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News Release
Commission Sets Date to Terminate Vista Dale Water System Service
January 9, 2002 ( 2002 - 001 ) ( UP 183 )
Contacts:  Roy Hemmingway, Chairman, 503 378-6611; Joan H. Smith, Commissioner, 503 378-6611; Lee Beyer, Commissioner, 503 378-6611; Bob Valdez, Public Information Officer, 503 378-8962;
Salem, OR – The Oregon Public Utility Commission has approved the Vista Dale Water System’s application to terminate service to its customers effective September 30, 2003.
The Commission took this action based on public health concerns. The order provides adequate time for the system’s customers to decide on a new long-term source for their water service.
"This is really the only tool the Commission has at its disposal to push toward a resolution of the problem of how best to provide safe drinking water to these customers," Commission Chairman Roy Hemmingway said. "We really would have preferred it had not come to this."
Vista Dale Water system operates on a well system and serves approximately 27 customers. The utility is located within the city boundaries of Junction City in Lane County.
Larry Brown owns the utility. On November 21, 2000, Mr. Brown filed a request with the Commission to terminate Vista Dale service.
The utility has a long history of problems regarding the provision of adequate safe water service.
The Commission sponsored several public meetings to discuss the customers’ future long-term water service.
A report by the Oregon Association of Water Utilities estimated it would cost $136,000 to upgrade or replace the water system with a new well and distribution lines. The per-household cost would be $5,037. A report by the Oregon Health Division said there is no guarantee that a new well can be located within this urban area due to all the necessary setback requirements.
Another option is annexation to Junction City and its water system. Current city annexation policies, however, require bringing the neighborhood up to full city standards, which include sewers and sidewalks, plus a new water system. This option has been estimated to cost approximately $20,000 per lot.
Until the customers can find a long-term provision of water service, Vista Dale Water system will be required to serve the customers and meet all requirements of a public utility until the September 30, 2003, termination date.