[32 Pa.B. 5605]
Public Meeting held
October 24, 2002
Commissioners Present: Glen R. Thomas, Chairperson; Robert K. Bloom, Vice Chairperson; Aaron Wilson, Jr.; Terrance J. Fitzpatrick, statement concurring and dissenting in part follows; Kim Pizzingrilli
Application of Pennsylvania-American Water Company for approval of the right to offer, render, furnish or supply water service to the public in portions of Jackson, Lancaster, Connoquenessing and Forward Townships, Butler County, PA; Doc. No. A-212285F0103
By the Commission:
By application filed on June 24, 2002, Pennsylvania-American Water Company (Applicant), 800 West Hersheypark Drive, Hershey, PA 17033, seeks a certificate of public convenience pursuant to section 1102(a)(1)(i) of the Public Utility Code, 66 Pa.C.S. § 1102(a)(1)(i), evidencing Commission approval of the right to begin to offer, render, furnish or supply water service to the public in portions of Lancaster and Forward Townships, and in additional portions of Jackson and Connoquenessing Townships, all within Butler County, as described by written descriptions, and shown on a map filed with the Application.
The Applicant submitted proof of services and publication. The Commission received no protests within the protest period. No hearing was held and no motions or petitions have been filed in this proceeding. The Application was served upon the appropriate municipal, township and county officials, and their planning commissions.
The Applicant is a regulated public utility company, duly organized and existing under the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and is engaged in the business of supplying and distributing water. It currently furnishes public water service to some 601,600 customers in 35 Pennsylvania counties.
The nature and character of the service to be provided by the Applicant is the furnishing of public water service in portions of Lancaster and Forward Townships, and in additional portions of Jackson and Connoquenessing Townships, all within Butler County. The Applicant is presently certificated and is providing water service in portions of Connoquenessing Township at A-00100959 and A-212285F0043, and in Jackson Township at A-212285F0075. A pending Application for additional service territory in Jackson Township, at A-212285F0098, is presently before an Administrative Law Judge as it was formally protested by Harmony Borough.
Written descriptions of the areas to be served, in addition to a map showing the boundaries of these areas are attached to the application as exhibits. The total size of the applied for service territory is approximately 1,645 acres and the areas are contiguous. The only area that is adjacent to the Applicant's existing certificated territory is the western boundary of Area 1 in Jackson Township.
A schedule showing the size and the present land use for each proposed service area, by township, is as follows:
Jackson Township Area 1 152 acres Residential High Density Jackson Township Area 2 405 acres Manufacturing Lancaster Township 766 acres Rural Residential Connoquenessing Township 294 acres Not Zoned Forward Township 28 acres Residential
The need to make service available is evident by the fact that 83 homeowners have applied to the Applicant for water service. Some of these homeowners are experiencing insufficiency of water, in addition to contamination of their private wells. The Applicant has projected that within 1 year following the completion of the required water facilities, it will be providing water service to one commercial customer and to approximately 114 residential customers. The Applicant also indicated it does not know, nor has it made any projections as to the number of customers it will be serving in 5 years in the applied for areas.
On July 17, 2002, the Applicant received approval from PENNVEST for a low-interest construction loan in the amount of $5,995,000 to interconnect the Applicants Ellwood City and Butler distribution systems thus alleviating supply deficiencies in the Butler system. This project consists of the extension of 68,500 feet of water mains, two booster pump stations, a water tank relocation, chlorination facilities, services, meters and fire hydrants. The interconnection project will be routed through the proposed service territory and will include the construction of facilities to be installed in the applied for areas. The facilities to be installed in the proposed service territory will include a booster pump station, the relocated storage tank, water main extensions, services, meters, fire hydrants, valves and related appurtenances. The Applicant projects these facilities will be in place to begin service in the proposed service territory between the third and fourth quarters of 2003.
The Applicant contends it is financially and technically capable of providing water service in the proposed service territory and does not expect to receive any grants and/or contributions to help pay for the cost of the water facilities to be installed.
The Applicant will apply its rules, regulations and schedule of rates applicable to Rate Zone 1 of its Tariff in the proposed service territory. Based on an estimated usage of 4,500 gallons of water per month, a typical residential customer will be paying a monthly bill of about $34.25 per month or $411 annually, based on service through a 5/8-inch meter. The Applicant contends that the furnishing of service in the proposed service territory will have no adverse effect upon the service furnished or the rates charged to existing customers.
To the best of knowledge of the Applicant, no corporation, partnership, or individual is now furnishing or has corporate or franchise right to furnish service similar to that to be rendered by the Applicant in the proposed service territory, and no competitive condition will be created.
The Applicant has demonstrated need for the service and the requisite financial and technical fitness. For these reasons, we tentatively conclude that approval of the Application is in the public interest; Therefore,
It Is Ordered That:
1. The Application of the Pennsylvania-American Water Company, at Docket No. A-212285F0103 is hereby tentatively approved as in the public interest.
2. A copy of this Tentative Order be published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin giving the public 10 days from the date of publication to file written comments or request oral hearing.
3. Absent the filing of adverse public comments or request for oral hearing within 10 days from the date of publication pursuant to Ordering Paragraph No. 2, this Tentative Order shall become final without further order of the Commission.
4. Upon this Tentative Order becoming final, pursuant to the provisions of Ordering Paragraph No. 3, the Commission's Secretary shall issue to the Pennsylvania-American Water Company, a certificate of public convenience pursuant to section 1102(a)(1)(i) of the Public Utility Code, 66 Pa.C.S. § 1102(a)(1)(i), authorizing the Pennsylvania-American Water Company to begin to offer, render, furnish or supply water service to the public in portions of Jackson, Lancaster, Connoquenessing and Forward Townships, Butler County, as described by written descriptions, and as shown on a map filed with the Application.
5. Nothing herein shall be construed to exempt the Pennsylvania-American Water Company from obtaining all necessary permits and approvals from other state, Federal and local government agencies having jurisdiction.
6. Failure to comply with the above conditions may result in the imposition of fines and/or other appropriate action.
7. The Commission's Secretary's Bureau shall serve a copy of this Tentative Order on the Office of Trial Staff.
8. All records with respect to the Pennsylvania-American Water Company docketed at A-212285F0103 be marked closed by the Commission's Secretary Bureau after the certificate of public convenience is issued.
JAMES J. MCNULTY,
[Pa.B. Doc. No. 02-2036. Filed for public inspection November 8, 2002, 9:00 a.m.]
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