Public Notice: Ballot Title Water Rate Increase for Water System Improvements on the November 2, 2021 Ballot

Notice of Ballot Title Referral by City Commission of the City of Oregon City

Updated Language

Notice is hereby given that the City Recorder of Oregon City has received a proposal from the City Commission of Oregon City to seek voter approval for water rate increase over the 3% Charter limit, set by Section 58 of the Oregon City Charter. The City Recorder has determined that the proposal contains only 1 subject, as required by section 1(2)(d), Article IV of the Oregon Constitution.

Notice is further given that the Oregon City Commission has submitted the following ballot title:

Ballot Title

Caption: Authorizes Temporary Water Rate Increase Above 3% Annual Charter Limit.

Question: May City increase water rates up to an additional 3% annually over limit for six years for water system improvements?

Summary: Oregon City's water system requires significant improvements, as demonstrated by its water master plan. The planned improvements will strengthen the water system and improve its ability to provide safe, reliable water year-round.

The City's goals (which will require additional action by the City Commission):

  • Repair and upgrade the oldest and most likely to fail parts of the system
  • Provide all households reliable water service during the summer months
  • Provide reliable water service to fight wildfires and after storms and earthquakes

Past rate increases have been kept to the 3% Charter limit - but that amount isn't enough to cover water system fixes. The City seeks a balanced approach to fully fund the improvements by minimizing the required rate increase above the Charter limit by borrowing money. This ballot measure would authorize temporary annual water rate increases of up to 3% annually above the Charter limit, for 6 years. For a typical household, in 6 years the monthly water rate would increase $5.63 under the Charter limit and an additional $6.56 if the measure is fully implemented.

Notice is further given that any elector of Oregon City who believes the proposed measure contains more than one subject or who believes the ballot title is insufficient, not concise, or unfair may file a petition for judicial review under ORS 250.296 with the Clackamas County Circuit Court no later than 5 pm, August 17, 2021, which is seven business days after this notice. Notification must also be given to the City Elections Officer the same day of filing with the Circuit Court. The Agenda Packet containing the staff report that was approved by the City Commission is available on the City's website or by contacting the City Recorder at 503-496-1505.

Jakob Wiley,
Oregon City Recorder and Acting Elections Officer

Supporting Documents