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06/04/97 WARWICK WATER WORKS v. PENNSYLVANIA PUBLIC

June 4, 1997

WARWICK WATER WORKS, INC., PETITIONER
v.
PENNSYLVANIA PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION, RESPONDENT



Appealed From No. 95-C-0674. State Agency Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission.

Before: Honorable Bernard L. McGINLEY, Judge, Honorable Bonnie Brigance Leadbetter, Judge, Honorable Charles A. Lord, Senior Judge. Opinion BY Senior Judge Lord.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Lord

ORDER

AND NOW, this 18th day of August, 1997, it is ordered that the opinion filed on June 4, 1997, shall be designated OPINION rather than MEMORANDUM OPINION, and that it shall be reported.

CHARLES A. LORD, Senior Judge

BY SENIOR JUDGE LORD

FILED: June 4, 1997

Warwick Water Works, Inc. (Warwick) appeals a Public Utility Commission (PUC) order overruling Warwick's exceptions to an Administrative Law Judge's (ALJ's) decision in which the ALJ concluded that Warwick was subject to the PUC's jurisdiction and denied Warwick's application to abandon water service to certain customers.

Warwick is a Pennsylvania Corporation which operates water facilities owned by the Knauer-Carr Partnership at St. Peter's Village in Chester County. Warwick's only two shareholders are the same two individuals who comprise the Partnership. The Partnership owns twenty-three townhouse rental units and two houses in St. Peter's Village. The Partnership also owns wells; Warwick supplies water service from these wells and waste water service to the 23 rental units it owns and also to St. Peter's Condominium Association (Association), which is made up of 19 to 25 property owners at St. Peter's village.

In 1992, the Association filed a complaint with the PUC against Warwick, requesting a determination that Warwick was a de facto public utility -- providing a utility service to the public without a certificate of public convenience (CPC). In 1993, after a hearing on the Association's complaint, the PUC issued an order holding that Warwick was a public utility as defined in the Public Utility Code at 66 Pa. C.S. § 102, that is, pertinently, "[a] person or corporation now or hereafter owning or operating in this Commonwealth equipment or facilities for ... diverting, developing, pumping, impounding, distributing, or furnishing water to or for the public for compensation." Warwick did not appeal that order, which provided, inter alia,

2. that the Complaint captioned St. Peter's Condominium Association v. Warwick Water Works, Inc., at Docket No. C-923883, be, and hereby is, sustained.

3. that Respondent Warwick Water Company, Inc., shall file an application for a certificate of public convenience and necessity within thirty (30) days of the date of entry of this opinion and order.

4. that if Respondent does not file an application for a certificate of public convenience as described in Ordering Paragraph Number 3, above, then it is hereby ORDERED to cease and desist providing water service in violation of the Public Utility Code, effective thirty days after the date of entry of this opinion and order, and shall be subject to such additional sanctions and penalties as may be deemed appropriate, pursuant to the Public Utility Code.

In 1994, Warwick, which asserts it has operated at a loss since 1982 and is required to spend $60,000 to complete repairs to the water and sewage system, filed an application to abandon water service to the Association. The Association ...


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