Usa Oregon

USA Statutes : oregon
Chapter : Chapter 523 Geothermal Heating Districts
As used in this chapter unless the context
requires otherwise:

(1) “Board” or “board of commissioners” means the governing body of
a district.

(2) “By-product” means any mineral or minerals (exclusive of oil,
hydrocarbon gas, helium or other hydrocarbon substances) which are found
in solution or in association with geothermal resources and which have a
value of less than 75 percent of the value of the geothermal resources or
are not, because of quantity, quality, or technical difficulties in
extraction and production, of sufficient value to warrant extraction and
production by themselves.

(3) “District” means a geothermal heating district formed under
this chapter.

(4) “County” means the county in which the district, or the greater
portion of the taxable assessed value of the district, is located.

(5) “County board” means the county court or board of county
commissioners of the county.

(6) “County clerk” means the county clerk of the county.

(7) “Geothermal heat” means heat derived from geothermal resources.

(8) “Geothermal resources” means the natural heat of the earth, the
energy, in whatever form, below the surface of the earth present in,
resulting from, or created by, or which may be extracted from, the
natural heat, and all minerals in solution or other products obtained
from naturally heated fluids, brines, associated gases, and steam, in
whatever form, found below the surface of the earth, exclusive of oil,
hydrocarbon gas, helium or other hydrocarbon substances, but including,

(a) All products of geothermal processes, embracing indigenous
steam, hot water and hot brines;

(b) Steam and other gases, hot water and hot brines resulting from
water, gas or other fluids artificially introduced into geothermal

(c) Heat or other associated energy found in geothermal formation;

(d) Any by-product derived from them.

(9) “Inhabitant” when used with respect to a district includes a
business located within the district.

(10) “Owner” means the holder of the record title to real property
or the vendee under a land sale contract, if there is such a contract.
[1975 c.782 §1; 1983 c.83 §98]CREATION AND POWERS For the purposes of ORS
523.020 and this section, notwithstanding ORS 523.610 to 523.670,
“board,” as defined in ORS 523.010, includes the governing body of a
city. “District,” as defined in ORS 523.010, includes an incorporated
city. [1977 c.212 §1]Note: 523.015 and 523.020 were enacted into law by the Legislative
Assembly but were not added to or made a part of ORS chapter 523 or any
series therein by legislative action. See Preface to Oregon Revised
Statutes for further explanation. (1) An incorporated
city, when empowered by its charter to do so, may provide geothermal
heating services to persons within and without its boundaries in
accordance with the provisions of ORS chapter 523, where not in conflict
with ORS 523.015 and this section.

(2) The powers conferred by ORS chapter 523 and ORS 523.015 and
this section are in addition to the powers conferred by any other law and
not in substitution for any right, power or privilege vested in a city.
[1977 c.212 §2]Note: See note under 523.015.A geothermal heating district may be
formed for the purpose of supplying inhabitants of the district with
geothermal heat as provided by this chapter. In connection with supplying
geothermal heat, a district may supply, furnish and sell for any use any
surplus geothermal heat over and above the heating needs of its
inhabitants to persons outside the district, or to school districts or
other local governments as defined in ORS 174.116. All railroad rights of
way or improvements thereon or rolling stock moving thereover shall be
excluded from districts organized under ORS 198.010, 198.180, 198.520,
198.710, 199.420, 255.012, 366.321, 451.573 and this chapter and for
purposes of this chapter shall not be considered as property within the
boundaries of such districts, unless the owner of the railroad property
expressly consents to its inclusion. [1975 c.782 §2; 2003 c.802 §128](1) A district formed under this chapter shall have the
power to make contracts, hold and receive and dispose of real and
personal property within and without its described boundaries and do all
other acts and things which may be requisite, necessary or convenient in
carrying out the objects of the district or exercising the powers
conferred upon it by this chapter, sue and be sued, plead and be
impleaded in all actions and suits or other proceedings brought by or
against it.

(2) In an emergency or in order to meet peak demand a district may
supply its inhabitants with heat derived from an energy source other than
from geothermal resources for purposes of supplementing the geothermal
heat supplied by the district.

