Johnson Utilities, LLC Interim Manager Update

By Arizona Corporation Commission 

Commissioners heard from the interim manager of a troubled Pinal County water utility company during Wednesday’s meeting. EPCOR Operations Director Jeff Stuck and Vice President of Operations Troy Day provided an update on the company’s efforts to restore water safety and quality, customer service, and company finances. Stuck reported on the recent completion of a billing audit to ensure customers are being charged appropriately, ongoing customer service training, and the need to put together a “targeted market compensation analysis” saying the pay for current employees “is pretty low.” 

During the update, Day admitted maintaining proper operations “has been an ongoing challenge” citing recent sanitary sewer overflow incidents that have occurred since EPCOR took over as interim manager. A copy of EPCOR’s presentation will be filed to docket number WS-02987A-18-0050. 

Limit on New Meter Connections in Johnson Utilities’ Service Area

During last month’s Open Meeting, Day asked Commissioners to put a hold on any new water meter and wastewater connection applications reporting low water pressure issues would be exacerbated if additional connections were allowed in the system. Commissioners agreed to a pause in new meter issuance and asked EPCOR, homebuilders, and Corporation Commission staff to come to an agreement. Following multiple stakeholder meetings between Corporation Commission staff and representatives of the development and home building community, a compromise solution was reached and implemented by Commissioners. Commissioners voted to allow EPCOR to install no more than 28 new homes per month to be allocated as one home per builder per community per month. Additional connections may be allocated if specific conditions are met. 

Commissioners and Corporation Commission staff are sensitive to the impact a complete stay on new meter applications would have on the economic development in a fast-growing area of the Valley and were diligent in balancing the needs of current ratepayers and new development in the area. This vote to allow some new meter applications is an indication that Commissioners are working to ensure that current customers are receiving reliable utility services, while also ensuring that there is not a negative impact on economic development in San Tan Valley. The Commission will review this decision periodically with the ability to add or subtract from the number of new meters dependent on the impact to current capacity. 

All documents related to this agenda item can be found in the Corporation Commission’s online docket at 

http://edocket.azcc.gov and entering docket number WS-02987A-18-0050.

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