Regulators get earful about Johnson Utilities

The Arizona Corporation Commission held a public hearing on Johnson Utilities’ proposed rate increase Tuesday in San Tan Valley. /Jake Kincaid/PinalCentral

By Jake Kincaid | PinalCentral

Residents voiced grievances and opposition to a proposed Johnson Utilities rate hike at a Arizona Corporation Commission public hearing Tuesday morning.

Nobody spoke favorably of the utility or the rate increase.

The rate hike would see water service increase in cost by 23.6 percent and wastewater would increase by 17.6 percent. The docket shows that the utility lost money in the fiscal year ending June 30 and that they would need to increase revenue by $5.6 million to cover the deficit.

Many residents complained that the utility was charging them for using exorbitant amounts of water they couldn’t possibly be using. So many residents complained about this that the commission began to track and tally the complaints for later use.

“How can they say I use 33 (thousand) gallons of water per month? I’m not watering the golf course,” Catheryn La Grange said.

The response from the utility? You have a leak or someone is stealing your water, she said.

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