• Arizona
  • Thursday , Feb 1 , 2018

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CAGRD Adjustor Fee Going Down

CAGRD-FEES-GoiNG-DOWN

A Town Hall was held Wednesday, May 17th to discuss the recent increase in CAGRD Adjustor fees for those residents in the EPCOR water and wastewater service area.  A panel of experts included: Laura Grigano from the Central Arizona Groundwater Replenishment District (CAGRD), Commissioner Justin Olson from the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC), and Thomas Loquvam from EPCOR. AZ State LD 8 Representative, Neal Carter and Pinal County District 2 Supervisor, Mike Goodman were also in attendance.

The meeting began with a basic overview from Laura Grigano who explained what CAGRD is.  She explained in 1993, the AZ State Legislature created the groundwater replenishment authority, commonly called CAGRD.  Its purpose is to provide a mechanism for landowers and water providers to demonstrate an assured water supply.  Members of the CAGRD, such as EPCOR who provide water and wastewater to San Tan Valley, as well as parts of Pinal County Queen Creek and Florence, pay a replenishment tax directly to CAGRD according to the number of acre-feet of excess groundwater they deliver within their service area each year.  The member then passes through those fees to its customers for reimbursement.  The fees are a direct pass-thru.  

Thomas Loquvam of EPCOR explained that when George Johnson still owned the utility, Johnson Utilities, he had made a request to the ACC, which was approved, to bill CAGRD fees based on an estimate of what would be used in the future.  EPCOR did not agree with this method of calculating CAGRD fees and submitted a request to the ACC on May 6th, to change the calculation allowing EPCOR to pass on CAGRD fees for groundwater used in arrears.  Loquvam informed those in attendance that as of earlier that day, the ACC had approved not only the change in how CAGRD fees would be billed to the customers of the EPCOR San Tan service area (which cut the fees to be billed almost in half), but also approved a three-month credit for the overage of fees paid, plus a 5% interest on those fees.  This credit was going to be applied to next month's (June) bills.

Under the new CAGRD methodology customers within the Phoenix Active Management Area (which includes all of San Tan Valley and Pinal County sections of Queen Creek, as well as Maricopa County) will have their fee reduced from $5.36 per 1,000 gallons to $2.83 per 1,000 gallons, a decrease of $2.53. Customers within the Pinal Active Management Area (Anthem Merrill Ranch and south) will have their fee reduced from $1.29 per 1,000 gallons to a credit of $0.03 per 1,000 gallons, a decrease of $1.32.

During the public comment there was some confusion as to why San Tan Valley was in the "Phoenix Active Management Area" and not the "Pinal Active Management Area".  Both Laura Grigano and Rep Carter explained that the Active Management Areas are not defined by county boundaries.  In Arizona there are 5 AMAs, Prescott, Phoenix, Pinal, Tucson, and Santa Cruz.  Parts of Pinal County are in three different AMAs including the Phoenix, Pinal and Tucson AMAs.  For more information on AMAs click here.

SanTanValley.com did broadcast the Town Hall live on Facebook for those unable to attend.  You can also watch a recording of the full Town Hall below..  

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