Utilities Commission Decision Process for Designation of Preferred Water Supply Source
Public Outreach Program: At the Utilities Commission meeting on September 18th, designated the mid-Willamette as the Preliminary Preferred Source and initiated a public outreach program from late September through early December. Through several interactive public workshops and other sessions with customers and stakeholders, the Commission will solicit input on questions or concerns that the public may have about the Preliminary Preferred Source, and on the evaluation criteria considered by the Commission. The Commission will also collect and consider any comments submitted through the water supply website.
On January 8, 2013, the Water Department staff will deliver a report to the Commission of the feedback received during the outreach program. The Commission will also hold a public hearing that same evening to receive any input from community members who want to directly address the Commission.
Final Designation of Preferred Source Option: On February 12, 2013, the Commission is scheduled to make a final decision on the Preferred Long Term Water Supply Source. That designation will be included in adoption of the Commission's Water Master Plan Update.
Final Designation of the Preferred Source Option in February will set the course for the following major actions:
- Study of the Preferred Source Option will continue after February. Designation of the Preferred Source will not result in an immediate launching of design and construction. Instead, study will continue, but now focused only on one option instead of on multiple potential supply source options. The continuing study will address concerns raised during the public outreach process, as well as coordination with potential partners on timing of the expansion and related issues. If the study and coordination efforts identify a fatal flaw (reason that the project cannot continue), then the Commission can return for a new consideration of the previously sidelined options.
- Acquisition of right-of-way for transmission pipeline will begin. All of the options require the construction of lengthy transmission pipelines. Purchasing property or easements for a lengthy pipeline alignment can be a challenging and time-consuming process. It is important to begin that process soon to protect access to critical alignment corridors from encroachments by development or other improvements.