(3) In addition to any other power of a district, it may apply and
qualify for and receive any private or federal grants, loans or other
funds available for carrying out the objects of the district. [1975 c.782
§3]A geothermal heating district may
purchase, sell and hold interests in water and real property in carrying
out the objects of the district. A district also has the right to
purchase or obtain from cities or other geothermal heating districts,
geothermal heat, or an interest in geothermal heat, or an interest in a
geothermal heat pipeline owned or operated by a city or other geothermal
heating district, or to obtain jointly with a city or other geothermal
heating district, any right, or to lay and own individually or jointly
with any city or other geothermal heating district, any geothermal heat
pipeline for the purposes specified in ORS 523.030. [1975 c.782 §5; 2003
c.802 §129] (1) Districts may enter into
cooperative agreements with each other providing for the joint
acquisition, construction, ownership, use or control of facilities for
the collection, treatment, distribution or supply of geothermal heat.

(2) Each district may issue and sell general obligation, revenue or
refunding bonds, subject to the limitations and procedures contained or
referred to in this chapter for the authorization, issuance or sale of
such bonds, for the purpose of paying its share of the cost of the
acquisition or construction of facilities provided for in cooperative
agreements authorized by this section. [1975 c.782 §18] Any district may
perform drainage work for the purpose of reclaiming real property located
within the district, protecting real or personal property located within
the district from the effects of geothermal heating, promoting
sanitation, providing for the public health, convenience and welfare or
providing services of public utility or benefit. The district may use all
applicable powers granted to it by this chapter, including the rights and
powers of eminent domain, in performing the drainage work authorized by
this section. [1975 c.782 §17]OPERATIONAny district may adopt and promulgate regulations concerning the
use of geothermal heat and the property of the district. The board of
commissioners may refuse to supply any building, place or premises with
geothermal heat where the user fails after 10 days’ written notice to
comply with the regulations. The written notice shall be by registered
mail or by certified mail with return receipt and shall be deemed given
when it is deposited in the United States Post Office properly addressed
with postage prepaid. [1975 c.782 §11; 1991 c.249 §40] Any district may
require a reasonable cash deposit or an irrevocable letter of credit to
insure payment for the use or rent of geothermal heat to be furnished by
the district. [1975 c.782 §12; 1991 c.331 §75] A geothermal heating district
shall charge consumers for the geothermal heat furnished and fix and
collect the rates therefor. Rates charged may be fixed and classified
according to the type of use and according to the amount of geothermal
heat used. Any contract entered into by a district with persons other
than domestic users shall provide for immediate cancellation whenever no
surplus supply of geothermal heat exists over and above any and all
demands of domestic users. A district also may contract with any person
or may enter into an intergovernmental agreement under ORS chapter 190 to
supply, furnish and sell surplus geothermal heat on such terms and
conditions and at such rates as the board of commissioners considers
advisable. [1975 c.782 §13; 2003 c.802 §130] (1) Whenever any increase is
proposed in the existing rates charged geothermal heat consumers by a
district pursuant to ORS 523.130, the board of commissioners shall first
provide for a public hearing on such proposal before any increased rates
are ordered into effect.

(2) The public hearing required under subsection (1) of this
section shall be held at a place designated by the board after notice
thereof has been given by inclusion of a notice of the public hearing in
the geothermal heating bills sent to consumers by the district during the
period of 30 days prior to the date of the hearing. [1975 c.782 §14] In
case prompt payment of geothermal heating rent or charge is not made, a
district may shut off the geothermal heating supply to the building,
place or premises to which the district supplied the geothermal heating.
[1975 c.782 §15]If any person is required by a district to pay the
cost of extending a geothermal heating pipeline adjacent to property
other than the property of the person so that geothermal heating service
is provided for such other property without further extension of the
geothermal heating pipeline, the district shall require the owner of the
other property, prior to providing geothermal heating service to that
property, to refund to the person required to pay the cost of extending
the geothermal heating pipeline, a pro rata portion of the cost of the
extension. The right to require such refund shall not continue for more
than 10 years after the date of installation of the extension of the
geothermal heating pipeline. The amount to be refunded shall be
determined by the district and such determination shall be final. [1975
Whenever the district board considers it necessary, upon its own motion,
or upon the petition of the owners of one-half of the property that
benefits specially from the improvement, to make any improvement to be
paid for in whole or in part by special assessment according to benefits,
the board shall, by motion, cause a survey and written report for such
project to be made and filed with the secretary. Unless the district
board directs otherwise, the report shall contain:

(1) A map or plat showing the general nature, location and extent
of the proposed improvement and the land to be assessed for the payment
of any part of the cost thereof.

