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Corporation Commission Allows Limited Amount Of New Hookups In Johnson Utilities Service Area

The Arizona Corporation Commission is allowing a limited amount of new water and sewage hookups in the Johnson Utilities service area. 

The commission put a pause on new hookups in October to assess the potential impact on those areas.

EPCOR was appointed as an interim manager for the East Valley communities in July after customers complained of sewage overflows and low water pressure.

After meeting with members of the community, the interim manager and home builders, Commissioner Justin Olson said construction would be allowed to move forward where there is capacity.

“And where there’s not, we have the right balance of only allowing new meters at the rate that capacity can account for,” Olson said.

On Thursday, the commission voted to allow no more than 28 new homes to connect to the beleaguered water system. 

Olson says the decision was a compromise.

“Folks in the development community hope to be able to have more meters each month than the number that was agreed to, but everybody in the community recognized the gravity of the situation,” he said.

The commission will allow exceptions for anyone that already has a contract to purchase a home.

Olson said exceptions would also be made for any public safety needs.

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Jimmy Jenkins is a senior field correspondent at KJZZ and a contributor to NPR’s Election 2020 and Criminal Justice station collaborations. His work has been featured on Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Marketplace, Here and Now, The Takeaway and NPR Newscasts.Originally from Terre Haute, Indiana, Jenkins has a B.S. in criminology from Indiana State University and a master’s degree in journalism from Indiana University.Much of his reporting has focused on the criminal justice system. Jenkins has reported on Tasers, body cameras, use of force, jail privatization, prison health care and the criminal contempt trial of former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.