Portland considers giving group access to analyze water, sewer services

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - City commissioners Nick Fish and Steve Novick have sponsored a resolution allowing a consumer group to analyze Portland's water and sewer services.

Thursday's announcement to give the Citizens' Utility Board of Oregon unprecedented access to the Portland Water Bureau and Bureau of Environmental Services comes amid a potential ballot measure that would take the management of water and sewers away from the City Council and give it to an elected board.

Supporters of the ballot measure are motivated by utility rates that have risen sharply since 2000.

The City Council will discuss the matter Wednesday. If approved, the nonprofit would review the bureaus' operations and make recommendations on budgets, capital planning and rate proposals.

Fish says the partnership will lead to better decision-making and be good for ratepayers.

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