Glimpses of the years past
From wooden water mains, through two World Wars and two global pandemics, York Water has seen much in our 207 year history. Through it all, we have provided uninterrupted service and never missed a dividend payment. Our Annual Reports are a testament to the strength of our leadership and to the communities who keep us strong.
As the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 was unquestionably a strategic inflection point for innumerable businesses, fifty years earlier, Hurricane Agnes was formational to York Water’s enduring capital investment strategy: a strategy focused on resilient, redundant, and reliable utility infrastructure.
We are grateful to our shareholders for their trust and confidence in our Nation’s Oldest Investor-Owned Utility.
While indications suggest a pandemic on the wane, the fact remains that the employees of our Company have now persevered through nearly two years of pandemic constraints and have been unfailing in their service.
While virtual and remote alternatives have been options for employees and operations in other industries, our mission-essential utility employees have been physically present and resolute in their duties.
In 2020, The York Water Company continued to provide safe and reliable water and wastewater services to our customers – and sustained our historic record of increased earnings and growth for shareholders.
This was accomplished amid the COVID-19 Pandemic – requiring Adaptability and Perseverance at many service and operational scales.
In 2019, The York Water Company Continued to Invest in our community’s infrastructure – to ensure a safe, adequate, and reliable source of water for our customers.
A transition in the leadership of our company also took place this year.
I am pleased to report that 2018 continued our unsurpassed record of 203 years of service to our community. Dividends and Shareholder Value: An American Record!
Our net income increased by 3.1% to $13.4 million in 2018. Earnings per share increased 3.0% to $1.04.
In line with our objective to maintain regular dividend increases, we raised the quarterly dividend rate by 4.0% during the year. This is the 21st consecutive year we have raised our dividend and the 202nd consecutive year of dividend payments.
We believe this to be the longest consecutive dividend record in America.
We celebrated our 200 years in 2016 with a variety of community projects, programs, and events. The York Water Company sponsored art exhibits, musical performances, construction of a gateway water sculpture – and even built a float for several local parades.
After all, our success is tied to the communities we serve and where we have lived and worked for over two hundred years.
The rationale for providing water to the town of York wasn’t primarily for the convenience of the residents. It was to increase the efficiency of the volunteer firefighters who protected the lives and property of their neighbors.
Fire, of course, was an ever present danger during the early decades of the 19th century
Many companies celebrate milestones – and next year The York Water Company will celebrate the 200th Anniversary of uninterrupted service. There are only a handful of public companies in America that can make that claim.
In fact the average American company seldom lasts more than 40 years.
A glance at newspaper clippings from nearly a century ago conveys our commitment to the communities that we serve and displays a tradition of strong leadership, vision and success that continues to the present – and frames a positive future for The York Water Company and its customers.
The headlines repeatedly reflect themes about “Purity of Water and High Water Quality” – “Record Stock Prices” – “New Pipeline and Pumping Station Construction.”
150 years ago – and just prior to the Battle of Gettysburg, the town of York was occupied by the Confederate Army. York was the largest northern town occupied during the Civil War. In late June 1863, the present York Water Administrative Building at 124 East Market Street was the office of the former U.S. Attorney General and Secretary of State (Jeremiah S. Black) under President James Buchanan.
The Confederate Army posted a guard at the front and rear of the structure during the occupation of York.
Building a dam across the east branch of the Codorus Creek was needed to provide a reserve to meet any conceivable water shortages. In 1912 this was a herculean effort and 250 workmen with picks, shovels, wheelbarrows, mules, and limited assistance from steam engines completed this incredible undertaking in fourteen months. Nothing of this magnitude had ever been accomplished in this region and the project captured the attention of the public.
Lake Williams has continued to provide an uninterrupted supply of water to the residents of York over the past 100 years.
Ten years have gone by since The York Water Company was listed on NASDAQ – celebrated in 2010 with the ceremonial ringing of the closing bell on October 25 in New York City.
Through two centuries of dedicated service, consistent growth, and excellent performance, America’s oldest investor owned water company continues to provide exceptional Value to Customers, Shareholders, and the Communities we serve.
In 2009 we celebrated the 80th anniversary of our corporate headquarters in downtown York. The cover photo is an illustration of the building in 1929.
Although your company has operated in the City of York since 1816, it wasn’t until 1929 that we constructed this beautiful facility at 130 East Market Street to assist our customers and to honor “the great value of water to civilization.”
By focusing on operational and infrastructure efficiency during the past year, The York Water Company has been able to grow and meet the needs of an expanded customer base– and also continue our commitment to the greater community.
The planning and preparedness that was discussed in last year’s Annual Report provided a solid foundation for The York Water Company to readily meet the economic challenges of 2008–and beyond.
The number of customers served grew by 2.3% during 2007 to 58,890. The percent of customer growth in 2007 was lower than in the last several years due to weakness in the housing market.
Also in 2007, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission authorized an increase in the number of unicipalities in which we may serve from 42 to 46.