2017 ORS 261.253¹
Restriction on public contract imposing unconditional or unlimited financial obligation on electric utility

(1) A public contract entered into by a noninvestor-owned electric utility may not contain a clause or condition that imposes an unconditional and unlimited financial obligation on the electric utility that is party to the contract unless the terms and conditions of the contract are subject to approval and are approved by the electors of the people’s utility district or city that owns the electric utility.

(2) Nothing in subsection (1) of this section is intended to affect provisions of law requiring approval of electors for any particular type of public contract that are in effect on October 15, 1983, or that are later enacted.

(3) Nothing in subsection (1) of this section is intended to conflict with ORS 279C.650 (“Labor dispute” defined) to 279C.670 (Application of ORS 279C.650 to 279C.670).

(4) This section does not apply to a public contract executed in connection with:

(a) The acquisition of renewable energy certificates;

(b) The acquisition, construction, improvement or equipping of, or the financing of any interest in, a renewable energy facility; or

(c) The acquisition or financing of any interest in electrical capacity needed to shape, firm or integrate electricity from a renewable energy facility.

(5) As used in this section:

(a) “Public contract” includes a contract, note, general obligation bond or revenue bond by which the people’s utility district or city or any subdivision of any of them is obligated to pay for or finance the acquisition of goods, services, materials, real property or any interest therein, improvement, betterments or additions from any funds, including receipts from rates or charges assessed to or collected from its customers.

(b) “Unconditional and unlimited financial obligation” means a public contract containing a provision that the people’s utility district or city that is party to the contract is obligated to make payments required by the contract whether or not the project to be undertaken thereunder is undertaken, completed, operable or operating notwithstanding the suspension, interruption, interference, reduction or curtailment of the output or product of the project. [1983 c.811 §1; 2003 c.794 §221; 2003 c.802 §75; 2007 c.301 §37]

Note: 261.253 (Restriction on public contract imposing unconditional or unlimited financial obligation on electric utility) was enacted into law by the Legislative Assembly but was not added to or made a part of ORS chapter 261 or any series therein by legislative action. See Preface to Oregon Revised Statutes for further explanation.

Notes of Decisions

If cities and PUDs otherwise had authority to enter Participants’ Agree­ment with WPPSS, enact­ment of Thermal Power Facilities Act did not supersede or restrict that authority, except for policy against financing an­oth­er participant’s share. DeFazio v. WPPSS, 296 Or 550, 679 P2d 1316 (1984)

Chapter 261

Notes of Decisions

People’s utility district does not possess exclusive right to provide service within boundaries of district. Douglas Electric Cooperative v. Central Lincoln People’s Utility District, 164 Or App 251, 991 P2d 1060 (1999), Sup Ct review denied

Atty. Gen. Opinions

County clerk’s and county governing body’s duty to determine validity of voters’ peti­tion to form people’s utility district, (1980) Vol 40, p 367

Law Review Cita­tions

7 EL 315 (1977); 16 WLR 549 (1979)

1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 261—People’s Utility Districts, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ors261.­html (2017) (last ac­cessed Mar. 30, 2018).
2 Legislative Counsel Committee, Annotations to the Oregon Revised Stat­utes, Cumulative Supplement - 2017, Chapter 261, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ano261.­html (2017) (last ac­cessed Mar. 30, 2018).
3 OregonLaws.org assembles these lists by analyzing references between Sections. Each listed item refers back to the current Section in its own text. The result reveals relationships in the code that may not have otherwise been apparent.