Southeast Valley Towns Take Steps To Address Water Issues

By Jimmy Jenkins, Lauren Gilger
Published: Thursday, July 19, 2018 - 11:30am
Updated: Thursday, July 19, 2018 - 2:11pm
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Queen Creek is partnering with Florence in advance of a potential scenario that would have the towns become temporary managers of their water systems amidst ongoing problems with Johnson Utilities.

Queen Creek Attorney Scott Holcomb says outages, water quality and billing issues related to Johnson Utilities are affecting the entire Southeast Valley.

"We believe it’s a regional problem and it requires a regional solution” Holcomb said.

Wednesday night the Queen Creek Town Council voted to approve an intergovernmental agreement with Florence to operate and plan for effluent, water and wastewater treatment in the regions between both towns.

The agreement states the towns will apply to the Arizona Corporation Commission to act as the interim manager for Johnson Utilities, should the commission appoint one. That decision could happen as soon as next Tuesday.

Holcomb said the towns would bring in an engineer to review the existing infrastructure. It’s not clear how long the interim management would last but Holcomb said he does not believe the agreement would raise rates for customers.

Public Information Officer Benjamin Bitter said the Florence Town Council would vote on a similar measure Friday morning.

"The council will be addressing the intergovernmental agreement," Bitter said. "We have about 7,000 residents that receive services from Johnson Utilities. We want to ensure that everyone in the region has a reliable and safe supply of water and waste water service."

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