(2) Plans, specifications and estimates of the work to be done;
however, where the proposed project is to be carried out in cooperation
with any other governmental agency, the district board may adopt the
plans, specifications and estimates of such agency.

(3) An estimate of the probable cost of the improvement, including
any legal, administrative and engineering costs attributable thereto.

(4) An estimate of the unit cost of the improvement to the
specially benefited properties.

(5) A recommendation as to the method of assessment to be used to
arrive at a fair apportionment of the whole or any portion of the cost of
the improvement to the properties specially benefited.

(6) The description and assessed value of each lot, parcel of land
or portion thereof, to be specially benefited by the improvement, with
the names of the record owners thereof and, when readily available, the
names of the contract purchasers thereof.

(7) A statement of outstanding assessments against property to be
assessed. [1975 c.782 §19] After the
report has been filed with the secretary, the district board may by
motion approve the report, modify the report and approve it as modified,
require additional or different information for the improvement, or it
may abandon the improvement. [1975 c.782 §20]After the district board approves the report as
submitted or modified, the board shall, by resolution, declare its
intention to make the improvement, provide the manner and method of
carrying out the improvement and direct the secretary to give notice of
the improvement. Such notice shall be given by two publications one week
apart in a newspaper of general circulation within the district, and by
mailing copies of the notice by registered or certified mail to the
owners to be assessed for the costs of the improvement. The notice shall
contain the following:

(1) That the report of the improvement is on file in the office of
the secretary and is subject to public examination.

(2) That the district board will hold a public hearing on the
proposed improvement on a specified date, which shall not be earlier than
10 days following the first publication of notice, at which objections
and remonstrances to the improvement will be heard by the board; and that
if prior to such hearing there shall be presented to the secretary valid,
written remonstrances of the owners of two-thirds of the property or
two-thirds of the front footage of the property to be specifically
affected for the improvement, then the improvement will be abandoned for
at least six months, unless the improvement is unanimously declared by
the district board to be needed at once because of an emergency.

(3) A description of the property to be specially benefited by the
improvement, the owners of the property and the estimate of the unit cost
of the improvement to be paid for by special assessments to benefited
properties. [1975 c.782 §21] The board of a
geothermal heating district may provide in the improvement resolution
that the construction work will be done in whole, or in part, by the
district, by a contract or by any other public body as defined in ORS
174.109, or by any combination thereof. [1975 c.782 §22; 2003 c.802 §131](1) At the time of the public hearing on
the proposed improvement, if the written remonstrances represent less
than the amount of property required to defeat the proposed improvement,
if such an improvement is one that can be remonstrated against, then on
the basis of such hearing of written remonstrances and oral objections,
if any, the district board may, by motion, at the time of the hearing or
within 60 days thereafter, order the improvement to be carried out in
accordance with the resolution, or the district board may, on its own
motion, abandon the improvement.

(2) After the public hearing on the proposed improvement and after
the district board has moved to proceed with the improvement, it may pass
an ordinance assessing the various lots, parcels of land or parts
thereof, to be specially benefited with their apportioned share of the
cost of the improvement; but the passage of an assessment ordinance may
be delayed until the contract for the work is let, or until the
improvement is completed and the total cost thereof is determined. [1975
c.782 §23] The district board in adopting a
method of assessment of the costs of the improvement may:

(1) Use any just and reasonable method of determining the extent of
any improvement district consistent with the benefits derived.

(2) Use any method of apportioning the sum to be assessed as is
just and reasonable between the properties determined to be specially

