• Arizona
  • Thursday , Feb 1 , 2018

Area Info

San Tan Valley Area Information

4 minutes reading time (757 words)

Letter to the Editor: Is QC Trying to Backdoor San Tan Valley Annexation?

As San Tan Valley commercial development grows, Queen Creek has made no secret of its interest in annexing the area despite the residents, opposition. However, the Town would need to acquire the right from Johnson Utilities to provide residents with water and wastewater services for a successful annexation, and the Town has no qualms about using underhanded tactics to do so.

In Court papers filed with the Maricopa County Superior Court in December of 2018, Johnson Utilities claims Queen Creek fraudulently approached it, and entered negotiations for a potential purchase in 2017, solely for the purpose of obtaining confidential business information. The Town has since used those private details in its years long attempt to devalue the company in the hopes of a condemnation action that would be far less expensive than an outright purchase.

After negotiations ended, the Town sought to hasten the devaluation of the Johnson Utilities by interfering with its business and operation, often utilizing misrepresentations of facts to its own benefit.

QUEEN CREEK INTERFERENCE WITH JOHNSON UTILITIES

  • In 2018, the Town encouraged Johnson Utilities customers to ask the Arizona Corporation Commission to install an Interim Manager to operate Johnson Utilities. It then applied to be the Interim Manager, but the Arizona Corporation Commission denied the application citing, among other things, the obvious conflict of interest.
  • The Town then pushed for an interconnect of services with the Company, citing unsubstantiated claims that the interconnect was necessary to service Johnson Utilities customers during the summer surge. In reality, an interconnect would allow Queen Creek to take over a revenue generating component of Johnson Utilities operations as well as allow it to begin servicing the area. In the meantime, the Town never came forward with any evidence that it had the ability to provide service to these additional customers.
  • The Town held closed door private meetings encouraging land owners in an undeveloped Johnson service area to appeal to the ACC to remove them from the Johnson Utilities service area in favor of Queen Creek service. They also encouraged the Commission to delete a portion of the Company's Certificate of Convenience and Necessity (CC&N). The Town tried to become a party to the case, but the Commission disputed the claim that the Town was "representing the citizens in and outside its municipal boundaries" and denied the request. This did not deter the City from intervening.
  • When the Town realized that the CC&N deletion procedure would require due process and time, Queen Creek - not the landowners - requested that the process be fast tracked to allow the Town to quickly take over service. The Commission denied the fast track, citing that all utility owners are afforded a fair process that will not be accelerated to accommodate impatience.

TOWN IS USING THE LEGISLATURE TO DO ITS DIRTY WORK

When the Commission denied fast track, Queen Creek decided to seek a change to state law that would allow them to take over Johnson service area by sidestepping the Commission, due process of law, and its own citizens.

The Town, with the sponsorship of Rep. T. J. Shope (R, San Tan Valley) introduced HB 2615, a bill that would allow the Town to sidestep current law in acquiring Johnson Utilities by eliminating the requirement that the Town obtain voter approval, but that would also circumvent the Corporation Commission's legal process as well.

Other private water companies, including Johnson Utilities' Interim Manager EPCOR, opposed the bill stating that there is already a process for CC&N deletions and municipal water company acquisition, and that this bill was just a "solution in search of a problem". The fact that those processes were not to the liking of Queen Creek was not sufficient reason to make statutory changes that protected utility ownership and rate payers.

Why is the Town of Queen Creek so bent on Johnson Utilities? There is an interim manager in place that is working hand in hand with Johnson Utilities ownership to continue the capital improvements and additional capacity that is the culmination of plans and investments made by Johnson Utilities prior to Arizona Corporation Commission involvement. The Town should let the citizens of San Tan Valley manage their own affairs and focus their attentions back on their own residents.

Font size: +
Less Than 400 business days until Travel ID deadli...
UPDATE: San Tan Valley Post Office is Officially O...

Related Posts

 

Comments

No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Already Registered? Login Here
Guest
Friday, 07 August 2020
If you'd like to register, please fill in the username, password and name fields.

Captcha Image

By accepting you will be accessing a service provided by a third-party external to https://santanvalleyflooring.com/

Stay Connected

J.M. Kuhstoss Remodeling Pros

J.M. Kuhstoss Remodeling Pros

San Tan Valley, Pinal County
Florence Unified School District

Florence Unified School District

Florence, Pinal County
San Tan Valley Publications

San Tan Valley Publications

San Tan Valley, Pinal County
No More Stink

No More Stink

San Tan Valley, Pinal County
Paladin Sports Outreach

Paladin Sports Outreach

San Tan Valley, Pinal County
Leading Edge Academy

Leading Edge Academy

San Tan Valley, Pinal County
Champion Charter School

Champion Charter School

San Tan Valley, Pinal County
San Tan Leads

San Tan Leads

San Tan Valley, Pinal County

Daily News

Wait a minute, while we are rendering the calendar

Upcoming Events

8 Aug
Purple Heart Day-Honoring Veterans
08.08.2020 11:00 am - 3:00 pm

Join us to WELCOME HOME veterans at the Purple Heart...

10 Aug
Veteran's Assistance
08.10.2020 9:00 am - 6:00 pm

Veteran Assistance services are available...

11 Aug
San Tan Leads
08.11.2020 7:30 am - 9:00 am


San Tan Leads is a one person per industry...

11 Aug

Learn how to take control and manage your health by...

12 Aug
SimonMed Mammodays at Fry's
08.12.2020 8:00 am - 3:00 pm

OPEN TO THE PUBLIC!

Mobile On-Site Mammography by...

Partners

Advertise your business to hundreds of thousands of potential customers, while supporting your local news resource at the same time. Our Partners help us provide you with services and information to help keep you informed.

Become A Partner

Follow Us

0
Our San Tan Valley Community Keeps Growing!

San Tan Valley News

EPCOR Customer Update

Jul 28, 2020 Hits:1124

Twitter Feed

About SanTanValley.com

About SanTanValley.com

Search