Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Mohave County Attorney and the Federal Trade Commission

Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Mohave County Attorney and the Federal Trade Commission

Date:
August 1997
Matter Number:

072 3238

X940051

MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING
BETWEEN THE MOHAVE COUNTY ATTORNEY AND
THE FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION

I. Purpose

The purpose of this Memorandum of Understanding ("MOU") between the Mohave County Attorney and the Federal Trade Commission is to establish the terms and conditions of a redress program established pursuant to a Consent Decree against Sunbelt Construction Co., United States v. Sunbelt Construction Co., CV 94-0339 PHX EHC (D. AZ, Feb. 14, 1994). A copy of the Consent Decree is attached hereto.

II. Authority

On February 14, 1994, a Consent Decree against Sunbelt Construction Co. became final, United States v. Sunbelt Construction Co., CV 94-0339 PHX EHC (D. AZ, Feb. 14, 1994). Pursuant to Paragraph 4 of the Consent Decree, the Federal Trade Commission (hereinafter referred to as the "Commission" or "FTC") has liquidated most of the assets and property transferred to the Commission by Sunbelt Construction Co. and has deposited the proceeds into an escrow account managed by Gilardi & Co.: FTC v. Sunbelt Construction Co. Account No. 337-09555.

Pursuant to Paragraphs 5 and 6 of the Consent Decree, the Commission is establishing a redress fund that will be used to offset some or all of the electric utility installation costs for eligible Valle Vista lot owners.

III. Redress Program

1. Notice to lot owners: Within sixty (60) days after the effective date of this MOU, the Commission or its staff will provide written notice to Valle Vista lot owners of the redress program, along with an explanation of the eligibility requirements.

2. Transfer of funds: Within sixty (60) days after the effective date of this MOU, the Commission or its staff will direct Gilardi & Co. to transfer all funds in the FTC v. Sunbelt Construction Co. Account No. 337-09555, to an interest bearing account maintained by the Mohave County Attorney (hereinafter referred to as the "Utility Account"). The Utility Account will be administered through the Mohave County Department of Finance and will be subject to periodic County and State audits. The Commission or its staff will transfer to the Utility Account any additional monies it may obtain as a result of further liquidation of outstanding Sunbelt assets.

3. Purpose of redress program: The Utility Account will be used to pay a portion of electric utility installation costs for eligible Valle Vista lot owners, as well as administrative costs associated with the maintenance of the Utility Account and the implementation of the redress program. A Valle Vista lot owner may apply for payment from the Utility Account to Mohave Electric Cooperative of an amount not to exceed $2500 per lot to offset "reimbursable costs" (defined in Paragraph 4 of this MOU) of electric utility installation by Mohave Electric Cooperative. An individual lot owner may receive payments from the Utility Account for a maximum of two (2) lots over the duration of the redress program.

4. Definition of "reimbursable costs": Under this redress program, the "reimbursable costs" of electric utility installation for which an eligible Valle Vista lot owner may seek payment will include the cost of extending electric power lines to the lot and the cost of installing a transformer and/or secondary box on the lot, but will exclude the cost of all conduit, trenching, backfilling, electric wiring from the transformer or secondary box to the residence's electric meter, and electric wiring within the residence. "Reimbursable costs" will not include any costs paid or incurred by the Valle Vista lot owner prior to the effective date of this MOU.

5. Eligibility: To be eligible for payments from the Utility Account, an applicant must meet the following conditions at the time of application:

a. The applicant owns a lot located in Units 1, 2 or 3 of the Valle Vista subdivision in Kingman, Arizona.
b. The applicant's Valle Vista lot does not have household electric power available at the lot corner.
c. The applicant has applied for and received a building permit from Mohave County to build a single family residence on his or her Valle Vista lot (Note: a copy of the permit must be attached to the application).
d. The applicant has completed the foundation for the single family residence and received a "pass" on inspection by the County Building Inspector (Note: a copy of the inspection approval must be attached to the application).
e. The applicant has contacted Mohave Electric Cooperative and paid for an electric utility installation estimate that includes an estimate of the actual costs of electric utility installation to the lot (Note: a copy of the electric utility installation estimate must be attached to the application).
f. The applicant, in applying for funds from the Utility Account, must agree to relinquish, and assign to the Commission, all rights to:
1) Any rebates that may be due from Mohave Electric Cooperative as a result of the installation of electric utilities to his or her lot; and
2) Any refunds that may be due from Mohave Electric Cooperative to the extent that Mohave Electric Cooperative, upon completion of the electric utility installation, determines in an "adjustment to actual cost" that the actual cost of electric utility installation is less than the amount paid from the Utility Account pursuant to Paragraph 8a of this MOU for installation of electric utilities to his or her lot.
g. The applicant may receive funds from the Utility Account for installation of electric utilities to a maximum of two (2) lots.
h. The applicant is not the Valle Vista Property Owners Association or any entity owned or controlled by the Valley Vista Property Owners Association.