(3) Authorize payment by the district of all, or any part, of the
cost of any such improvement, when in the opinion of the board the
topographical or physical conditions, or unusual or excessive public
travel, or other character of the work involved warrants only a partial
payment or no payment by the benefited property of the costs of the
improvement. [1975 c.782 §24] Any person feeling aggrieved by the
assessments made under an assessment ordinance may, within 20 days after
the passage of the ordinance levying the assessment by the district
board, appeal to the circuit court for the county in which the district
is located. The appeal and the requirements and formalities thereof shall
be heard, governed and determined, and the judgment thereon rendered and
enforced, in the manner provided for appeals from assessments in ORS
223.005 to 223.105 and 223.205 to 223.930. The result of the appeal shall
be a final and conclusive determination of the matter of the assessment,
except with respect to the district right of reassessment provided by ORS
523.360. [1975 c.782 §25]Within 10 days after the ordinance levying assessments is
adopted, the secretary of the district shall send by registered or
certified mail a notice of assessment to the owner of the assessed
property, and shall publish notice of the assessment twice in a newspaper
of general circulation in the district, the first publication of which
shall be made not later than 10 days after the date of the assessment
ordinance. The notice of assessment shall recite the date of the
assessment ordinance and shall state that upon the failure of the owner
of the property assessed to make application to pay the assessment in
installments within 10 days from the date of the first publication of
notice, or upon the failure of the owner to pay the assessment in full
within 30 days after the date of the assessment ordinance, then interest
will commence to run on the assessment and the property assessed will be
subject to foreclosure. The notice shall also set forth a description of
the property assessed, the name of the owner of the property and the
amount of each assessment. [1975 c.782 §26]
After passage of the assessment ordinance by the district board, the
secretary shall enter in the docket of district liens a statement of the
amounts assessed upon each particular lot, parcel of land or portion
thereof, together with a description of the improvement, the name of the
owners and the date of the assessment ordinance. Upon such entry in the
lien docket, the amount so entered shall become a lien upon the
respective lots, parcels of land or portions thereof, which have been
assessed for such improvement. All assessment liens of a district shall
be superior and prior to all other liens or encumbrances on property
insofar as the laws of the state permit. Interest shall be charged at the
rate of six percent per annum until paid on all amounts not paid within
30 days from the date of an assessment ordinance. After expiration of 30
days following the date of an assessment ordinance the district may
proceed to foreclose or enforce collection of the assessment liens in the
amount provided by the general law of the state. However, the district
may, at its option, enter a bid for the property being offered at a
foreclosure sale, which bid shall be prior to all bids except those made
by persons who would be entitled under the laws of the state to redeem
the property. [1975 c.782 §27] Claimed errors in the calculation of
assessments shall be called to the attention of the secretary of the
district, who shall determine whether there has been an error in fact. If
the secretary finds that there has been an error in fact, the secretary
shall recommend to the district board an amendment to the assessment
ordinance to correct the error. Upon enactment of the amendment, the
secretary shall make the necessary correction in the lien docket and send
a correct notice of assessment by registered or certified mail. [1975
c.782 §28] In the
event that an assessment is made before the total cost of the improvement
is ascertained, and if it is found that the amount of the assessment is
insufficient to defray the expenses of the improvement, the district
board may, by motion, declare such deficit and prepare a proposed deficit
assessment. The board shall set a time for a hearing of objections to
such deficit assessment and shall direct the secretary to publish one
notice thereof in a newspaper of general circulation in the district.
After the hearing the board shall make a just and equitable deficit
assessment by ordinance, which shall be entered in the lien docket as
provided by ORS 523.210 to 523.380. Notices of the deficit assessment
shall be published and mailed and the collection of the assessment shall
be made in accordance with ORS 523.280 and 523.290. [1975 c.782 §29] Upon the completion of
the improvement project, if it is found that the assessment previously
levied upon any property is more than sufficient to pay the costs of the
improvements, the district board shall ascertain and declare the amount
of the excess by ordinance. When declared, the excess amounts shall be
entered on the lien docket as a credit upon the appropriate assessment.
If any assessment has been paid, the person who paid it, or the legal
representative of the person, shall be entitled to the repayment of the
rebate credit, or the portion thereof which exceeds the amount unpaid on
the original assessment. [1975 c.782 §30]
The district board may abandon proceedings for an improvement at any time
prior to the final completion of the improvement. If liens have been
assessed upon any property under ORS 523.210 to 523.380, they shall be
canceled, and any payments made on such assessments shall be refunded to
the person paying the same, the assigns or legal representatives of the
person. [1975 c.782 §31]No improvement assessment shall be rendered invalid by reason of a
failure of the improvement report to contain all of the information
required by ORS 523.210, or by reason of a failure to have all of the
information required to be in the improvement resolution, the assessment
ordinance, the lien docket or notices required to be published and
mailed, nor by the failure to list the name of, or mail notice to, the
owner of any property as required by ORS 523.210 to 523.380, or by reason
of any other error, mistake, delay, omission, irregularity or other act,
jurisdiction or otherwise, in any of the proceedings or steps specified,
unless it appears that the assessment is unfair or unjust in its effect
upon the person complaining. The district board may remedy and correct
all such matters by suitable action and proceedings. [1975 c.782 §32] Whenever any assessment, deficit assessment
or reassessment for any improvement which has been made by the district
is set aside, or its enforcement restrained by any court having
jurisdiction thereof, or when the district board is in doubt as to the
validity of an assessment, deficit assessment or reassessment, or any
part thereof, the district board may make a reassessment in the manner
provided by ORS 223.405 to 223.485. [1975 c.782 §33] (1) In case the whole or
any portion of the cost of an improvement is assessed against the
property directly benefited and the owner of the property fails to pay
the amount of the lien, or any portion thereof, or the interest thereon,
when they become due, the board may proceed to foreclose the lien in any
manner provided by law for the collection of liens by municipalities and
may provide by ordinance a general procedure for the collection of liens
in any manner not inconsistent with law.

