Johnson Utilities customers voice concerns over proposed water-rate increase

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At least 200 people showed up to a packed house at the Arizona Corporation Commission’s 6 p.m. public hearing at Pinal County Board of supervisors building. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) At least 200 people showed up to a packed house at the Arizona Corporation Commission’s 6 p.m. public hearing at Pinal County Board of supervisors building. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Johnson Utilities is the only water company that serves that part of Pinal County. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Johnson Utilities is the only water company that serves that part of Pinal County. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Johnson Utilities has asked the ACC to allow the company to raise water rates by 23 percent for water and 17 percent for wastewater. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Johnson Utilities has asked the ACC to allow the company to raise water rates by 23 percent for water and 17 percent for wastewater. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
It could be months until the Arizona Corporation Commission decides on the rate hike. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) It could be months until the Arizona Corporation Commission decides on the rate hike. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
SAN TAN VALLEY, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

The state agency that has the power to approve or disapprove water rate hikes heard from dozens of frustrated Johnson Utilities customers Tuesday.

At least 200 people showed up to a packed house at the Arizona Corporation Commission’s 6 p.m. public hearing at Pinal County Board of supervisors building. It was the third meeting of the day.

So far, Johnson Utilities has asked the ACC to allow the company to raise water rates by 23 percent for water and 17 percent for wastewater.

“You know, what’s really sad is we’re held hostage,” said Johnson Utilities customer Jeff Klarich. “We have nowhere else we can go.”

Johnson Utilities is the only water company that serves that part of Pinal County.

“It’s not fair for us to fork out more money when they’re jacking up our bills up and down every month,” explained Julie Cruse.

This comes months after a federal indictment, which accuses the owner of Johnson Utilities of bribing a former commissioner.

[READ MORE: Ex-AZ Corp. Commissioner, owner of Johnson Utilities indicted on bribery charges]

Many customers claimed their water meters were misreading their water usage resulting in outrageous bills.

“130,000 gallons of water... please explain to me why I have a $2,000 water bill when I was gone for the whole month of July," said Katie Sneed.

She exclaimed her bill is outrageous.

“There’s no sense in this," she said.

There are three more meetings. The information is below.

Day: Wednesday, Feb. 21
Meeting times: 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.
Noon to 2 p.m.
6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Location: Central Arizona College San Tan Campus Rooms A100 & A101 
3736 E. Bella Vista Road San Tan Valley, AZ 85143

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