The East Jersey Water Company.
In view of the agitation about the divergence of water from the state of New Jersey, the following explanatory letter of Edward Le B. Gardner, vice-president of the East Jersey Water Company, has been addressed to Governor Fort as showing its standing in the matter;
To correct the impression, which seems to be general, that the East Jersey Water Company has some interest with the Hudson County Water Company in furnishing a supply of water to Staten Island, I make the following statement:
“The New York and New Jersey Water Company had a contract with the city of Bayonne, made in 1894, to furnish a full supply of water to that city for a long term of years, and, being without sources of supply of its own, it made a written contract with the East Jersey Water Company, dated July 12, 1895. whereby the East Jersey Water Company agreed to furnish to the New York and New Jersey Water Company a sufficient amount of water for the supply of the city of Bayonne. In that contract it was also stipulated that if the New York and New Jersey Water Company at any time obtained a contract to furnish water to Staten Island, the East Jersey Water Company would provide sufficient water for that purpose also.
“The point of delivery by the East Jersey Water Company is in the town of Kearny, a short distance east of the Passaic river. At that time, now fourteen years ago, there was no known public objection to such a proposition as to send water to Staten Island for the needs of its inhabitants, nor was it supposed that there would be any opposition to such a proposal. Some ten years later a contract was made by the New York and New Jersey Water Company interests, through the instrumentality of a new company called the Hudson County Water Company, to supply water to Staten Island, and a large pipe was laid the whole length of Bayonne with that in view. This aroused opposition, which culminated in the passage of the law of May 11, 1905 (P. L. p. 461), making it unlawful to carry any surface water through pipes out of the State of New Jersey.
“Litigation followed between the state and the Hudson County Water Company, and the validity of the act was finally sustained by the Supreme Court of the United States. April 6. 1908 (209 U. S., 349). This act had been previously sustained by the Court of Last Resort in New Jersey, November 47, 1906 (70 N. J. Eq., 695).
“The East Jersey Water Company was not a party to this litigation, and had no opportunity to present any evidence or to be heard therein; but, after the decision in New Jersey, and without waiting for the decision by the United States Supreme Court, that company applied to the New York and New Jersey Water Company to cancel the clause in the contract of July 12, 1895, providing for a supply of water to Staten Island. The clause was abrogated on December 13, 1907, the East Jersey Water Company paying $50,000 to the New York and New Jersey Water Company for the abrogation.
“This contract so abrogated was the only step ever taken by the East Jersey Water Company, at any time, looking to the taking of water out of the State of New Jersey, and, since its abrogation, the East Jersey Water Company has had no interest whatever in that subject, or in any plan or proposal or undertaking to take water out of the state.
“It is proper to state, also, that none of the stockholders of the East Jersey Water Company or any of its associate companies hold, or ever did hold, any stock in the Hudson County Water Company, or the New York and New Jersey Water Company, or the New Jersey Suburban Water Company, nor do any of the stockholders of those companies hold any shares of the East Jersey Water Company, or its associate companies, nor have they ever held any. The two enterprises represented respectively by the New York and New Jersey Water Company and tho East Jersey Water Company are entirely separate, and have no connection, except the contract whereby the East Jersey Water Company delivers a supply of water from the Passaic river to the New York and New Jersey Water Company and the New Jersey Suburban Water Company for the supply of the city of Bayonne and the west Hudson county towns.