Far West situation is complex one
I read the letter from Marsha Worki titled “Far West taking customers for a ride” and feel I must respond with some points of my own. I am one of three Foothills residents who are active interveners in this rate case. For the most part Marsha is right on, but let me clarify some things if I can. Her letter mentions that Far West has not yet notified customers of the impending increase. They cannot do that till they have met all other conditions that are required in the decision by ACC. Last week their lawyer filed an “Amended Consent Order,” issued by ADEQ. This amended consent order supersedes all previous consent orders, and spells out requirements for paying an $80,000 fine, and doing an alternative environmental project, amounting to $150,000. This filing is supposed to finalize the requirements needed to put the increases in place. They need to be approved by ACC first. On Oct. 11, we interveners filed application for a rehearing of the decision in this case. ACC has not made a decision as to granting a rehearing. The application can be seen on the ACC e-docket web site, the docket number is WS-03478A-12-0307.
When owners of Far West get gas back at the mini-mart, it may be the highest priced gas in the area, however they have one good customer, which is Far West vehicles. The mini-mart will make a large profit on the gas, and we will pay for it in our sewer and water bills. The same goes for anything Far West purchases from the hardware store, and I can assure you it is significant.
In the comments to Marsha’s letter there are a couple of suggestions that Far West should be bought out by another more competent company, or the state or the county. We have begged the state to install an interim manager, and they are continually reluctant, however are closer now than any time in the past. Selling to a private company may get some things resolved, but not likely that the monthly rates will be kept under control. The control of rates will still be up to ACC.
The best option is for “We the People” to buy the company. We will then have local control. On the surface this may seem like something we can’t do but I assure you we can and we should. It will take 50 percent plus one property owner in the area served to agree to forming a “Special Water and Sewer District.” Special districts are very common, and are a form of local government. We interveners will be holding public meetings for all who live in Foothills around mid-November. Everyone should come, lots of questions will be answered.