Oak Lodge Water & Sewer District Consolidation
Oak Lodge Water District and Oak Lodge Sanitary District are two independent utilities serving 30,000 residents in a suburb of Portland, Oregon. The two districts have parallel missions, their service areas coincide and their headquarters are just 100 yards apart.
When the two district's elected boards of directors began the process of considering consolidation, they engaged Barney & Worth to help them assess the feasibility of a merger and develop a customer engagement strategy to educate voters. A financial analysis estimated cost savings of $4.25 million and pointed to opportunities for operational efficiencies.
Under Oregon law, any merger required approval from voters in both districts before the proposed consolidation can take effect. B&W conducted a joint public education campaign to enable citizens to hear more about the benefits of consolidation, ask questions, and express their views. The planned merger was well-received and the measure was approved the districts’ voters with a 73% yes vote.
- Stakeholder interviews
- Joint board meeting facilitation
- Citizen engagement strategy
- Public opinion research including telephone surveys and focus groups
- Education campaign planning and execution
- Voter education materials