, said in a news release.

A plan to split the proceeds of the land sale between customers and infrastructure investment was negotiated with the Maine Office of Public Advocate and approved by the Maine Public Utilities Commission. The remaining $185,000 from the sale will be used for infrastructure replacement projects in the Camden/Rockland Division.

Customers in the Camden/Rockland Division also had a bill credit of 6.74 percent on their bills in 2019 from the sale of a conservation easement to CMLT September 2018 that protected 786 acres around Mirror Lake — the keystone project of the Round the Mountain Collaboration, the land trust’s partnership with the Maine Water Company, Maine Coast Heritage Trust, local municipalities and several local outdoor recreation groups.