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Authority FAQ

What is a Joint Water & Sanitary Authority? 

It’s a type of “special district” under Oregon Law. A special district is a form of local government. The Board of Directors is seeking to reorganize the District as a Joint Water & Sanitary Authority to provide additional protection for customers’ infrastructure investments. This change would solidify the District’s boundaries. District services (drinking water, wastewater, and watershed protection), functions, rate making, and service areas would not change. 

Why become a Joint Water & Sanitary Authority? 

Reorganizing as an Authority would add greater certainty for planning long-term, and would protect the integrity of the District's infrastructure investments. If the District were to lose customers and assets due to any withdrawal of a portion of the District’s territory, the District's existing bonded debt and the cost of future improvements would be spread over fewer customers, resulting in higher rate increases to the remaining customers.

What would this change mean for customers? 

There would be no operational change. The only change customers will notice is that Oak Lodge Water Services will be referred to as an “Authority” and not a “District”. As a Joint Water & Sanitary Authority, Oak Lodge Water Services would continue to provide the same services to the same areas. Rates would continue to be set by direction of a customer-elected Board, even if part of the service area was later annexed or incorporated into a city.

Will my drinking water change? 

No, your drinking water will continue to come from the Clackamas River. 

How will the public be involved in this process? 

The next step in the process of becoming a Joint Water & Sanitary Authority will be presenting the proposal in Public Hearings before the Clackamas County Board of County Commissioners. When the Public Hearings have been scheduled, the District will mail all customers a letter with the dates. The information will also be posted on the District’s website, Facebook, and Twitter.

How does becoming an Authority effect the customers who only have Oak Lodge water, but sewer is provided by Clackamas County Water Environmental Services (WES)? 

Becoming an Authority will not change who is providing your services. 

Will the boundary change if Oak Lodge Water Services became an Authority? 

The boundary area would stay the same. The District serves mostly unincorporated area in Clackamas County, with some overlap with the cities of Milwaukie and Gladstone.

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