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Monday, January 3, 2022. Reorganizing as an Authority – Community Conversation

(January 3, 2022) — The Oak Lodge Water Services Board of Directors (Board) is seeking to reorganize the District as a Joint Water & Sanitary Authority. A Joint Water & Sanitary Authority is a type of “special district” under Oregon law that would solidify the OLWS boundary area (Oak Grove, Jennings Lodge, as well as parts of Milwaukie and Gladstone). The change will not affect the services you receive or the rate making process, which will continue to be based on cost-of-service.

Join members of the Board at an upcoming Community Conversation session to learn more.

Attend the virtual session to:

  • Learn what becoming a Joint Water & Sanitary Authority would mean for customers.
  • Ask questions about steps the Board of Directors is taking.
  • Share what’s most important to you.

Registration is required to receive a link and password to attend the session. The Community Conversations will also be recorded and made available on YouTube. If you are unable to attend and would like to receive a link to watch the recordings, email the word “ADD ME” to to receive the link to the recordings as well as updates on the reorganization process.

Use our online form to submit questions about the reorganization:

If you have trouble accessing any of the links or do not have access to the internet, please contact Alexa Morris, Outreach & Communications Specialist, at (503) 353-4219 or by email at


Reorganizing as a Joint Water & Sanitary Authority
Frequently Asked Questions


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.

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.

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