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     City of Canyonville                                                    City Press Release

250 N Main, Canyonville, OR 97417
                                 Re: Water/Sewer Surcharge
         541-839-4258 or 541-839-4020
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Press Release

PRESS RELEASE

CITY OF CANYONVILLE

MAY 23, 2012

 

The City of Canyonville announces that agreements have been reached with all but one of the users in the non-tax paying rate classification for water and sewer.  In the 1970’s when the City’s water and sewer rate system was established a special classification was made for all non-taxpaying users. Since the infrastructure was being financed 50% from user fees and 50% from taxes, a rate structure was enacted that included double water charges and sewer fees in lieu of taxes for users in the non-taxpaying classification.  Currently, there are 13 users in the non- taxpaying classification consisting of churches, schools and governmental agencies including the City. In response to concerns, the City recently amended its water and sewer ordinances and no longer charges these fees to non-taxpaying users. 

In February of 2012 the Canyonville Christian Academy filed a lawsuit against the City of Canyonville alleging that the water rates and the sewer fees in lieu of taxes charged to users in the non-taxpaying classification were discriminatory.  The challenged rate structure was the same rate system established in the 70’s which had been reviewed by a Federal Agency and the City’s attorney prior to enactment.  The alleged discriminatory charges are no longer imposed by the City on the Plaintiff or any other user. This litigation is pending and negotiations are ongoing between the parties.

Rather than wait for the outcome of the CCA case, the City believed it was in the best interest of all the rate payers to offer a settlement to the other users in the non-taxpaying classification for any potential liability rather than expend the additional funds to settle the issue in court. Therefore, all affected users were offered reimbursement of the disputed charges back to June 15, 2010.

The City’s offer has been accepted in a spirit of community commitment and cooperation by all but one of the affected users. Some of the affected users have chosen to re-gift the money to the City.  Canyonville is grateful for the commitment to the community demonstrated by all involved in reaching these agreements. 

 

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