Commission grants United Water authority to serve Trailhead
The Idaho Public Utilities Commission has determined that Boise-based United Water Idaho Inc., and not the City of Eagle, should be allowed to provide water service to the Trailhead Community north of Eagle.
The developer of Trailhead, Kastera Development LLC, petitioned the commission to allow United Water to provide service to the 520-acre subdivision. The City of Eagle objected, alleging the development is part of the city’s long-range expansion plan and should be connected to the municipal water service.
After the city’s objection, the matter was stayed, allowing Kastera time to explore the possibility of annexation and rezone with the city. However, negotiations between the two were not successful and Kastera renewed its request for service from United Water.
The commission said United Water is the only utility that has the present ability to serve Trailhead. The proposed area, north of Homer Road, is not within Eagle’s corporate boundaries and also lies outside its designated Area of City Impact, the commission said. “This, we find, presents the city with statutory and jurisdictional constraints on its ability to serve Trailhead,” the commission said.
The commission said the city would likely participate in Kastera’s application process with Ada County and would recommend the county disallow Kastera’s application and direct the developer to file a request for annexation and use city water services. “Although we find this statement to be an indication of the city’s resolve, it has no bearing on the city’s present municipal authority regarding the provision of water service to Trailhead,” the commission said.
The commission said both the city’s mayor and Kastera’s general manager agree it is in the public interest for water providers to cooperate in area of service decisions. “Yet it appears from the testimony of those with responsibility for planning for each water provider, that such cooperation does not take place, not even discussions,” the commission said. “Is the public interest being equally well served by not engaging in planning discussions? We suspect not.”
United Water distribution facilities needed to serve Trailhead shall be contributed by the developer without refund, the commission said. Any booster stations and storage reservoirs that may be required will be built with funds advanced by the developer with refund eligibility for those expenses that benefit all United Water customers.
A full text of the commission’s order, along with other documents related to this case, are available on the commission’s Web site at www.puc.idaho.gov. Click on “File Room” and then on “Water Cases” and scroll down to Case No. UWI-W-06-04.
Interested parties may petition the commission for reconsideration by no later than Aug. 24. Petitions for reconsideration must set forth specifically why the petitioner contends that the order is unreasonable, unlawful or erroneous. Petitions should include a statement of the nature and quantity of evidence the petitioner will offer if reconsideration is granted.
Petitions can be delivered to the commission at 472 W. Washington St. in Boise, mailed to P.O. Box 83720, Boise, ID, 83720-0074, or faxed to 208-334-3762.