It is no secret that Pine has a water problem. More specifically, the residents of Pine have a water problem. Brooke Utilities, the owners of Pine Water Company, do not.
Thanks to a recent ACC ruling, Brooke Utilities is allowed to charge us, the water users, a "fee" for "water augmentation" which they claim to be "our share" of the cost of hauling water to Pine. What I do not see on my bill is a statement of their share.
It is my belief that this "fee" is a rip off and a clever way for Brooke to make an extra buck.
"My share" the first month was $10, then $11. I expected a similar "fee" each month, as my water usage is pretty constant. However, for this month "my share" is $54 for a water bill of $32, including the "basic" charge of $18.45, which is the "fee" to supply water to my home. If I am already paying a "fee" to supply water to my home, what is with this additional "fee"?
How does Brooke justify charging an additional fee equal to 168 percent of my bill because they have to haul water to conduct their business, which is selling water? What is wrong with this picture?
Brooke has a legal monopoly on a service we cannot survive without. As a utility provider, they are guaranteed a profit, but where does this end?
We can do things differently. I am fed up with a system that allows this nonsense. I invite all Pine residents and property owners to join me in petitioning the ACC and requesting the Dec. 15 public hearing be held in Pine instead of Phoenix, and then filing a Motion to Intervene so they can speak to the Commissioners at the hearing.
I will be there, whether in Pine or Phoenix, but I feel more of us who are affected by the decisions of the Commission will be heard if it's convenient to attend. To increase attendance, I am offering to provide free transportation for 16 people to go with my wife and me. I challenge others in Pine to make the same offer.
If we overwhelm the Commission with our complaints, maybe they will finally listen and take action on our behalf instead of always ruling in favor of Brooke.
I'm sure Brooke Utilities doesn't want us at that hearing because, if no one complains, they get whatever they ask for, and it will be our fault for not speaking up. Contact me at: JEstess409@aol.com, or, PO BOX 49 Pine 85544.
Jim Estess, Pine