Support Local Journalism!        

Link to Owner Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr.



Now that Clackamas County has approved transition of special district, voters to weigh in on board members

Registered voters will have the opportunity to elect the governing body of the Oak Lodge Water Services Authority at an Aug. 23 special election.COURTESY PHOTO: ALEXA MORRIS - Oak Lodge Water Services employee Lara Christensen works on watershed-protection efforts.COURTESY PHOTO: ALEXA MORRIS - Oak Lodge Water Services employees Abe Merritt, left, and Doug Woods clean out wastewater systems.

As expected on May 5, the Board of County Commissioners held a final hearing to approve OLWS's transition from a district to an authority, which will solidify OLWS's perpetual boundaries for providing sewer and drinking-water services for the unincorporated area between Milwaukie and Gladstone. Officials say that keeping OLWS boundaries in place forever will ensure that customers continue to receive water services at rates that are based solely on their cost, rather than being siphoned off into other functions of a city as the urban area eventually incorporates into its own municipality or is annexed into nearby cities.

"We're pleased to be able to provide the benefit of increased security and stability for our customers through this process," said OLWS Board President Susan Keil. COURTESY PHOTO: ALEXA MORRIS - Oak Lodge Water Services' Water Reclamation Facility is located in the unincorporated area between Milwaukie and Gladstone.

OLWS's Board has been seeking to reorganize OLWS as a joint water and sanitary-service authority since 2020, when Metro funded a study that concluded that it is "financially feasible" to for the Oak Lodge area to annex into the city of Milwaukie or incorporate a new city.

OLWS Outreach & Communications Specialist Alexa Morris said now that the county has approved the process for creating the authority, Metro and the Oregon Department of Revenue only have "ministerial roles" in completing their review.

"The county will be notifying the Department of Revenue of the new authority formation sometime before June 4," Morris said. "Metro will likely conduct its administrative review in July. The county will be publishing notice of the special election in mid-May."

For questions on the authority, call 503-353-4219 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.

Have a thought or opinion on the news of the day? Get on your soapbox and share your opinions with the world. Send us a Letter to the Editor!

Go to top