Application for exclusive service territory
(1) A water utility may apply to the Public Utility Commission for an order designating an exclusive service territory for the water utility. The commission may designate as an exclusive service territory any area that on the date of application is being served in an adequate manner by the applicant and is not being served by any other water provider.
(2) In addition to the area described in subsection (1) of this section, a private water utility may apply for inclusion in an exclusive service territory designated for the private water utility any area adjacent to the area described in subsection (1) of this section if:
(a) The applicant plans to extend service to the adjacent area in the six months immediately following the date of the application;
(b) The adjacent area is not being served by any other water provider; and
(c) The applicant demonstrates that it is more economical and feasible to provide services to the adjacent area by an extension of the applicant’s existing facilities than by an extension of the facilities of another water provider or community water supply system.
(3) An application under this section shall be made on forms provided by the commission and shall contain all information required by commission rule.
(4) Within 30 days after the filing of an application under this section, the commission shall give notice of the filing:
(a) By publication at least once weekly for two consecutive weeks in a newspaper or newspapers of general circulation in the area described in the application; and
(b) By written notice of the application to all other water providers in the areas adjacent to the area described in the application.
(5) The commission may, on its own motion, hold a hearing on the application. The commission shall hold a hearing on the application if a customer of the water utility requests a hearing on the application within 30 days after the final publication of notice in the manner required by subsection (4) of this section. If a hearing is scheduled, the commission shall give notice of the time and place of the hearing in the manner provided by subsection (4) of this section for notice of the filing of an application. If the hearing is held by reason of a customer’s request, the commission shall give notice of the hearing within 30 days after the request is received by the commission. The hearing shall be held at a place within or conveniently accessible to the area described in the application.
(6) The commission may make such investigations relating to an application under this section as the commission deems proper, including physical examination and evaluation of the facilities and systems of the applicant, estimates of their operating costs and revenues, and studies of such other information as the commission deems relevant.
(7) The commission shall enter an order granting or denying an application for an exclusive service territory under this section. The order must contain findings of fact supporting the order. The commission may grant an application subject to such conditions and limitations as the commission deems appropriate.
(9) If the commission considers competing applications under subsection (2) of this section to extend exclusive service to the same area, there is a disputable presumption that applicants have an equal ability to extend, improve, enlarge, build, operate and maintain existing or proposed facilities. [1999 c.695 §2; 2003 c.202 §4]
Note: See note under 758.300 (Definitions for ORS 758.300 to 758.320).
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