Corporation Commission Will Hold Meeting In Pine

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The Arizona Corporation Commission will have a special open meeting in Pine at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 4.

The commission will meet at Pine Elementary School, 3868 North Pine Creek Drive, to hear public comment regarding the Pine Water Company K2 Well Proposal.

No votes will be taken on this matter, according to the commission notice about the meeting.

PWC has asked the ACC to allow it to encumber property and equipment as part of the K2 Well proposal. The proposal, made in partnership with the Pine Strawberry Water Improvement District, would investigate drilling a deep well in Strawberry.

The Pine Strawberry Water Improvement District is putting up $300,000 in tax funds to facilitate the investigation.

If the test drilling shows there is enough water available to produce at least 150 gallons per minute for an extended period, a full well would be developed. The PWC would use the well to supplement its water supply for Pine residents and help reduce chronic shortages during the peak use times of summer.

Curtailment plan approved

A curtailment plan tariff for the Strawberry Water Company, owned by Brooke Utilities, Inc. (which also owns the Pine Water Company) was approved by the ACC this week -- almost three years after its submission.

Strawberry Water Company filed the plan to institute conservation measures Dec. 17, 2004, according to information from the ACC. The filing was given a new docket number in error -- by the state -- and was closed.

"As a result, the tariff filing was never reassigned or re-filed in the correct docket number," according to the memorandum prepared for the commission.

The planned curtailment tariff would require a reconnection fee for a violation of conservation measures when the water system is in crisis.

The Strawberry plan is the same as Pine's. Fines range from $250 for the first offense at the least critical level of crisis, to $3,000 for the third offense at the most critical level. Additionally, when Strawberry is in crisis, it will not provide water to the Pine Water Company.

At the least critical level, water customers are required to reduce consumption by 25 percent and limit outdoor watering to only permitted livestock. At the most critical level all water-intensive activity is prohibited.

"The tariff plan for Strawberry should have been done at the same time as it was done for Pine (Aug. 2000)," said Commissioner Kristin Mayes of the ACC.

She said so far the fines have never been applied in Pine.

"People know how to conserve in a time of crisis in Pine. I don't expect they will be used in Strawberry either. But they are there if they are needed," she said.

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