Pine Water Makes Case For Rate Increase

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The judge is out on Pine Water Company's request for an interim rate increase to cover the additional cost of hauling water during the summer and other times of shortage.

At a hearing Friday morning in Phoenix, Dwight Nodes, an administrative law judge, agreed to take the request under advisement without requiring post-hearing briefs. Once the judge makes a recommendation on the matter, it will go before the Arizona Corporation Commission for a decision, but ACC public information officer Heather Murphy said she has no idea when that will be.

Pine Water Company wants to charge its 1,900 customers an extra 95 cents per 1,000 gallons, probably beginning in June. The interim rate increase would be in force until the company can apply for and is granted a permanent rate increase.

In filing the request and a revised curtailment tariff, Pine Water Company President Robert Hardcastle said the amount of the increase will be adjusted periodically to reflect the actual cost of supplementing the groundwater supply with outside sources. A curtailment tariff, which Pine Water Company filed concurrently with the rate increase request, also has been taken under advisement. The tariff imposes stronger restrictions and penalties on Pine Water Company customers.

Customers can comment at www.cc.state.az.us, then click on Divisions, Utilities. Then go to a section called "Can we help you?" and you will be walked through the process. Or mail comments to: Arizona Corporation Commission, 1200 West Washington Street, Phoenix, AZ 85007. Use docket number 104 to comment on the curtailment tariff and 106 to comment on the interim rate increase.

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