11 Jun 2008

Prices for bottled water on Saipan in CNMI go up

10:00 am on 11 June 2008

Prices for bottled water on Saipan in the Northern Marianas are going up, given the rise in utility costs, gas prices and the recent minimum wage hike's impact on businesses.

At the start of June, the Saipan Ice and Water Company raised its prices for the first time in years.

Owner Anthony Pelligrino says the price of its 5 gallon water jugs has risen by 25 cents, or 5 cents per gallon.

The Saipan Tribune reports, Mr Pelligrino attributed the price jump primarily to the high cost of electricity on Saipan, saying recent rate changes have meant $30,000 US dollar electric bills.

Surging gas prices are also costing his company thousands, yet the spike in the local minimum wage earlier this month is also taking a heavy toll.

The Saipan Tribune reports another company Star Water is also poised to boost the price of its water delivery by 50 cents for some customers.