6. Application: To apply for funds from the Utility Account, a Valle Vista lot owner must fill out the attached "Application for Reimbursable Costs" (available from the Mohave County Attorney) and submit the application with all required documents to the Mohave County Attorney. This application includes a statement that the applicant has relinquished rights to certain rebates and refunds as set forth above and an acknowledgment that the applicant has submitted the application under penalty of perjury.

7. Review of application: The Mohave County Attorney will assess the eligibility of the applicant, taking appropriate steps to verify eligibility, and will notify the applicant in writing of whether the application has been approved and:

a. If the application is not approved, the Mohave County Attorney will state the reasons for such non-approval.
b. If the application is approved, the Mohave County Attorney will specify the amount of funds that will be paid to Mohave Electric Cooperative from the Utility Account.

8. Payment: After approval of an application for funds from the Utility Account and upon receipt, from the applicant, of a copy of the actual cost contract signed by both Mohave Electric Cooperative and the applicant, the Mohave County Attorney will authorize the transfer of monies to Accounts Receivable, Mohave Electric Cooperative, Bullhead City, Arizona 86430, for full or partial reimbursement of the cost of installing electric utilities to the specified Valle Vista lot.

9. Additional Payment: Upon completion of the electric utility installation to the specified lot, Mohave Electric Cooperative may determine in an "adjustment to actual cost" that a further payment is due from the lot owner because the actual cost of electric utility installation is greater than the estimate set forth in the actual cost contract. To apply for an additional payment, the applicant must fill out the attached "Application for Additional Payment" and submit the application with a copy of the "adjustment to actual cost" to the Mohave County Attorney. If the Mohave County Attorney determines that the initial payment made by the Mohave County Attorney pursuant to Paragraph 8 of this MOU was less than $2500, the Mohave County Attorney will authorize a second transfer of monies from the Utility Account to Mohave Electric Cooperative, provided, however, that the total payments made pursuant to Paragraphs 8 and 9 of this MOU for the specified lot may not exceed $2500 or total reimbursable costs, whichever is less.

10. Maintenance of records: For a period of four (4) years from the effective date of this MOU or one (1) year beyond the date of termination of this MOU, whichever is later, the Mohave County Attorney will maintain and, upon written request, make available for review and copying by the Commission or its staff, copies of all documents submitted by applicants to the redress program and all correspondence relating to the redress program with said applicants and Mohave Electric Cooperative.

11. Rebates and refunds: All rebates and refunds relinquished by Valle Vista lot owners pursuant to Paragraph 5f of this MOU above will be deposited into the Utility Account. In the event that the MOU is terminated, such payments will be made to the Commission.

12. Depletion of Utility Account: Under this redress program, funds will be paid from the Utility Account to Mohave Electric Cooperative on behalf of eligible applicants as provided above until all funds are depleted or until the termination of this MOU, whichever occurs first. The Mohave County Attorney will then close the Utility Account and return any remaining funds to the Commission.

IV. Modification or Termination of this MOU

1. Effective date of MOU: This MOU becomes effective seven (7) days after signature by both parties.

2. Modifications to MOU: In addition, either party to this MOU may request modifications to this MOU. Such requests will be discussed and negotiated between the parties in good faith. Any such modifications to this MOU will be in writing and signed by both parties.

3. Termination of MOU: This MOU automatically terminates three (3) years from its effective date. It may be renegotiated at that time or it may be extended by an addendum signed by both
parties. In addition, either party may terminate this MOU, but must give the other party written notice at least thirty (30) days prior to the effective date for the termination and a reason for the termination.

Date:____________________

WILLIAM J. EKSTROM, JR.
County Attorney
Mohave County
Kingman, Arizona

By direction of the Commission.

JODIE BERNSTEIN
Director
Bureau of Consumer Protection
Federal Trade Commission
Washington, D.C.