News Release      
  For Immediate Release | 6-13-18      
  Media Contact | Nick Debus      
  Direct | 602-542-0728      
  E-Mail | ndebus@azcc.gov      
         
 
Arizona Corporation Commission June Open Meeting Highlights
 
 
PHOENIX — The Arizona Corporation Commission held its monthly Open Meeting to discuss and vote on various water, electric, railroad, securities, and tax reform agenda items. Here’s a brief recap of the meeting highlights:
 
Railroad Grade Crossing at 35th Avenue and Indian School Road Completed


Commissioners voted to approve staff’s motion to dismiss its complaint and petition for an Order to Show Cause against the Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway Company (BNSF). This comes after Commissioners at the May Open Meeting ordered the intersection at 35th Avenue and Indian School Road in Phoenix to be closed to vehicular traffic should the City of Phoenix, BNSF, and the Commission not come to an agreement on a plan to complete safety improvements within a 10-day window.
 
“I want to thank everyone involved for coming to a timely solution and resolving this matter,” said Arizona Corporation Commission Chairman Tom Forese.
 
On May 16, 2018 the City of Phoenix submitted a letter to the Commission’s online docket outlining their plan to relocate the traffic signal in question to improve public safety at the intersection. Originally, the new signal had been installed on the north side of the tracks, not on the south side as was ordered by the Commission in 2013. This led to mass confusion amongst the motoring public.
 
“I especially want to thank our staff for their diligence in staying true to the intent of the Commission,” said Commissioner Boyd Dunn. “I also want to thank the City of Phoenix for their work to remedy this safety issue.”
 
The City of Phoenix relocated the traffic signal in question to the south side of the railroad tracks and Commission railroad inspectors on May 29th certified that the work was satisfactory and met the conditions laid out by the Commission, thus avoiding a closure of the intersection. The City, on its own accord, installed two new left turn signals, not part of the original order, in an effort to further improve public safety at the intersection.
 
All documents related to this agenda item can be found in the Commission’s online docket at http://edocket.azcc.gov and entering docket number RR-02635B-18-0102.
 
Arizona Public Service Company 2018 REST Plan Approved
Commissioners voted to approve Arizona Public Service Company’s 2018 Renewable Energy Standard and Tariff Plan.
 
Arizona Public Service Company (APS) filed to the Commission’s online docket its 2018 Renewable Energy Standard and Tariff Plan (REST Plan). In its filing, APS has requested funding for existing projects and ongoing programs some of which include: legacy performance-based incentives, renewable purchase power costs, and an extension of its Green Choice Program. The plan includes a budget of $92 million, with $81.6 million collected through its REST adjustor mechanism that is charged to all customer classes based on kWh consumption, with a cap on how much can be collected monthly. The 2018 REST Plan budget is $37.3 million less than the 2017 budget with the amount collected through its REST adjustor mechanism decreased approximately $25.2 million. Additionally, the 2017 REST Compliance Report indicates a $4.1 million overcollection which will be passed back to ratepayers as an offset to the 2018 collection needs.
 
All documents relating to this agenda item can be found in the Commission’s online docket at http://edocket.azcc.gov and entering docket number E-01345A-17-0224.
 
Multiple Water Companies Pass Tax Savings on to Ratepayers
Commissioners addressed Tax Act savings for multiple water companies throughout the State, approving the applications of four to pass tax savings on to their customers. The specific details on each agenda item are below:
  • EPCOR Water Arizona, Inc. – the Company estimates that for its wastewater operations in Arizona that the Tax Act will result in a savings of $1,106,392. EPCOR will pass these savings to wastewater customers through a one-time bill credit to each customer class in the amount of $7.56.
  • Far West Water & Sewer, Inc. – the Company has calculated a net tax reduction of $90,091 for its water division and $49,318 for its wastewater division. The Company will pass these savings on to ratepayers through a one-time bill credit beginning July 1, 2018. Average residential water customers with a 5/8-inch meter will see a one-time bill credit of $5.25. Average wastewater customers with a 5/8-inch meter will see a one-time bill credit of $5.80.
  • Lago Del Oro Water Company – the Company stated that the Tax Act has resulted in $129,738 in savings. These savings will be passed on to water customers through a one-time bill credit beginning in July 2018. The average residential water customer will see a one-time bill credit of $9.43.
  • Pima Utility Company – the Company estimates a savings of $98,522 for its water division and $107,874 for its wastewater division. The Company will pass the savings to its ratepayers through a one-time bill credit. For the average residential customer on a 5/8-inch meter that will result in bill credit of $0.26 for water customers and $0.35 for wastewater customers.
All documents related to these agenda items can be found in the Commission’s online docket at http://edocket.azcc.gov and entering the following docket numbers:
 
EPCOR Water Arizona, Inc. – WS-01303A-18-0085
Far West Water & Sewer, Inc. – WS-03478A-18-0090
Lago Del Oro Water Company – W-01944A-18-0141
Pima Utility Company – W-02199A-16-0421 and SW-02199A-16-0422
 
Michael Smoot, Black Platinum Holdings, LLC and GSI Global, Inc.
The Commission ordered former Arizona resident Michael Smoot to pay $308,567 in restitution and a $50,000 administrative penalty for his conduct in connection with investment sales to five investors in his companies, Black Platinum Holdings, LLC, GSI Global, Inc., and GSI Global TV, Inc.  Smoot’s companies are also liable for portions of the restitution and penalty amounts. The Commission found that investors were solicited through cold-calls to investment in the oil and media companies and some investors were convinced to provide personal information which was used to obtain investment funds through loans and credit cards. Smoot was not registered to offer or sell securities in Arizona and the Commission found Smoot made false or misleading representations to certain investors during the offering, and used certain funds for his personal benefit. In settling this matter, the respondents neither admitted nor denied the Commission’s findings, but agreed to the entry of the consent order.
 
All documents related to this agenda item can be found in the Commission’s online docket at http://edocket.azcc.gov and entering docket number S-21045A-18-0097.
 
Kirtan Khalsa, Leland Energy Inc.
The Commission ordered a California man to pay $108,575 in restitution and a $7,500 administrative penalty for selling unregistered oil and gas partnership units to Arizona investors. The Commission found that, while not registered as a securities salesman, respondent Kirtan Khalsa raised approximately $1,085,750 from selling to six investors partnership units controlled by Leland Colorado Holding Inc. and Leland Tennessee Holdings, Inc., a Nevada company. In settling this matter, the respondent neither admitted nor denied the Commission’s findings but agreed to the entry of the consent order.

All documents related to this agenda item can be found in the Commission’s online docket at http://edocket.azcc.gov and entering docket number S-21014A-17-0174.

You can view the archived video of the June Open Meeting at www.azcc.gov/live                             
  
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ABOUT US
The Arizona Corporation Commission was established by the state’s constitution to regulate public utilities and business incorporation. The five Commissioners elected to the Corporation Commission oversee executive, legislative, and judicial proceedings on behalf of Arizonans when it comes to their water, electricity, telephone, and natural gas resources as well as the regulation of securities, pipeline, and railroad safety. To learn more about the Arizona Corporation Commission and its Commissioners, visit azcc.gov.