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North Carolina Department of Utilities Commission Issues Order Admitting Testimony, Canceling Hearing, and Requiring Filing of Proposed Recommended...

June 25, 2014



North Carolina Department of Utilities Commission Issues Order Admitting Testimony, Canceling Hearing, and Requiring Filing of Proposed Recommended Order and Bond for Harkers Island Sewer Company, LLC

RALEIGH, N.C., June 25 -- The North Carolina Utilities Commission issued the following order:

In the Matter of Application by Harkers Island Sewer Company, LLC, Post Office Box 370, Harkers Island, North Carolina 28531, for a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity to Provide Sewer Utility Service in Harkers Point Subdivision and Harkers Village Subdivision, Phases I and II, in Carteret County, North Carolina, and Approval of Rates

BY THE HEARING EXAMINER: On June 24, 2014, the Public Staff filed a Motion to Admit Testimony, Cancel Hearing, Issue Certificate, and Approve Rates in the above-captioned matter. In support of its Motion, the Public Staff stated:

1. On March 31, 2014, Harkers Island Sewer Company, LLC (HISC), filed a notice that it intended to provide sewer utility service in a contiguous area beginning April 28, 2014. The area to be served is Harkers Point Subdivision and Harkers Village Subdivision, Phases I and II, in Carteret County, North Carolina. The service area currently has approximately 61 existing sewer customers.

2. Because the proposed service area is not contiguous to the existing HISC service territory, the Commission by order issued April 22, 2014, treated the notice as an application for a certificate of public convenience and necessity and approval of rates, required customer notice, and scheduled a hearing for June 12, 2014.

3. The Public Staff moved to bifurcate the proceeding into a public hearing on June 12, 2014, and a later evidentiary hearing, with an extension of time until June 24, 2014, for the Public Staff to file its testimony in this matter. By orders issued May 27 and June 5, 2014, the Commission granted the Public Staff's motion.

4. The Public Staff in its prefiled testimony recommends rates lower than initially requested by the Applicant. The Public Staff also recommends a $10,000 bond for the new franchise. The General Manager of Harkers Island Sewer Company, Michael Laws, has reviewed the Public Staff's testimony and recommendations, and agrees with them.

5. Because all parties to the proceeding are in agreement with the Public Staff's recommendations, there is no need or desire for any party to conduct cross-examination or submit additional testimony. The hearing may be canceled and the Application may be decided on the written record. This will allow Applicant to avoid traveling to Raleigh for a non-contested hearing.

6. Mr. Laws, on behalf of Applicant, consents to the Public Staff's recommendations.

The transcript of the public hearing held on June 12, 2014, in Beaufort, North Carolina, was filed on June 25, 2014.

Based upon the foregoing, the Hearing Examiner is of the opinion that the Motion to admit testimony and cancel the hearing should be granted. The Hearing Examiner is also of the opinion that an order granting the certificate of public convenience and necessity and approving rates should be issued after the filing of a joint proposed recommended order by the Public Staff and the Applicant and the filing of a $10,000 bond and surety by the Applicant.

IT IS, THEREFORE, ORDERED as follows:

1. That the prefiled testimony (and applicable exhibits) of Windley E. Henry, Babette McKemie, and Calvin C. Craig, III, shall be accepted and entered into evidence as if entered orally at hearing.

2. That the public hearing scheduled at 9:00 a.m., on Wednesday, July 2, 2014, in Commission Hearing Room 2115, Dobbs Building, 430 North Salisbury Street, Raleigh, North Carolina, is hereby canceled.

3. That the Public Staff and the Applicant shall file a proposed recommended order with the Commission no later than 30 days after the date of this Order.

4. That the Applicant shall file a $10,000 bond and surety with the Commission (see http://www.ncuc.net/industries/water/bonding.htm for filing requirements).

ISSUED BY ORDER OF THE COMMISSION.

This is the _26th day of _June, 2014.

NORTH CAROLINA UTILITIES COMMISSION

Gail L. Mount, Chief Clerk

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