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5:44 AM Tue, Feb. 19th

Arsenic treatment funding approved for Valle Vista

VALLE VISTA - Customers concerned about the safety of their water in this golf course community near Kingman can take a sip of relief soon.

The Arizona Corporation Commission approved Truxton Canyon Water Company's application to incur long-term debt in order to build an arsenic treatment facility during an open meeting in Phoenix last Tuesday.

Valle Vista Property Owners Association Property Management Assistant Vicki Hoag notified the Kingman Daily Miner via email that the ACC Commissioners voted unanimously to approve a $2.17 rate - not the original proposed rate of $18.09 - for ¾-inch metered customers for 20 years starting June 1.

According to an ACC press release, the company previously was authorized to borrow $350,950 from the Water Infrastructure Finance Authority for the construction of an arsenic treatment facility. Truxton Canyon Water Company must pay $40,298 annually to cover principle, interest, reserve fund, and taxes associated with the loan.

The corporation commission approved the company's application for a loan surcharge mechanism to cover those costs. That will add $2.17 to the average customer's bill. Truxton Canyon must notify customers of the surcharge within 30 days.

"Notifications will be going out in the mail by the end of this month," a Truxton Canyon Water Co. representative said.

"Water safety is a number one priority," said ACC Chairman Doug Little. "Small water companies must put their customers first and we as a commission are doing what we can to help those companies pay for the upgrades in order to supply safe, reliable water. We will continue to monitor Truxton Canyon's progress in resolving the contamination and operational problems."

Added Commissioner Andy Tobin: "I want to thank my fellow commissioners for moving this important issue along quickly." Tobin met with Valle Vista residents during an open house meeting in April.

"I met personally with customers impacted by this decision last month and learned about the severity of arsenic problems plaguing Truxton Canyon," he said. "The swift decision of this commission on (the water company) should set the tone for how we will address the countless other water crises across the state."

Hoag also told the Daily Miner the water company plans to pour a concrete foundation in the next week or so and that it has a 30-day cure period before they can start constructing the building. They are still projecting a late July finish date.

The ACC is asking for monthly updates.

Truxton Canyon serves approximately 950 residential and commercial customers in the Valle Vista area.