Daily Archives: November 21, 2008

New Arizona Corporation Commission to face tough issues

[Source: Ryan Randazzo, Arizona Republic] — If you make monthly payments to Arizona Public Service Co., Tucson Electric Power Co., a small Arizona water provider or other regulated utility, you have three new public servants watching over those companies for you.  Unofficial results from the Nov. 4 election show Democrats Paul Newman and Sandra Kennedy and Republican Bob Stump will join two Republicans remaining on the Arizona Corporation Commission.  The regulators will tackle consumer issues such as a pending rate hike from APS in 2009 and for the first time in a decade have Democrats at the table.  In addition to regulating utility rates, the Corporation Commission oversees telecommunications issues and securities fraud and has jurisdiction over railroad crossings.

Kennedy’s first steps will include working with state lawmakers in an attempt to save energy and money by moving the commission to a four-day workweek, she said.  “I’d also like to see the Corporation Commission seriously look at how utility companies can help seniors,” she said Thursday.  “We’re at a time when their income is not what it used to be.  Are they showing the aged and low-income consumers how to effectively utilize energy efficiency?”  [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Builders on Phoenix fringes may pay 400% more for roads, utilities, parks

[Source: Casey Newton, Arizona Business Gazette] — The cost of building a home in undeveloped parts of Phoenix may soon go up, and the cost could be passed along to home buyers.  Phoenix has convened a panel to advise the City Council on a staff proposal to increase impact fees, a series of charges the city makes to home builders for such items as roads, sewer hookups, parks, and libraries.  The staff proposal calls for some fees in northeast Phoenix to be raised by nearly 400%, a consequence of soaring construction costs and the fact that the fees have not been adjusted in several years.  The city uses the fees to pay for new roads and libraries and to hook up new developments to the city’s water and sewer systems.  Only projects in areas that have yet to be developed are charged the fees.

Desert View is the name planners have given to a swath of northeast Phoenix that includes most of the city northeast of Loop 101 and Interstate 17.  The impact fee for streets in Desert View could rise from $2,176 per dwelling unit, to $10,818.  The per-unit fee for parks would also rise, to $4,145, from $2,910.  In past years, developers have pressured the council to delay increases to the fees, saying they would discourage development of new homes.  Those delays have led to this year’s proposals.  [Note: To read the full article, click here.]