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The EWEB Board of Commissioners meet on the first Tuesday of the month.Find Out More
To maintain the reliability customers have come to know and trust, EWEB must address an aging infrastructure bubble.Find Out More
EWEB General Manager Frank Lawson delivered his annual State of the Utility Address at the March 7 public Board of Commissioners meeting.Find Out More
For the past year, EWEB’s electric division has been preparing for a complete reconstruction of the Currin substation. Quite simply, it’s reached the end of its useful life.Find Out More
Collaborating with the City of Eugene, a Climate Guidebook, and priorities for upriver EWEB customers were the main topics at the Feb. 7 Board of Commissioners meeting. The five-member Board serves without pay and is elected by EWEB customers. Their job is to establish policies and values and set EWEB’s long-term direction. Board meetings are open to the public and include opportunities for public comment.Find Out More
In January, our elected Board of Commissioners approved an agreement for EWEB to make an unprecedented bulk purchase of substation transformers.Find Out More
The Eugene City Council approved the purchase of EWEB's former riverfront headquarters property at a meeting on Jan. 30. The terms of the deal state that the City of Eugene will purchase the 4.4-acre property, which includes two buildings and parking lots, for $12 million.Find Out More
At EWEB, we do what we can to help others in need. That’s been the reality for several of our electric and water crews over the past few weeks as we’ve responded to mutual aid requests for storm response and drinking water restoration, locally, and out of state.Find Out More
After evaluating several proposals and opportunities, EWEB is focusing its negotiations to sell the former riverfront headquarters property to the City of Eugene. The exact terms and details of the deal will be negotiated during the next few weeks.Find Out More
Despite an ice storm and a few windstorms in Eugene and the McKenzie Valley in the past few weeks, EWEB has so far fended off widespread weather-caused power outages – largely because of investments in year-round system maintenance and infrastructure improvements.Find Out More
The EWEB Board of Commissioners started off their first meeting of 2023 by choosing a new board president and vice president.Find Out More
Commissioners unanimously voted to approve a Record of Decision endorsing the General Manager's Recommendation to decommission the Leaburg Hydroelectric Project and approved Resolution 2302 directing the GM to develop a Leaburg Hydroelectric Project Decommissioning Action PlanFind Out More
EWEB is developing a plan to ensure that Eugene has a sufficient supply of reliable, affordable and clean electricity in the decades ahead, and is inviting the community to participate in the process.Find Out More
EWEB has joined 10 other Western utilities are to help ensure clean energy resources will be adequate to serve the growing demand in the region, while also managing costs and maintaining reliability for customers.Find Out More
For their final meeting of 2022, on Dec. 6, the EWEB Board of Commissioners grappled with some major decisions and looked ahead to a new year.Find Out More
October 28, 2022
There’s no obvious right answer to the question of what to do about the Leaburg dam and canal. EWEB’s Board of Commissioners met this week for a work session with staff about the project. EWEB is required by federal regulators to address the structural deficiencies of the Leaburg canal. After initially studying 11 options, staff chose the four most feasible alternatives for comprehensive analysis. The options include full decommissioning, partial decommissioning, full return to service and partial return to service for the hydroelectric dam and canal.
All the choices are costly. Commissioner Sonya Carlson acknowledged that for some ratepayers, any increase in rates will be hard to swallow.
“We don’t have any good choices here. All of these have major cost implications. It’s going to be painful,” Carlson said.
Triple bottom line assessment of alternatives
EWEB staff prepared a triple bottom line assessment of the alternatives that looked at social, environmental and economic factors. For economic factors, we looked at the project cost (including its effect on rates), financing, and other economic issues. Environmental issues include climate, water and air quality, and fish and wildlife. Among the social issues staff analyzed were public safety, recreation, historic preservation, and tribal resources.
EWEB staff also gathered more than 400 public comments which will be presented to the Board next month. And commissioners weighed each alternative based on the triple bottom line values. EWEB Electrical Generation Manager Lisa Krentz told the Board each alternative came out with a net negative score.
“The decision comes down to choosing the least negative and recognizing that there are tradeoffs,” Krentz said. “Now please note that due to our mandate from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, doing nothing is not an option.”
The Board is not rushing this decision
EWEB General Manager Frank Lawson said he appreciates the weight of this decision.
“We want everybody, including the commissioners, to be comfortable and proud of this work. And it’s incredibly complicated and intertwined work,” Lawson said.
Lawson proposed that in December, staff would present a recommendation for a path forward which the Board can consider and share with interested parties including community groups for input. Commissioners decided to postpone their final decision.
“I always have this philosophy of better late than wrong,” said Commissioner John Brown.
Public power means customers have access to local board members who represent them
EWEB is a customer-owned public utility with local control. The EWEB Board of Commissioners is elected by EWEB customers and serves the public without pay. As board members consider the future of the Leaburg canal, they rely on EWEB staff for information, analysis, and recommendations. But ultimately, these public servants will make the choice.
Public comment has helped EWEB understand more about the potential impacts of each alternative.
The next board meeting is Nov. 1.
Transparency is a key part of this process
EWEB is committed to keeping the community informed about the progress and outcome of this decision. That means open access to information and creating opportunities for all members of the community to express their views, needs, concerns and priorities.
In addition to more than 400 public comments that we have received so far, we have hosted several public board meetings and presentations, and we have an extensive website available so that our customers have full and open access to all information.
If you would like to learn more about this project and register your comments, check out eweb.org/LeaburgCanal. From the website, you can also sign-up to receive project updates via email.
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