At Your Service Since 1889 (1958-1989)

Charting a Legacy of Vision and Progress: Milt McGuire, Alan H. Jones, and McMinnville Water and Light

The achievements and foresight of Milt McGuire and the early Water and Light Commission set the course for future opportunities while at the same time strengthening McMinnville Water and Light to withstand the unknown challenges of the future. With Milt McGuire’s retirement and after a brief consideration, the Water and Light Commission appointed Alan H. Jones as General Manager. Where the Water and Light team of Commissioners, Milt McGuire and a staff of experts built the operational structure, Jones and the McMinnville Water and Light team steered the strategic planning that brought the utility through its next 25 years and its 100-year-milestone.

“Long-range planning, that’s what the utility is about,” said Jones. “You have to make short-range decisions based on what you see in the future, and avoid short-range viewpoints.”

Born in Walla Walla, Washington, in 1923, Jones later attended the Colorado School of Mines and Ripon College, in Wisconsin. He served as a waist gunner in the Army Air Corps during World War II, before joining McMinnville Water and Light in 1949. He brought to the utility an outstanding capacity for long range planning. During his career at McMinnville Water and Light, he was active as chair of the Public Power Council, a board member of the American Public Power Association, a member of the Bonneville Regional Advisory Committee, and president of the Northwest Public Power Association. He also served as chair of the American Public Power Association, chair of the Non Generating Public Utilities, chair of the Northwest Section of the American Water Works Association and chair of the Pacific Northwest Utilities Conference. Jones received the Junior Chamber of Commerce Distinguished Service Award in 1958, the Paul J. Raver Award for community service from the Northwest Public Power Association in 1974, the James D. Donovan Individual Achievement Award from the American Public Power Association in 1979 and the George Warren Fuller Award of the American Water Works Association in 1980. After his retirement, he received the BPA Pioneer Award in 1987 and continued in service on the Board of Directors of the PNUCC.[1]

In 1959, the State of Oregon celebrated its centennial and McMinnville Water and Light contributed to the News Register’s “Centennial Progress Edition”, with a display advertisement titled “As We Pause To Look Back During Oregon’s Centennial Electricity Rushes Ahead Toward Tomorrow!”

Electricity has played an important role in the advancement of mankind, bringing him from the covered wagon to the edge of space in a few short decades. Electricity has multiplied the advantages of living in the 20th century to the point where electric power stands out as the biggest workhorse of our daily living, tackling almost every type of job in science, industry, business, home and farm. For a few cents, electricity does in minutes what used to be a full day’s work. Tomorrow promises even more gigantic strides forward to harness electric power to our needs. We stand ready to bring these advantages to our area at the lowest possible cost as quickly as possible.

The advertisement closed, Your McMinnville Water and Light Department “

At Your Service Since 1889”.[2]

Navigating Change and Growth in the 1960

The 1960s brought The Beatles’ first appearance in America on the Ed Sullivan Show; Harper Lee’s best-selling novel To Kill a Mockingbird; the Vietnam War; social unrest and change; multiple assassinations and man’s first walk on the Moon. Responding to the first census delivered via the US Postal Service, Americans recorded an 18.5 percent growth rate during the decade of the 1950s. Oregon’s population increased by 16.3 percent to 1,768,687 and McMinnville saw growth at 15.4 percent during the 1950s, with a recorded population of 7,565 residents in 1960 compared to 6,635 in 1950. Eyrie Vineyards established roots in Dundee during the 1960s; Evergreen Helicopters landed at the McMinnville Municipal Airport and the Water and Light Commission negotiated a power contract with a new industrial company, Cascade Steel, for a rolling mill located on the north end of town. The increased population and growing industrial presence brought the need for additional housing and a constant demand for water and power.[3]