(2) The provisions of ORS 223.405 to 223.485 relating to
reassessment shall be available to districts where applicable. [1975
c.782 §35]TAXING POWER(1) A district may assess, levy and collect taxes in an
amount each year not to exceed one-fourth of one percent (0.0025) of the
real market value of all taxable property within the limits of the
district, computed in accordance with ORS 308.207. The proceeds of the
tax shall be applied by it in carrying out the objects and purposes of
ORS 523.030 to 523.050 and 523.420 to 523.490 and for the purpose of
financing the employees’ retirement system.

(2) A district may annually also assess, levy and collect a special
tax upon all such property in an amount sufficient to pay the yearly
interest on bonds theretofore issued by the district and then
outstanding, together with any portion of the principal of such bonds
maturing within the year. The special tax shall be applied only in
payment of interest and principal of bonds issued by the district, but
the district may apply any funds it may have toward payment of principal
and interest of any such bonds.

(3) Taxes shall be levied in each year and returned to the county
officer whose duty it is to extend the tax roll by the time required by
law for city taxes to be levied and returned.

(4) Taxes levied by the district shall become payable at the same
time and be collected by the same officer who collects county taxes, and
the proceeds shall be turned over to the district according to law. The
county officer whose duty it is to extend the county levy shall extend
the levy of the district in the same manner as city taxes are extended.

(5) Property is subject to sale for nonpayment of taxes levied by
the district in like manner and with like effect as in the case of county
and state taxes.

(6) For purposes of ad valorem taxation, a boundary change must be
filed in final approved form with the county assessor and the Department
of Revenue as provided in ORS 308.225. [1975 c.782 §10; 1991 c.459 §421;
2001 c.215 §16; subsection (6) of 2001 Edition enacted as 2001 c.138 §40] When an
attempt has been made to organize a district under the provisions of this
chapter and subsequently by a judgment of a court it has been declared
that the organization is invalid, but prior to such judgment the invalid
organization has levied taxes, the funds derived from the levy shall be
disposed of as follows:

(1) If the area embraced in the invalid organization is embraced in
a subsequently created organization composed of unincorporated or
incorporated territory, or combinations thereof, for the purpose of
furnishing geothermal heat to the inhabitants thereof, the custodian of
the taxes collected for the invalid organization shall turn them over to
the subsequent organization to be used only for the purpose of furnishing
geothermal heat to such inhabitants.

(2) If the subsequent organization does not embrace all territory
embraced in the invalid organization, such taxes as have been collected
from the levy upon property in areas not embraced in the subsequent
organization shall be refunded to the payers thereof by the custodian of
the taxes before the balance is turned over to the subsequent

(3) If no such subsequent organization is created to provide
geothermal heat for the inhabitants of such an area, within a period of
two years after the entry of the judgment of invalidation, the taxes
collected shall be refunded by the custodian of them to the taxpayers who
paid them. [1975 c.782 §4; 2003 c.576 §468]BONDS(1) For the purpose of carrying
into effect all or any powers granted by this chapter, the district, when
authorized at any properly called election held for that purpose, may
borrow money and sell and dispose of general obligation bonds. Except as
otherwise provided by this section, the bonds shall never exceed in the
aggregate two and one-half percent of the real market value of all
taxable property within the limits of the district, computed in
accordance with ORS 308.207.

(2) The bonds shall be issued from time to time by the board of
commissioners in behalf of the district as authorized by the voters, and
may be issued in an amount not to exceed one-half of one percent of the
real market value referred to in subsection (1) of this section without
the approval of the electors. The bonds shall mature serially within not
to exceed 30 years from issue date, and shall bear interest not exceeding
seven percent per annum payable semiannually as the board shall
determine. The bonds shall be so conditioned that the district agrees to
pay to the bearer, at a place named, the principal sum of the bonds with
interest at the rate named, payable semiannually in accordance with the
tenor and terms of the interest coupons attached.

