Pennichuck chief gets raise, incentive

Pennichuck Corporation has given the president of Pennichuck Water Works a raise and a hefty incentive to resolve the city of Nashua’s attempt to take over the utility, according to a filing with the Security and Exchange Commission.

The company agreed to pay Donald L. Ware, president of Pennichuck Water Works, an annual base salary of $156,000 a year over the next two years, plus a “retention bonus” of $78,000. That’s a 53 percent increase over the $153,000 he received in salary and bonuses in 2005. (He also received stock options worth $147,000 that year.)

Ware will receive his bonus in March 2007, but he could receive it earlier if there is “final deposition” of Nashua’s eminent domain case, either a decision by the state Supreme Court or final agreement.

The legal costs in fighting the takeover have been cutting into the company’s profits over the past few years, and Ware is not the only executive who will benefit personally if the matter was resolved. The company’s CEO, Duane C. Montopoli, would be awarded 40,000 stock options upon the resolution of the eminent domain battle, under “certain circumstances.”

In other recent news involving Pennichuck:
• The company declared a quarterly dividend of $.0165 per share payable Dec. 1 to shareholders of record as of Nov. 15. That brings the annual dividend rate to 66 cents a share.
• The Public Utilities Commission approved an annual 14.4 percent increase, resulting in a some $2.4 million for the company.
• Daniel Incropera announced that he will be resigning as controller of the firm effective Oct. 10. – BOB SANDERS

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