Municipal Utilities

ORS 225.020
Ownership and operation of utilities by city within and without city limits


When the power to do so is conferred by or contained in its charter or act of incorporation, any city may build, own, operate and maintain waterworks, water systems, railways and railroads, electric light and power plants, within and without its boundaries for the benefit and use of its inhabitants and for profit. To that end it may:


Acquire water systems and use, sell and dispose of its water for domestic, recreational, industrial, and public use and for irrigation and other purposes within and without its boundaries.


Build, acquire, own and operate railways operated by steam, electric or other power within and without its boundaries and running from such city to other towns, cities and points without its boundaries.


Acquire right of way, easements or real property within and without its boundaries for any such purpose.


In exercising such powers, any city may bring actions for the condemnation or taking of private property for public use in the same manner as private corporations are now authorized or permitted by law to do. [Amended by 1967 c.306 §1]

Notes of Decisions

This statute and ORS 225.030 should be construed together. Bell v. City of Corvallis, 25 Or App 821, 551 P2d 125 (1976)

The words "and for profit" should be taken as a broadening of a city's authority to facilitate the furnishing of water to outside areas. Bell v. City of Corvallis, 25 Or App 821, 551 P2d 125 (1976)

City's purchase of water company whose facilities and service area were adjacent to but outside city limits was valid where authorized by city charter pursuant to this section. Kassel v. City of Salem, 34 Or App 739, 579 P2d 874 (1978)

Atty. Gen. Opinions

Municipal ownership and purchase of a franchised utility, (1973) Vol 36, p 521

Law Review Citations

54 OLR 546 (1975)


Last accessed
Jun. 26, 2021