Because of planning and preparation during previous years, McMinnville Water and Light was in a good position to begin contractual discussions with Grant County PUD relevant to the Priest Rapids Project and its second dam, Wanapum. Located about 18-miles upstream from the Priest Rapids Dam, Wanapum bridged the mid-Columbia between Kittitas and Grant Counties. In May 1958, Jones and the Water and Light Commission discussed the benefits of tapping into the power and reselling it to PGE and PPL, as it had with Priest Rapids Dam. Making a proposal to the Grant County PUD, the Commission outlined a plan similar to the Priest Rapid Dam power contract. McMinnville Water and Light would withdraw power when the community needed it but resell it when the community had an adequate power supply. In June of 1959, the Commission passed and unanimously approved a resolution authorizing the purchase of power from the Wanapum Dam. This and other contracts with the Grant County PUD have saved McMinnville Water and Light customers millions of dollars over the years.[4]

Miss Mina Redmond retired in September of 1962, after close to 40-years’ service as the clerk of the McMinnville Water and Light Commission. Soon after, the Commission elected Mary Koch to be their new Clerk. Born on a homestead in Canora, Saskatchewan, Canada, Mary Koch moved to Oregon with her family in 1923 and to McMinnville in 1928. While still in high school, Mary kept books and collected accounts for her well-known family’s business, City Sanitary Service. Her brothers, Fred and Ezra would later run the business until their retirements. She moved to Seattle after high school graduation, found employment as a secretary for a mission, and worked with underprivileged children there for eight years. In 1941, Milt McGuire asked her if she would consider returning to McMinnville and work for the Water and Light Department as a secretary and billing clerk. She accepted his offer and eventually, along with her other duties, assumed Water and Light’s accounting responsibilities. Over the years, her co-workers and Water and Light customers came to know Mary Koch for her “untiring devotion to her work, the ability to remember and give attention to the endless details involved,” and her incredible sense of humor.[5]

Surviving the Columbus Day Storm and Pioneering Progress

That fall, a storm brewing over the Pacific Ocean became a typhoon called Freda. Eye witnesses saw a greenish colored sky the morning of October 12, 1962 and felt an eerie calm followed by a wallop that people still talk about over 50 years later. By the time she hit land, Freda brought heavy rain, mudslides and sustained winds strong enough to blow over a bronze horse in downtown Portland. That evening and for the next several days, McMinnville residents saw a brief return to candle-lit rooms while they hunkered down inside and listened to battery-operated radios, monitoring the storm. Outside the howling wind destroyed roofs and structures, flinging the debris for miles, and knocking down trees to create a domino effect that brought power lines crashing to the ground with them. The remnant of the typhoon ripped through the community destroying popular structures like the Corral, a drive-in-movie theater that used to sit in the present-day location of the Wilco Farm Store. Years later, some of the downed trees remained with their roots intact at Wortman Park serving as places for children to explore and climb. National Forests in Oregon and Washington lost an estimated 11 to 17 billion board feet of timber – the equivalent of an annual harvest. Remembered today as the Columbus Day Storm and knick-named the Big Blow, it caused 46 deaths and knocked out power for weeks in parts of the region. McMinnville Water and Light customers saw their power restored by the following week; however, the storm damage in areas outside the utility’s service area took much longer to repair and involved utilities working together to restore power. General Manager Jones reported to the Commission that Portland General Electric and West Oregon Electric asked for help from McMinnville Water and Light crews, who went into the former’s service territory to help restore service to their customers. McMinnville Water and Light charged both utilities for labor services.[6]

Besides celebrating its 75th anniversary, McMinnville Water and Light had a very busy year in 1964. The utility negotiated a new power contract, erected a new substation and constructed a new seven-million-gallon service reservoir. Riverman and Sons built the $368,846, pre-stressed, circular, 200-foot-wide by 30-foot-high reservoir with a flat top roof, next to the two existing reservoirs west of town on Fox Ridge. They also added a new 24-inch water line from the service reservoirs, enabling greater capacity for water delivery to consumers in McMinnville.

