BEND, OR -- Bend City Councilors will consider at their Wednesday meeting whether to move forward with the sale of Juniper Utility to two local water companies. City Attorney Mary Winters tells KBND News Roats and Avion Water companies approached the city last year about purchasing the system. "Really, the HOAs were quite supportive of that concept. It wasn't the city's idea to sell it to the private utilities. It was the private utilities and, most importantly, the homeowners in that area and the HOAs in that area."
The city acquired the utility 14 years ago, when it was condemned. Winters says the system still needs significant and costly work, and customers now pay a surcharge to help cover extra expenses. "They thought, with the surcharge, it would be a good 30 years before the return on investment, with the estimates of the cost, would be a break-even point. If Council chose, because of concerns from homeowners, to not charge the surcharge, it would be even longer."
If Councilors agree to the sale, it would still have to be approved by the Public Utilities Commission. City Councilor Casey Roats is Vice President of Roats Water; he has recused himself from the issue.