Idaho Public Utilities Commission
Case No. TTS-W-11-01, Order No. 32485
March 16, 2012
Contact: Gene Fadness (208) 334-0339, 890-2712
Water utility can access emergency fund, but cannot increase customer contributions to fund
The Idaho Public Utilities Commission is granting an eastern Idaho water company’s request to access an emergency fund to pay for well repairs, but is denying the company’s request to assess residential customers an additional $85 through 2012 to replenish the fund.
Teton Springs Water and Sewer Company sought reimbursement for nearly $26,500 for emergency repairs at two wells that failed in July and August of last year. After review by commission staff, the commission is allowing the company to recover just under $23,000 and to access its emergency fund which had nearly $21,000 in reserve through 2011. Because the fund collects nearly $7,000 annually, there will be enough money in it by the end of this year to cover well repair expenses without having to assess customers the additional $85, the commission said.
The water company serves about 280 customers within the Teton Springs Golf and Casting Club Planned Unit Development in eastern Idaho. In a previous rate case, the commission allowed Teton Springs to establish an Emergency Reserve Fund for large-scale capital repairs and replacement projects that fall outside the scope of regular operations and maintenance.
About $3,550 was removed from the company’s original request. The labor costs billed to repair the primary well that failed in July were four times the original bid, commission staff said. Thus, $1,680 was removed from the $3,650 labor cost assessed Teton Springs. Further, commission staff said the company did not seek bids from more than one vendor for repairs on the second well. Commission staff received price quotes from other vendors that were about 30 percent less than the amount Teton Springs paid. Thus, the commission removed nearly $1,600 of an $8,600 bill for repairs at the second well.
A text of the commission’s order, along with other documents related to this case, is 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. TTS-W-11-01.