GENERAL INFORMATION: 503-823-4000
The term "public utility" as used in this Charter shall be deemed to include every plant, property or system engaged in the public service within the City or operated as a public utility as such terms are commonly understood. [May 3, 1913, new sec. 60; rev. 1914, sec. 153; 1928 pub., sec. 153; 1942 recod., sec. 10-101.]
The City of Portland shall have the power to construct, condemn, purchase, add to, acquire, maintain, operate and own all or any part of any public utility or any plant or enterprise, for the purpose of serving the City and the people thereof for uses public and private. Such power may be exercised in any lawful manner and shall include the power to purchase, condemn or otherwise acquire any franchise heretofore granted to operate a public utility. [May 3, 1913, new sec. 58; rev. 1914, sec. 151; 1928 pub., sec. 151; 1942 recod., sec. 10-102.]
The City shall have the power to construct and acquire in any legal way and to maintain and operate works, plants and facilities for the purpose of doing any and all municipal work by direct employment of labor under the supervision of the City, and may use such works, plants and facilities, and the product thereof, for the purpose of doing municipal work of all kinds, and shall have the power to sell such product for use in the construction of municipal improvements of all kinds. It shall have power to provide payment for the whole or any part of local improvements constructed or done by the City directly under the provisions of this Section by assessment against the property benefited thereby.
Funds for the carrying out of this Section may be provided by issuing bonds as provided in Section 7-201 of this Charter or by the use of any moneys in the General Fund at the end of the fiscal year. [May 3, 1913, new sec. 59; rev. 1914, sec. 152; 1928 pub., sec. 152; 1942 recod., sec. 10-103.)
No indebtedness shall be incurred for the acquisition of any public utility under the provisions of this Charter, which, together with the existing bonded indebtedness of the City, shall exceed at any one time seven percent of the assessed value of all real and personal property in the City, but in estimating such bonded indebtedness, all bonds given for the acquisition or construction of public properties and utilities the interest on which bonds is paid out of the earnings of said public utilities or properties, shall be excluded; provided, that whenever and for so long as such utility or undertaking fails to produce a sufficient revenue to pay all costs of operation and administration (including interest on the City bonds issued therefor and the cost of insurance against loss by fire, accidents, and injuries to persons), and an annual amount sufficient to pay at or before maturity all bonds issued on account of said undertaking, all such bonds outstanding shall be included in determining the limitation of the City's power to incur indebtedness, unless the principal and interest thereof be payable exclusively from the receipts of such undertaking. The City officer responsible for accounting shall annually report to the Council, in detail, the amount of revenue from each such undertaking, and whether there is any, and if so, what, deficit in meeting the requirements above set forth. [Ch. 1903, sec. 88; rev. 1914, sec. 160; 1928 pub., sec. 160; 1942 recod., sec. 10-105; rev. Nov. 8, 1966; am. May 20, 1986.]
The Council shall have general supervision and power of regulation of all public utilities within the City of Portland, and of all persons and corporations engaged in the operation thereof. [May 3, 1913, part of new sec. 61; rev. 1914, sec. 154; 1928 pub., sec. 154; 1942 recod., sec. 10-106; rev. Nov. 8, 1966.]
The Council shall have the power to investigate from time to time, and whenever they shall deem that the public service, health or welfare require it, the affairs, business and property of any public utility within the City. For that purpose they shall have the right to compel the attendance of witnesses and the production of books, papers and records, and of entry in person or by authorized agent upon any premises or places of any person or corporation engaged in the operation of a public utility. They shall have the power to control, regulate and order such changes, improvements, extensions, additional facilities, appliances or equipment in or upon the plant and property of any person or corporation operating public utilities within the City as may be deemed necessary to promote the public interest, convenience or safety, and to protect its employees in the construction, maintenance or operation of any such public utilities.
