Speak Up At Water Meeting

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Editor:

This is an open letter to Payson Water Company (formerly Brooke Utilities) customers.

The Arizona Corporation Commission’s mission statement is: To recommend thoroughly researched, sound regulatory policy and rate recommendations to the commissioners, which are based on a balanced analysis of the benefits and impacts on all stakeholders and are consistent with the public interest.

Friday, March 28, our intervener, Kathie Reidhead, submitted a brief to the court outlining the lies, manipulation and outright fraud that these two water companies have foisted on eight communities that are forced to use their product — water.

The AZCC commissioners are taking the advice of their staff — ignoring evidence — overwhelming evidence, that they are being scammed, just as we are. Seems no amount of hard, solid facts will bring them to their senses.

Don’t you agree that additional assistance is needed; that this water monopoly and suspected collusion with the AZCC demands a grand jury investigation and an independent audit?

Despite the valiant effort that our seven interveners have made, the AZCC staff filed their last word a week ago Friday, and it was a blistering rejection. We do not understand how that is possible that so much evidence of falsified annual reports; dubious accounting of a 591.8 percent increase in expenses (by Brooke) 2001-2013; falsely reporting three wells in Mesa del were dry (these wells were in other counties) and an engineering study stating the wells in Mesa del were viable. The Commission still approved hauling charges costing the residents of Mesa del an additional $88,000.

The ACC’s decisions affect every regulation — every utility — every customer in the state of Arizona.

Note: These people are up for re-election. Why vote them back in as it does appear evident that they have no commitment to the citizens of Ari­zona? I feel they are in violation of their mission statement and possibly have a hidden agenda when dealing with utilities. Why then do we even have an ACC? Give a monkey a rubber stamp and let him have at it!

After months of requests, the ACC has finally agreed to a public hearing in Payson on Friday, April 11 at 6 p.m. at the Church of the Nazarene, 200 E. Tyler Parkway, Payson.

Each attendee will be allowed to speak for three (3) minutes to give comments to the Commission about the pending rate case. For example ... disappointing customer service, lack of equipment upgrades, evidence of phony water trucking, etc. (The Commission will listen, but will not respond.)

Please plan on attending and spreading the word — these rate increases will have a devastating affect on our small communities — including our real estate values.

The ACC actions may be questionable, but the PWC appears to be staffed by skilled scam artists with one of the best (expensive) legal firms in the country.

We can win — we have truth and numbers on our side ... but we need a massive turn out.

You can read Ms Reidhead’s brief on ACC’s website: http://images.edocket.azcc.gov/docket pdf/0000151938.pdf

Judy Oconnell

Comments

Robbin Flowers 8 months, 2 weeks ago

To whom this may concern, don't forget about 370 F. Supp. 2d 978: Forest Guardians v. US Forest Service, Arizona District Court - 370 F. Supp. 2d 978 March 23, 2004.

Also the Gisela Ditch has the oldest water rights in AZ. The surface water belongs to nobody - lets keep it that way!

SEE: http://law.justia.com/cases/federal/district-courts/FSupp2/370/978/2528745/

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Suzanne Nee 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Folks: I am an Intervenor. The other Intervenors and I have spent a tremendous amount of time researching the fraud committed by PWC previous and present owners. The Corporation Commission now is aware that it is not just us 7 Intervenors (RIP - Mr. Richard Burt, MDC who pasted away recently) that know about this fraud, but most of Gisela, Deer Creek, Mead Ranch and some from East Verde Park. I think Mesa Del Caballo folks have been so beaten down, most just don't try anymore.

But we need MORE of you from the Rim country, Whispering Pines, Flowing Springs, Navajo Water Co., Tonto Basin Water Company, Circle City WC and Brooke WC, and the former Pine/Strawberry WC and former Star/Quail Valley folks to go to this site:

http://www.credomobilize.com/petitions/stop-private-water-company-s-unfair-rate-hikes

and oppose Mr. Hardcastle and Mr. Williamson, the out-of-state PWC previous and present owners proposed rate hikes. We have evidence, that in 2012, PWC claims to have hauled water from the Town of Payson (TOP) to MDC in the months of May, June, July, Aug. and October - See their Annual Report pgs. 8 and 9 here: http://www.azcc.gov/Divisions/Utilities/Annual%20Reports/2012/Water/Payson_Water_Co_Inc_pt_2.pdf

On pg 8, you will see that the Gallons Pumped in MDC were > Gallons Sold! But on the next page 9, you will see the Company is claiming that they hauled water from TOP in May, June, July, Aug. and Oct! Mesa Del Caballo has 105,000 gallons of storage capacity. Even the shortage in June could have been covered by overage of Pump > Sold of 362 (Thousand) Gallons from Jan through May. So there was NO NEED to haul the 589,000 gallons hauled and charged to MDC Customers!!!

Also, see part 1 of 2012 Annual Report, Income and Expense pg. 8: http://www.azcc.gov/Divisions/Utilities/Annual%20Reports/2012/Water/Payson_Water_Co_Inc.pdf

PWC's 2012 Misc. Expense/"Mgt Fees" were $249,525 on an income of $394,908 or 63.2% of Total Revenue. It is not the customers fault that the Company does not control its Central Office Overhead Expenses. It sure doesn't spend them on repair and maintenance.

Today is May 7, 2014 and in Mead Ranch one of our two tanks sprang a leak. We are on Stage 5 Conservation. I noted this leak months ago and took pictures of the moss growing beside it! Why should any community pay increased rates for DILAPIDATED old water systems so out-of-state owners can grow rich and NOT pay taxes. (Due to extremely high expenses.)

Every taxpayer and legitimate business owner in Arizona should be outraged! Please sign the petition and tell your neighbors! I welcome any comments. The Arizona Corp Commission needs to know we the people KNOW they are aiding and abetting this fraud with the proposed rate hikes by Staff!

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