EWEB

UO Foundation

The University of Oregon Foundation dropped a bombshell Tuesday when it announced it would not pursue the redevelopment of EWEB's riverfront property in downtown Eugene.

Eugene Water & Electric Board Commissioners chose the UO Foundation last October over two Portland developers to transform the utility's 17-acre diamond in the rough property along the Willamette River. But the Foundation has now backed out, saying the deal is too financially risky.

USGS

Eugene Water and Electric Board is suing the firm that designed and engineered a roll-gate lifting system on the Leaburg Dam. Two of the three gates have failed.

Eugene Master Gardener Plant Sale Sprouting This Saturday

Apr 17, 2015
www.eugenecascadescoast.org

The Lane County Master Gardener Association is holding its annual plant sale Saturday in downtown Eugene. But, organizers are worried the cancelation of the annual Earth Day event might impact turnout.

EWEB

The Eugene Water and Electric Board is hoping to get one of two malfunctioning roll gates on the Leaburg Dam repaired by mid-January.

One of three roll-gates broke down on the 85-year old dam on the McKenzie River in 2012. EWEB has been working on repairs and hopes to have it back in operation in a couple of weeks. Late last month, a 2nd roll-gate malfunctioned. EWEB spokesman Lance Robertson says the utility hasn’t yet determined why.  He says the dam is basically out of commission- with only one gate working.

People text donations, they text votes to reality shows, now they can text a power outage. In time for winter weather, the Eugene Water and Electric Board has launched a new reporting service.

EWEB spokesman Joe Harwood says when their system was overloaded in February’s snowstorm, they started working on a solution. During that storm they also had to educate some younger customers who didn’t know they had to tell EWEB when their power was out:

Several areas in Eugene were without power for about two hours Saturday afternoon. The outages started just before three p.m., affecting several thousand Eugene Water and Electric Board customers and a University of Oregon basketball game.

Four substations malfunctioned, taking out power to the U of O campus, and Whiteaker and Coburg Road neighborhoods. Traffic signals went dark during the outage and the second half of the women’s basketball game was delayed by over an hour while waiting for the power to come back on.

EWEB

The Eugene Water and Electric Board will host the construction and utilities career fair Thursday for Lane County high school students. 

More than 500 Lane County high school students will have the opportunity to work in construction, utility trade and road maintenance for a day. Joe Harwood, spokesman for EWEB says the idea is to inspire young people to pursue this kind of career.

UO Foundation

Eugene Water and Electric has chosen the University of Oregon Foundation as developer of its property along the Willamette River. EWEB Commissioners made the selection from three candidates at their Tuesday meeting.

The vote was 4 to 0. Joe Harwood is spokesman for EWEB. He says commissioners felt the U of O Foundation has a long term commitment to the community.

EWEB Closes Reservoir For Days Surrounding July 4

Jun 25, 2014

The Eugene Water and Electric Board will lock the gates to the College Hill Reservoir on Friday to protect the surface from firework damage. The reservoir is usually open to the public but EWEB began restricting access during the fourth of July. In 2010, 2011, and 2012 the facility sustained damages to the rubber surface during the holiday week.

Joe Harwood, a spokesman from EWEB says damage to the surface of the reservoir could result in contamination.

Desmond O'Boyle

Solar powered cars? There may be problems driving at night, but during a perfectly sunny day in Eugene Saturday, middle school-ers tried their models out during the annual Solar Challenge.

The competition held at Cal Young Middle School, is sponsored by the Eugene Water and Electric Board and featured about 250 students. Cars were entered into four categories: Speed racing, a hill climb, and art and science concept cars. Tim Whitley is EWEB's grant coordinator. He says the project increases awareness of alternative energy and gives kids a hands-on opportunity.

EWEB

Four groups have expressed interest in developing a 27-acre tract along the Willamette River in Eugene. Eugene Water and Electric Board envisions a vibrant, mixed-use "people place" at their Riverfront site.

EWEB has moved most of its operations to West Eugene and has been working for years on a vision for the property along the Willamette River.  Jeanine Parisi is Community Relations Coordinator at EWEB. She says choosing a developer is a key step in transforming the riverfront from an industrial site to something else.

EmX Pre-Construction Begins In May

Apr 27, 2014
ltd.org

Pre-Construction activities are scheduled to begin in May for the West Eugene Em-X transit project.

wikepedia

For decades, the government has relied on regulations to protect water quality. But what if cities tried something other than simply telling people what they can -- and cannot -- do?