Every charge, rate, fare or compensation made, charged or demanded by any person or corporation engaged in the operation of a public utility within the City of Portland for any service rendered or to be rendered shall be just, fair and reasonable. The Council shall have the power to hear and determine what are just, fair and reasonable rates, fares and charges and to fix and limit such rates, fares and charges and for that purpose may make valuations of the property of any person or corporation engaged in the operation of a public utility within the City. To that end they shall make and enforce regulations providing that at the time of construction or acquisition of any plant or property rendering a public service and of any improvement or additions thereto the person or corporation having charge thereof shall record with the City Officer responsible for accounting a description of all property which such person or corporation shall intend to present for such valuation and all later improvements when made, together with full information as to the cost thereof and vouchers supporting the same, to the end that a complete record of all property to be valued under this Section shall be at all times available. [May 3, 1913, new sec. 62; rev. 1914, sec. 156; 1928 pub., sec. 156; 1942 recod., sec. 10-107; rev. Nov. 8, 1966; am. May 20, 1986.]
Every person or corporation operating a public utility within the City rendering service to be paid for wholly or in part by the users of such service shall keep full and correct books and accounts and make stated quarterly reports in writing to the Council, verified by such person or an officer of the corporation, which shall contain an accurate statement in summarized form as well as in detail of all receipts from all sources and all expenditures for all purposes together with a full statement of all assets and debts including stock and bond issues as well as such other information as to the cost and profits of said service, and the financial condition of such grantee as the Council may require. Such reports shall be public and a summary thereof shall be printed as a part of the City's annual financial report, and the Council may inspect or examine, or cause to be inspected or examined, at all reasonable hours, any and all books of account and vouchers of such grantee.
Such books of account shall be kept and reports made in accordance with forms and methods prescribed by the Council and so far as practicable shall be uniform for all grantees and holders of franchises, and shall, except for important and necessary changes, conform to such reports as are required by state or federal public utility commissions.
[May 3, 1913, new sec. 63; rev. 1914, sec. 157; 1928 pub., sec. 157; 1942 recod., sec. 10-108; rev. Nov. 8, 1966; am. May 20, 1986.]
The Council shall have power to make all orders, rules and regulations necessary or appropriate to carry into effect the powers granted and to make the same effective by penalties and forfeitures, and upon failure by any franchise holder to comply with any of the requirements of Section 10-107, 10-216, 10-213 or 10-214 of this Charter for a period of thirty (30) days after notice, the Council shall have power to declare by ordinance a forfeiture of the franchise under which any person or corporation so failing to comply is operating a public utility within the City of Portland.
Every such order, rule or regulation of the Council shall take effect at a time to be therein specified, and shall continue in force until modified or abrogated by the Council or modified, suspended or set aside by the decree or judgment of a court of competent jurisdiction.
Whenever any person or corporation against whom any rule, order or regulation is directed, as provided by the foregoing subdivision shall believe an order to be unjust or unreasonable, such person or corporation may test its justice or reasonableness by a proper action in the courts commenced within thirty (30) days after service of any such order, rule or regulation, and in such action such further order may be entered in the premises as shall be warranted by the facts developed upon the trial and the law applicable thereto. [May 3, 1913, new sec. 64; rev. 1914, sec. 158; 1928 pub., sec. 158; 1942 recod., sec. 10-109; rev. Nov. 8, 1966.]
All ferries now or hereafter owned or leased, and all bridges together with approaches and terminals, heretofore erected or leased, or hereafter to be erected or leased, by the City of Portland across the Willamette River shall be operated by the county of Multnomah, as now provided by law, or as may hereafter be provided by law at the expense of said county of Multnomah. No exclusive franchise or privilege shall be granted to any person, firm or corporation, for the use of the whole or any part of such bridges, approaches or terminals. All privileges or franchises that may be granted by the City of Portland for the use of the whole or any part of such bridges, approaches or terminals shall be for a term not exceeding twenty-five (25) years, and the compensation to be paid the City by any person, firm or corporation desiring to use such bridges for the operation of cars thereover, shall be not less than three cents ($.03) per car for each and every car that crosses such bridges in each direction. Said rental shall be paid at the end of each calendar month to the City Treasurer. The Council shall specifically reserve in any franchise granted over any of said bridges the right to reasonably regulate the number and routing of cars across any such bridges. [Nov. 2, 1912, new sec. 118-3/4; rev. 1914, sec. 184; 1928 pub., sec. 184; 1942 recod., sec. 10-110; rev. Nov. 8, 1966.]