Pascoag Utility District and Harrisville Fire District Water Merger Discussions Continue

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Our two local utilities (Harrisville Fire District Water Department and  Pascoag Utility District) are pleased to announce that significant progress has been made in creating the new entity that would own and operate the current electric distribution system in Pascoag and Harrisville, and upon completion of the merger, also own and operate the water production and distribution system in the villages of Harrisville, Pascoag and Oakland in Burrillville. 

This proposed merger makes sense in so many ways.  Water production and distribution systems, in particular, are facing an increasingly complex world in regards to operations and regulatory compliance.  Bringing the companies together will allow much more efficient operating processes, compliance requirements, and the search for new water supplies to secure potable water long into the future.   Electric operations in Pascoag and Harrisville were brought together in the 1960’s for the same reasons, and it now makes sense to bring all electric and water operations under one roof, with one board of commissioners, one management and operations team, and with the right of all utility customers to have a vote in the future of the new company.  Both teams have always strived to provide the best service to their customer base, and have always thought of themselves as being “consumer owned entities”, there to serve their customers in the most efficient manner.

Recent progress towards this merger goal includes the following:

  • The boards of each entity recently voted unanimously in favor of continuing to move the merger forward and to ultimately seek affirmation by voters of both the Harrisville Fire District and the Pascoag Utility District. Harrisville Fire District’s Operating Committee voted unanimously to move forward at their public meeting on May 9, and Pascoag Utility District’s Board of Utility Commissioners voted unanimously to move forward at their public meeting on May 22.
  • Each board also unanimously voted to name the new entity Clear River Electric and Water District (“CREW”). A sample logo was created for the new entity (as seen above) which embraces the themes of our local river (the Clear River, symbolizing water) and our sun (symbolizing electricity).  We will look to refine the logo once we know that our customers support the creation of this new electric and water district per the upcoming customer meetings, which will likely be scheduled late summer/early fall.
  • Each board also unanimously supported commissioning a combined cost-of-service and rate study to be developed this summer so that our customers can reflect on the financial aspects of combining our two utilities. This merger is expected to derive financial and operational efficiencies well into the future which will help us to meet upcoming capital and operating expenses in the most cost-effective manner.
  • Future tasks of the merger committee include:
    • Bringing the proposal to a special meeting of each entity for customer support,
    • Creating a new charter to be voted on by the Rhode Island General Assembly to officially separate the Harrisville water department from the Harrisville Fire District, and to combine the water and electric departments of both Harrisville and Pascoag into the new Clear River Electric and Water District. The intent is for this new charter to be voted on by the General Assembly in their 2024 session, with a planned implementation date for the new company on January 1, 2025, and
    • Creating a new 7-member Board of utility commissioners for the new entity to begin in 2025 that would initially include 3 commissioners from each existing board and a 7th commissioner to be voted on by the new and expanded customer/member base in late 2024. Thereafter, all expiring terms of the commissioners would be voted on by the expanded customer/member base.


Al Palmisciano and Brayton Round, II, the respective chairpersons of each entity, have both stated their excitement with the productive and cordial discussions formulating this proposed merger.  This merger will bring together two great districts that have worked closely and cooperatively together for many years.


Feel free to direct any questions you have to Mike Kirkwood at 401-568-2459.


Albert Palmisciano                                               Brayton Round, II

Chairman, Pascoag Utility District                    Chairman, Harrisville Fire District Operating Committee

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