McMinnville Water and Light employed 32 people and had a total of 2,877 water customers and 4,528 electric customers in 1964. The utility’s rates were Oregon’s lowest. Compared to national averages of .0237 cents and state averages of .0128¢, McMinnville area residents paid only .008 cents per kilowatt-hour. Previously, on April 18, 1963, the Northwest Public Power Association presented a One Cent Power Achievement Award to the City of McMinnville. The award recognized McMinnville Water and Light for attaining an average residential-consumer cost of electricity of one cent or less per kilowatt-hour during 1962.[7]

During its early years, McMinnville gained the nickname “Walnut City” from the walnut orchards that surrounded the community and became a part of the local agricultural heritage. When BPA and McMinnville Water and Light jointly constructed a new substation during 1964, they named it Walnut City in recognition of the tasty hard-shelled nut brought to Oregon by early pioneers. Located near the junction of West Side (now West Second) and Hill roads, the Walnut City Substation boosted McMinnville Water and Light’s capacity to serve the west side of the City.

In May 1964, the Water and Light Commission approved a contract that provided a 0.04 percent entitlement from the Canadian Power Exchange. This agreement came out of the Columbia River Treaty between the United States and Canada, signed in 1961 and ratified in 1964. The Columbia River Treaty required the construction of three storage dams on the Columbia River in Canada (Duncan, Keenleyside, and Mica), which provided regulated stream flow and enabled additional benefits from hydroelectric power production in the United States. The storage capacity of the dams totaled 15.5 million acre feet in Canada and in turn allowed for the later construction of Libby Dam, located on the Kootenai River in northwestern Montana. The treaty also required the United States to deliver to Canada one-half of the energy produced from the Federal Columbia River System and from five non-Federal hydroelectric dams known collectively as the Mid-Columbia projects. The resulting energy delivery became the Canadian Entitlement.[8]

With an eye toward relocating to a larger space for its administrative staff, the Water and Light Commission authorized remodeling of the old Gillam Building, located at First and Baker streets, as the new home of the utility. The building no longer exists today, as the City of McMinnville tore it down to make way for the new Kent Taylor Civic Hall; however, after Water and Light vacated the structure in 1988, it housed the McMinnville Police Department and Municipal Court for several years.

75 Years of Service: McMinnville Water and Light’s Electri-Gift Days Celebration

To celebrate its first 75 years, the Water and Light Commission, consisting of members Mayor L. F. Ramsey, H. A. Taylor, C. L. Davison, Waldo J. Sears and Milo A. Wold, initiated a campaign called “Electri-Gift Days”. When residential customers paid their electric bills, they received an “Electri-Gift Days” certificate for use in purchasing electrical merchandise or services. The primary objective imparted during the celebration by McMinnville Water and Light was “to provide the best possible service at the lowest possible cost to our customers.” Lasting from July to September 1964, the 75th anniversary campaign funneled $25,000 into the business community and it generated $60,617 worth of business for the community. The culmination of the event took place on November 10, 1964, with a banquet celebration held at St. James Church.[9]

Overcoming Adversity and Planning for the Future

In late 1964, a warm air mass brought heavy rains to Oregon after a lengthy period of cold weather, which combined with moist air causing heavy snows. This typical warm rain on snow scenario resulted in flooding of a magnitude not seen since 1862. Remembered as the Christmas Flood of 1964 and rated as the fifth most destructive weather event in Oregon at the time, it destroyed bridges, homes and business, killed livestock and devastated farmland. Flooding from the Willamette River covered 152,789 acres with rainfall totaling 10-20 inches across the western portion of the state. Law enforcement officials and civil defense responders worked together in south central Yamhill County to rescue residents from rapidly rising and overflowing rivers in Willamina and Sheridan, including those confined to a convalescent home. In the northwestern portion of the county, the torrential rains and melting snow washed away a man made, earthen dam on the Nestucca River. Constructed in the 1920s to create a recreational area known as Meadow Lake, the dam’s failure multiplied the devastation to coastal Tillamook County communities like Blaine and Beaver, located downstream. Although McMinnville did not suffer flood damage and property loss like Sheridan and Willamina, the Water and Light Commission faced needed repairs on the Haskins Diversion Dam system and the Link Impounding Dam and Reservoir. In future years, McMinnville Water and Light would also confront ramifications resulting from the Meadow Lake Dam failure.[10]

