(September 28, 2021) – Over the next year, the Oak Lodge Water Services Board of Directors will be working through a public process that may reorganize the District as a Joint Water & Sanitary Authority.
What is a Joint Water & Sanitary Authority?
It’s a type of “special district” under Oregon Law. 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 transition would securely fix the District’s service area boundaries so that customers may continue to receive reliable drinking water, wastewater, and watershed protection services at rates that are based solely on the cost of service and delivered through a utility governed by a board of elected representatives chosen by you. District services, functions, rate making, and service areas would not change.
What would this change mean for customers?
There would be no operational change. As a Joint Water & Sanitary Authority, Oak Lodge Water Services would continue to provide the same services to the same customers. Rates will 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. Local control of Oak Lodge Water Services means that your utility dollars stay in the community, are invested in your infrastructure, and support the local economy.
How will the public be involved in this process?
In September, the city councils of Milwaukie and Gladstone adopted resolutions supporting Oak Lodge Water Services becoming a Joint Water & Sanitary Authority. The next step is presenting the proposal to the Clackamas County Commissioners for consideration. The Board of Directors will keep you informed and let you know when public hearings are scheduled.
What does this mean for employees?
Becoming a Joint Water & Sanitary Authority would protect our service boundaries, infrastructure, and jobs. Reorganization to a Joint Water & Sanitary Authority will not require staff changes.