EWEB 2023 year in review
In 2023, EWEB invested in our community with grants, rebates and an array of other programs and measures aimed at fulfiling our core values of safety, reliability, affordability, environmental responsibility and community/culture.Find Out More
EWEB Recognized with Excellence in Communications Awards from American Public Power Association
We are proud to have been recognized with two Excellence in Public Power Communications Awards for 2023 from the American Public Power Association (APPA).Find Out More
Let's talk turkey. If a disaster strikes, is your family ready?
Many of us avoid discussing politics over the dinner table in the spirit of family peace and harmony. But here's a topic that can bring everyone together: emergency preparedness.Find Out More
EWEB To Hold First of Two Public Hearings on Proposed 2024 Budget and Prices
At the Nov. 7 Board of Commissioners meeting, EWEB staff will present a proposed budget that includes rate increases necessary to support utility operations and make needed infrastructure investments.Find Out More
Public Power Week Poster Contest Winners 2023
The results are in! View the winning posters from EWEB's 2023 Public Power Week Poster Contest.Find Out More
EWEB lead annual "Spill Drill"
EWEB coordinates drill as part of protecting Eugene’s drinking waterFind Out More
As prices increase, what can you do to take control of monthly utility bills?
EWEB’s Board of Commissioners is considering rate changes in 2024. Here are some ways to save money and manage your bill, and how EWEB can help.Find Out More
Public Power Week Poster Contest 2023
It’s that time of year again! October 1-7 is Public Power Week. To celebrate, EWEB is holding our annual poster contest for fifth graders in our service area. Help us pick the winners.Find Out More
Salmon Return to Finn Rock Reach
Finn Rock Reach and other restoration projects throughout the Middle McKenzie provide conditions to help young fish survive to adulthood.Find Out More
EWEB programs reflect community values
EWEB is here to serve our customer-owners and provides programs that reflect the values of our community.Find Out More
EWEB Prepares for the Annual Observance of "Imagine a Day Without Water"
Water infrastructure is essential, invaluable, and in need of continuous investment. Read how EWEB's Staff and Board of Commissioners are working to safeguard Eugene's water future.Find Out More
Rate Setting Process is Customer Driven and Community Focused
EWEB’s Board of Commissioners is considering rate changes to help maintain reliable utility services and fund critical investments in Eugene’s water and electric infrastructure.Find Out More
National Preparedness Month: Older adults take control in 1, 2, 3
We know older adults can face greater risks when it comes to the extreme weather events and emergencies we face, especially if they are living alone, are low-income, have a disability, depend on electricity for medical needs, or live in rural areas.Find Out More
Women in STEM: EWEB Engineer Laura Ohman's second degree brings a lifetime of benefits
EWEB Engineer Laura Ohman shares how getting her second degree was one of the most difficult and rewarding things she's ever accomplished.Find Out More
Bethel neighbors boost emergency preparedness during Emergency Water Station event
Staff gave out about 300 emergency water containers to enthusiastic community members eager to learn more about the water station.Find Out More
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May 2nd Board meeting report
May 04, 2023 • Rachael McDonald, EWEB Communications
Eugene 4J teacher Tana Shepard thanked EWEB for supporting local schools with Education Grants. She offered some statistics on how EWEB grants have supported the district:
- 3,234 students from 62 classrooms participated in the salmon experience this year.
- Implemented aK-12 food waste collection program this year at 4J schools.
- 1,345 students from 18 classrooms are participating in the EWEB EV Challenge this year.
- Nearly 100 water refill stations were installed in 4J schools during the COVID-19 pandemic, including educational signage that tells where our drinking water comes from, a watershed map and the three-step filtration process.
- Supporting Climate Justice Team at the high schools.
EWEB customers help support education grants – totaling $500,000 annually – for Eugene 4J, Bethel, Springfield, and McKenzie School Districts.
TOPICS AND DECISIONS:
Leaburg Hydroelectric Plant Decommissioning Action Plan Update
EWEB is in the early stages of planning to permanently discontinue electricity generation at the Leaburg Hydroelectric Project, remove Leaburg Dam and restore the McKenzie River to a free-flowing state. Staff gave the Board an update on development of the plan. The final plan will be completed in December 2023. The plan identifies key decision points and milestones in the process. It will be at least 10 years before we see work on the ground towards removing Leaburg Dam.
Annual Strategic Plan Review
General Manager Frank Lawson reviewed EWEB’s strategic plan and proposed some additions. The 10-year plan, first implemented in 2018, calls for EWEB to develop more resilient and sustainable infrastructure, finances, people, and processes. The plan also calls for EWEB to collaborate with customers to mitigate supply volatility and scarcity, improve resiliency to disruptive events, optimize infrastructure investments, and aid in water and electricity supply decisions. Lawson said we’re in the second phase of the plan. The proposed additions include positioning for flexibility by planning for new energy services, and developing a diversity, equity, and inclusion Board policy. The Board plans to revisit the plan at its future meeting in June.
2023 Quarter 1 performance report and Capital Plan Update
Assistant General Manager Rod Price told commissioners 2022 was a great year and that success is continuing this year. EWEB is on track with nearly everything we’re doing. He talked about risk and things to watch, including climate and weather, which affect hydropower generation. Inflation is another concern looking ahead as well as regulatory compliance, service reliability, and workforce resiliency.
Chief Operations Officer Karen Kelly shared an update on EWEB’s capital projects, which include building new drinking water storage tanks and water transmission mains, planning for a second drinking water treatment plant, rebuilding multiple substations, deploying smart meter technology, refurbishing elements of the Carmen Smith hydroelectric project, and replacing outdated technology. While some projects are over budget because of increased costs and workforce challenges, many others are on budget and on time.
Performance Evaluation Process for General Manager
Board members asked for more models to follow for evaluating performance. General Manager Frank Lawson noted that the Board sets the utility’s strategic direction and policies, while the primary means of overseeing ongoing daily operations is through the general manager.
Future Board Agendas:
May 16 Upriver Board Meeting – Commissioners and EWEB staff are planning for the annual upriver board meeting. It will be at 6 p.m. at the McKenzie Fire & Rescue Training Center in Leaburg.
EWEB Assistant General Manager Rod Price: “I’m really pleased EWEB received a first-place award from the 2023 Northwest Public Power Association for Safety. We also heard a few days ago that we won a similar award from the AWWA (American Water Works Association) for first place in safety as a water utility. I think it highlights the importance that we place as an organization on safety and how seriously our employees take it.”
Commissioner Mindy Schlossberg on the Leaburg Decommissioning Action Plan “Be really clear that this is really a plan to create an action plan. Because I think some people might think there’s already an action plan for decommissioning and really this is just beginning to plan for a plan for decommissioning.”
EWEB Generation Manager Lisa Krentz on the Leaburg Decommissioning Action Plan: “It will be at least 10 years before we see work on the ground towards decommissioning Leaburg Dam.”
EWEB General Manager Frank Lawson on workforce challenges: “If you look at really strong organizations, they develop a workforce strategy and I think we as an industry have to look at it that way. It will have to be something we invest in and build a foundation for.”
Commissioner Mindy Schlossberg on the Upriver Board Meeting on May 16: “I’m sure we will have a large turnout at our Upriver Board meeting, and we will hear a lot of questions about Leaburg.”
NEXT REGULAR BOARD MEETING IS JUNE 6
Commissioners hold regularly scheduled public meetings on the first Tuesday of each month, typically starting at 5:30 p.m. Customers are welcome and encouraged to attend.