(3) If the district has within its corporate limits a population of
300 or over, it may issue bonds in an amount which shall not exceed in
the aggregate 10 percent of the real market value referred to in
subsection (1) of this section.

(4) For the purpose of additionally securing the payment of the
principal and interest on general obligation bonds issued under this
section, the district may, by resolution of its board which shall
constitute part of the contract with the holders of the bonds, pledge all
or any part of the net revenue of its geothermal heating system. The
board may adopt such a resolution without submitting the question of the
pledge to the electors of the district. [1975 c.782 §6; 1977 c.188 §7;
1983 c.347 §29; 1991 c.459 §422; 2001 c.215 §17] In addition to the
authority to issue general obligation bonds, the district, when
authorized at any properly called election, shall have the power to sell
and dispose of revenue bonds, and to pledge as security therefor all or
any part of the unobligated net revenue of the district or system, to
purchase, acquire, lay out, construct, reconstruct, extend, enlarge or
improve a geothermal heating system, for the purpose of obtaining
geothermal heating for the use of consumers, within or without the
boundaries of the district. The revenue bonds shall be issued in the same
manner and form as are general obligation bonds of the district, but they
shall be payable, both as to principal and interest, from revenues only,
as specified by this section. The revenue bond shall not be subject to
the percentage limitation applicable to general obligation bonds and
shall not be a lien upon any of the taxable property within the corporate
limits of such district, but shall be payable solely from such part of
the revenues of the district as remain after payment of obligations
having a priority and of all expenses of operation and maintenance of the
district, including any taxes levied against it. All revenue bonds shall
contain a clause reciting that both the principal and interest are
payable solely from operating revenues of the district remaining after
paying such obligations and expenses. [1975 c.782 §7] Refunding bonds of the same character and
tenor as those replaced thereby may be issued pursuant to a resolution
duly adopted by the board of commissioners without submitting to the
electors the question of authorizing the issuance of such bonds. [1975
c.782 §8] All general obligation and
revenue bonds, including refunding bonds, issued under ORS 523.460 to
523.480 shall be advertised and sold in the manner prescribed in ORS
287.014 to 287.022 for the sale of bonds of cities of this state. [1975
c.782 §9]DISSOLUTION(1) A city may enter into a written agreement with a
geothermal heating district contemplating dissolution undertaking to
assume, in the event of such dissolution, all of the outstanding debts
and obligations of the district and to continue to furnish geothermal
heat to the inhabitants of the dissolving district for domestic and
municipal use for a term therein specified, not to exceed 25 years.
Subject to the provisions of this section, the successor city shall, if
the dissolution is approved, have the powers and assume the
responsibilities of geothermal heating districts under this chapter. Any
person entitled to geothermal heating service within the area of the
dissolved district has the same remedies at law or in equity to enforce
the rights to geothermal heating service as are available to enforce the
right to geothermal heating service within the district.

(2) The successor city or district shall furnish geothermal heat to
persons owning or occupying property within the dissolved district on the
same terms and conditions as in the case of those owning or occupying
property within the city, or elsewhere within the district. If the
district assets and obligations are transferred to a city, the city may
charge a rate for the service that is no more than the rate which is
uniformly applied to all users in similar classifications outside the
city. No such differential rate may be charged, however, unless such a
differential is provided for, and specifically limited, by the terms of
the agreement made prior to the dissolution. Nothing in this section
authorizes a city to levy an ad valorem real property tax on property
outside the city or district.

(3) Any debts or obligations assumed by the successor city by
reason of, or during the period of, its commitment under the agreement
shall bind the city until they are fully paid and discharged. No contract
shall be effective unless all of the terms thereof are reduced to
writing, signed by the entities and filed with the county clerk. [1975
c.782 §47]ADMINISTRATION (1) Except as
otherwise provided by this chapter, the power and authority given to
districts is vested in and shall be exercised by a board of five
commissioners, each of whom shall be an elector registered in the
district. Except as provided by subsection (2) of this section, each
commissioner shall be elected for a term of four years.

(2) Not later than the 40th day after the formation of a district
and the election of the members of the first board, the commissioners
shall meet and organize, first taking and subscribing an oath of office.
The commissioners first elected shall determine by lot the length of term
each shall hold office as follows:

(a) The terms of two commissioners shall expire June 30 next
following the first regular district election; and

(b) The terms of the other three commissioners shall expire June 30
next following the second regular district election.

