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Utility to review Gunderman contract

Nov 15, 2012


By Nicole Montesano
Of the News-Register


The McMinnville Water & Light Commission Tuesday will revisit the issue of whether it can strictly enforce its written contract with local farmer Lucien Gunderman or honor changes he says were negotated orally.

Gunderman has sold excess power to Water & Light for a decade, under an agreement he negotiated with former general manager Paul Elias.

But Water & Light’s current general manager, Kem Carr, who toured Gunderman’s hydro project Thursday with some of the commissioners, has raised objections. He says the utility isn’t following the contract as written, and there is nothing on the books about changes.

The commission is slated to meet at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 20, at utility headquarters at 855 N.E. Marsh Lane. The meeting is open to the public.

The commission is also scheduled to:

n Revisit the intergovernmental agreement it has been negotiating with the cities of Carlton, Dayton and Lafayette to pursue water rights on the Willamette River. Carr said he believes it is close to being finalized.

n Vote on a contract with PGE to deliver power to some PGE customers through Mcminnville’s power lines. Carr said the customers are already receiving power, but the utilities don’t have any written agreement.

n Select an engineering firm to design a 36-inch transmission line running from the treatment plant to replace an aging line, if the staff is ready with a recommendation.

n Consider a draft agreement with Gridflex to analyze the city’s water system for hydropower capability, if the staff completes it in time.

n Discuss ways to make the fiber service department financially independent.

n Approve a revision to an amendment to the utility’s contract with the Bonneville Power Administration.

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