What if cities actually rewarded people for managing their land in ways that keep rivers cool and clean?

Two Oregon cities are trying this approach.

Marilyn Cross lives alongside the McKenzie River. It’s home to salmon and steelhead and the source of drinking water for the downstream city of Eugene.

Eugene Celebrates A Windy Earth Day

Apr 19, 2014
Desmond O'Boyle

Despite rainy and windy conditions, hundreds of people celebrated Earth Day Saturday in the Eugene Water and Electric Board's downtown parking lot. The wind seemed to be more of a factor than the rain. Elizabeth Brown is with the organization "Our Children's Trust" who operated a booth at Earth Day. She says they tied their booth next to two adjacent ones.

USGS

The Eugene Water and Electric Board hopes to start repairing Leaburg Dam as soon as May. The cost to fix the 83-year-old structure on the McKenzie River is projected to be $2.8 million. That's about twice the previous estimate.

The motor in one of the dam's three roll gates failed in 2012. The gate has been in the down position ever since.  The roll-gates regulate how much water flows through the dam, which generates power for about 10-thousand homes. Joe Harwood is spokesman for EWEB. He says it's not surprising the first cost estimate of $1.2 million was off.

EWEB Facebook page

Thousands of Oregonians were still without power Monday morning after Saturday's ice storm. Crews from local utilities have been working long hours to restore it but for a few people the wait may go into tomorrow.

As of Monday morning about 14 hundred Eugene Water & Electric customers were without power.  EWEB's Joe Harwood estimates Saturday morning about 6 thousand had their power out. Harwood says Saturday's ice storm was unprecedented:

KMTR News, Eugene

Following last week's snow and freezing rain Saturday, utility companies have been dealing with power outages throughout the South Willamette Valley.

According to the Eugene Water and Electric Board, thousands of customers are without power particularly in the South hills, the Laurel Hill Valley, and a portion of southwest Eugene. EWEB Spokesman Joe Harwood says crews have been working through night.

Harwood: "It's one of those things where we take two steps forward and three steps back."

Harwood says multiple crews worked until around 3 AM trying to restore power.

EWEB Has Some Tips To Keep Your Pipes From Freezing

Feb 7, 2014

The last winter storm in December left hundreds of Eugene residents with frozen or burst pipes. That means more work for plumbers and utility workers, but the costs can be expensive for homeowners or renters. Joe Harwood is the Communications Coordinator for the Eugene Water and Electric Board. He has some tips for keeping your pipes from freezing.

Record Lows Will Mean Higher Utility Bills

Dec 15, 2013
NWCU.com

Last week's record lows will mean higher-than-normal utility bills for Eugene Water and Electric Board customers. The cold also wreaked havoc on plumbing for many residents.

EWEB Public Affairs Manager Lance Robertson says between 70 to 80 percent of homes in the area are heated by electricity. He says EWEB noticed a 30% increase over a five day period compared to average usage.

Robertson: "Whenever temperatures drop to a really extreme temperature, people are going to use more electricity no matter how much insulation they have in their house."

Drill to Prevent Further Worse Spills

Nov 13, 2013

Members of the Army Corps of Engineers and EWEB worked together Wednesday in an oil spill response drill at Dexter Dam. The scenario depicted the failure of the dam’s powerhouse transformer, causing 58-hundred gallons of insulating oil to spill into the Middle Fork Willamette River. EWEB and the engineers were joined by fire departments and response teams from the surrounding towns and counties. EWEB spokesman Joe Harwood says the main goal of the exercise was to be prepared ahead of time.

EWEB Proposes Rate Increases

Nov 5, 2013

Come February, Eugene Water and Electric Board customers will be paying more for their utilities, if the board approves proposed rate increases.

EWEB’s management has recommended increases of 4.5% for electricity and 3% for water. For a single-family home, that’s about $6 more per month for electricity and $1 more for water. Spokesman Joe Harwood explains one reason for the rate hike:

Harwood: “EWEB continues to face diminishing revenues due to the continuing low prices that we receive for selling surplus power to other utilities.”

EWEB Approves Voluntary Smart Meters

Oct 2, 2013

After a crowded public hearing, the Eugene Water and Electric Board voted to install smart meters only for customers who request it. A number of people spoke in opposition to the wireless meters citing health concerns. EWEB spokesman Joe Harwood says there is no risk.

Harwood: “I’m frankly speechless. I don’t know how to respond to people that think that radio waves are going to somehow cause a health effect. It’s patently ridiculous.”

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