(3) The board of commissioners shall fill any vacancy on the board
as provided in ORS 198.320. [1975 c.782 §36; 1983 c.83 §99; 1983 c.350
§295] (1) ORS chapter 255 governs the

(a) The nomination and election of commissioners.

(b) The conduct of district elections.

(2) The electors of a district may exercise the powers of the
initiative and referendum regarding a district measure, in accordance
with ORS 255.135 to 255.205. [1983 c.350 §298]
(1) The board of commissioners shall hold meetings at such time and place
within the district as it may determine. The board shall hold at least
one regular meeting in each month on a day to be fixed by it, and may
hold special meetings under such rules as it may make.

(2) The board shall, at the time of its organization, choose from
the commissioners a president, a secretary and a treasurer, who shall
hold their offices until the first regular meeting in January, or until
their successors are elected and qualified. The officers shall have,
respectively, the powers and shall perform the duties usual in such
cases. A majority shall constitute a quorum to do business and, in the
absence of the president, any other member may preside at a meeting.

(3) The board of commissioners may employ engineers,
superintendents, mechanics, clerks or other persons as it may find
requisite, necessary or convenient in carrying on any work of the
district and at a rate of remuneration as it may consider just.

(4) The board may provide life insurance and retirement or pension
plans for employees of a district, if the insurer issuing the policy is
licensed to do business in the State of Oregon. [1975 c.782 §39] The board of commissioners at any regular
meeting may call a special election of the electors of the district.
[1975 c.782 §38] (1) The money of a
district shall be deposited in one or more depositories, as defined in
ORS 295.005, to be designated by the board of commissioners. The money
shall be withdrawn or paid out only when previously ordered by vote of
the board, and upon checks signed by the treasurer or such other person
as may be authorized by resolution of the board. Receipts or vouchers,
showing clearly the nature and items covered by each check drawn, shall
be kept on file.

(2) All the proceedings of the board of commissioners shall be
entered at large in a record book. All books, maps, plans, documents,
correspondence, vouchers, reports and other papers and records pertaining
to the business of the district shall be carefully preserved and shall be
open to inspection as public records. [1975 c.782 §41; 2001 c.215 §18] If
a city has been annexed to a district under ORS 198.866 and 198.867 or
joined to a district under ORS 198.910, the city and the district may:

(1) Enter into contracts and agreements to do any act or thing
which either could have done if the annexation had not occurred.

(2) Contract and agree for the collection by the district of any
geothermal heat tax or charge imposed by the city upon geothermal heat
users within the territory of the city, and the district thereupon may
provide for such collection according to its rules and regulations for
the collection of amounts due the district by geothermal heat users,
including but not limited to shutting off the geothermal heat supply for
nonpayment. [1975 c.782 §42; 1983 c.142 §17] (1)
A district may establish an employees’ retirement system. The board of
commissioners may enter into agreements necessary to establish the system
and carry out the plan and may agree to modifications of such agreements
from time to time.

(2) The retirement plan may provide for retirement benefits
measured on the basis of services rendered or to be rendered by an
employee, either before or after the date on which such employee first
becomes a member of the retirement plan. The retirement plan may provide
for a minimum of years of service and a minimum and maximum age of
retirement for the employee. [1975 c.782 §43] The district may budget
and provide for payment into the fund of the retirement plan an amount

(1) To provide on an actuarial reserve basis the amortized level
premium cost of the retirement benefits which, under the provision of the
retirement system, are to be provided by the district to its employees
who attain the retirement age or retire in accordance with the terms of
the retirement plan.

(2) To meet the actuarially computed costs of retirement benefits
measured on the basis of services rendered or to be rendered by an
employee before or after the date on which such employee becomes a member
of the retirement plan. [1975 c.782 §44] The district may
collect, as a contribution from any employee, that percentage of the
salary received by the employee which is necessary to fund on an
actuarial reserve basis the cost of retirement benefits which the
employee is required to provide pursuant to the provisions of a
retirement plan. [1975 c.782 §45] Nothing
in this chapter authorizes the district to budget, provide for payments
or collect contributions to fund retirement benefits for an individual
who is not in the employment of the district at the time of the creation
of a membership status under a retirement plan. [1975 c.782 §46]_______________

CHAPTERS 524 AND 525[Reserved for expansion]

USA Statutes : oregon