RCH's Response to McLendon Chisolm PUCT Filing
November 13, 2023
Dear RCH Members,
RCH wants to ensure that all our members are well-informed about the latest developments regarding RCH Water Supply Corporation's ongoing response to the City of McLendon Chisholm's application for a Certificate of Convenience and Necessity (CCN) in Rockwall County, Texas. This application has significant implications for our water service and our community. RCH has filed a comprehensive response addressing various concerns with the City's application, including procedural issues, deficiencies in the City's proposal, and questions about the City's authorization to proceed. It is crucial that you stay updated on these matters, and we encourage you to read the executive summary provided below as well as the complete PUCT filing, which can be found here:
RCH Water Supply Corporation has filed a response to the City of McLendon Chisholm's application for a Certificate of Convenience and Necessity (CCN) in Rockwall County, Texas. The City's application aims to take over the portion of RCH’s service area within the City, but RCH argues that the City has been aggressive and uncooperative throughout the process. RCH raises several deficiencies in the City's application, including a lack of information about how the City will provide water service, where the water will come from, who will operate the system, and which properties will be acquired. RCH also claims that the City failed to follow proper procedures and obtain the necessary authorizations. As a result, RCH requests that the Public Utility Commission of Texas dismiss the City's application. Recently, the Administrative Law Judge hearing the matter determined that the City’s application was deficient and ordered that it be corrected before it would be considered.
Introduction: RCH responds to the City's application for a CCN, citing aggressive tactics by the City, deficiencies in the application, and the need for proper procedures.
Factual Background: RCH currently holds a CCN for water service in Rockwall County. The City discussed the possibility of acquiring the entire RCH water system but failed to reach an agreement, leading to the City's application for a CCN. RCH claims that the City's notice was insufficient and that the City failed to follow the required procedures.
Applicable Law: RCH outlines the legal requirements for single certification applications and highlights that the City's application does not meet these requirements.
Response: RCH expresses opposition to the City's application and states that there are no conditions under which they would agree to the City's single certification. RCH also points out the deficiencies in the City's application, such as inadequate notice, a failure to meet the 180-day waiting period, a lack of information about who will operate the water system, and the absence of property transfer details.
Lack of City Authorization: RCH questions whether the City had the required authorization to file the application, as the City Council member's letter suggests that no formal discussion or authorization for the application took place.
Request for Abatement: RCH requests an extension of its response deadline until the City rectifies the application's deficiencies.
Prayer: RCH requests that the City's application be dismissed due to the significant deficiencies and asks for any other appropriate relief.
I believe it’s also important to address McLendon Chisholm's recent response to the PUCT. The City has cited a lack of cooperation from RCH in their comments, suggesting that our unwillingness to negotiate has hindered it. However, I would like to provide some essential context for our members. First, it's important to note that the City of McLendon-Chisholm has approved legal action against RCH, which naturally impacts negotiations. Second, the opportunity to sign a confidentiality agreement was presented as early as April 2023, which would have granted them access to pertinent information. Unfortunately, this offer was not accepted, seemingly due to interference by a third party. Lastly, Mayor Short has confirmed the City's interference in potential solutions to enhance water delivery and infrastructure management, notably concerning Inframark and the Blackland Interconnect and, more recently, attempts to compete with RCH’s application to obtain water directly from NTMWD.
I also want to emphasize the financial aspect of this proceeding, which directly impacts the citizens of McLendon-Chisholm and our RCH members. It's important to acknowledge that the costs associated with this dispute will inevitably be shouldered by the individuals who rely on our water services. The overarching objective here should always be to ensure the consistent and reliable delivery of water to our community. Unnecessary expenditure on legal proceedings and disputes does not align with this goal. We are committed to finding a resolution that is both cost-effective and serves the best interests of our community, all while ensuring that reliable water remains our top priority.
RCH remains dedicated to safeguarding your interests and providing transparent communication throughout this process.
Your trust and support are greatly appreciated.