Hurricane Valley Mutual Water Co. is not a member-owned company and is therefore subject to regulation, the Utah Public Service Commission says.
In an order released last week, the commission ruled for a second time that evidence in the case shows the southern Utah company is owned by subdivision developers and not by the residents themselves and "bears the earmarks of a public utility."The company provides culinary water to properties in a recreation area in Washington County.
The ruling means that the company will have to get commission approval for all rates charged to its customers.
The company had challenged an earlier ruling by the commission that had stayed the original order pending a review.
In rejecting the company's challenge, the commissioners said the argument put forth by the company would have the company "itself in the position of deciding whether it is a reg-ulatable entity."
The commission also defended its jurisdiction, stating that the rule under which the commission acted "is nothing more than a mechanism by which the commission secures through the assistance of the Division of Public Utilities the facts necessary to decide if an entity is in fact a mutual water company."