APS taking on ranch company in fight over water

PHOENIX - Arizona Public Service Co. is trying to use its eminent domain power to wrest ownership of 7,000 acres in Navajo County from a historic ranching company.
calendar icon 27 December 2006
clock icon 1 minute read
APS officials said the company needs the land to ensure a steady water supply for its Cholla Power Plant near Joseph City. The state's largest utility has been pumping water from land owned by the Aztec Land and Cattle Company for nearly 35 years under a lease with the ranch.

That lease expires in August and the two big companies have been negotiating a new one for months. But with no end in sight, APS spokesman Steven Gotfried said the company was forced to sue to take over ownership.

APS sued under the state's eminent domain law in Navajo County Superior Court and a hearing is set for July. APS is allowed to use the law because as a state regulated utility it needs the ability to force the sale of property needed to supply electricity to its customers.

Source: The Associated Press
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