During the unusually warm summer of 1965, consumption by Water and Light customers drained 2.4-million-gallons of water per day from Link Reservoir, which delayed filling the new service reservoir. Repairs on the diversion dams, damaged by the flood of 1964, were not complete yet and the Commission asked customers to conserve their water usage. Even with the additional seven-million-gallons of water provided by the new service reservoir, McMinnville’s continued population growth during the 1960s mandated an ever-increasing water supply. After extensive investigative research, the Commission purchased 80 acres of land located in the Walker Flats area of the upper Nestucca River, at a cost of $75 per acre. Choosing this site as the location for a future impounding dam and reservoir, the Commission began obtaining water rights for the area and instructed Alan Jones and Mary Koch to pursue funding for the endeavor. The duo spent hours preparing applications for Federal Advanced Planning Funds, available on a loan basis, and writing grant applications to federal agencies, including the Housing and Urban Development Program, requesting matching funds for the future Walker Reservoir’s construction. McMinnville Water and Light matched the funds request with $615,000, raised from timber sales made possible through years of watershed conservation efforts and water and electric sales income.

Remodeling progress on the Gillam Building, and repairs on Link Reservoir and the diversion dams neared completion by September 1965. In October, the Commission received a report that the stream flow and water use had stabilized. With improvements to its service reservoirs, distribution system, the Haskins diversion dam system and Link Impounding Dam and Reservoir, the utility increased water rates based upon the amount of water used, as illustrated in the following table.[11]

  • Up to 500 cubic feet -.40¢ per 100 cubic feet
  • 500 – 1300 cubic feet – .15¢ per 100 cubic feet
  • 1300-5000 – 10¢ per 100 cubic feet
  • 5000-65,000 – 08¢ per 100 cubic feet
  • Over 65,000 – .06¢ per 100 cubic feet

BPA issued a “notice of insufficiency,” in 1966, which meant that within seven years the Columbia River System would not keep up with the region’s electrical demands. Soon after, municipal utilities, public and people’s utility districts, and electric cooperatives in the Northwest region organized the Public Power Council (PPC). Formed in December of 1966 as an arm of the Northwest Public Power Association, the PPC’s mission focused on the preservation and enhancement of benefits from the Federal Columbia River Power System for consumer-owned utilities and it served as a power suppliers’ planning arm to predict the region’s future power requirements. McMinnville Water and Light was especially involved in strategic planning because Alan Jones served as chairman of the PPC for 16 years.[xii]

New Ventures and Growth in McMinnville

In June of 1967, the Commission passed a resolution naming the utility’s future impoundment structure the Milton Hunt McGuire Dam and Reservoir. Soon after, the utility received funding from an Economic Development Administration grant, which finally placed it in the position to construct the new dam and install a new 24-four inch water supply pipeline from Link Reservoir to the City’s service reservoirs. The pipeline ran parallel to the line completed in 1917 and was interconnected at various points, enabling a redundancy and continuity of water flow. If a break happened in the line, repair work could take place by shutting off the broken section while water still flowed toward McMinnville. The Commission awarded the McGuire Dam and Reservoir construction contract to Frank Lyons and Company, of Portland, for the sum of $359,891. Local company C. C. Meisel received the contract for relocating and constructing the Nestucca access road in March of 1968.[xiii]

MIP launched “9 for 69” a very successful campaign that brought several new industrial businesses to McMinnville in 1969, including Consolidated Metal Products, Ore-land Industries, Motor Rim and Wheel, Zieman Manufacturing Company, Skyline Mobile Homes, an expansion of Rex Mobile Homes and Cascade Steel Rolling Mills. From October 1968 through July 1969, the Commission negotiated and eventually authorized a contract with Cascade Steel Rolling Mills (CSRM). Located on the north side of McMinnville, the planned mill would eventually turn recycled metal into high-quality finished steel products and a wide range of hot rolled materials, including rebar. Anticipating CRSM’s demand for enough power to operate its electric arc furnace, McMinnville Water and Light built a new substation, outfitted with two-12-16,000 kV transformers and situated near the mill. CSRM’s commercial contract with McMinnville Water and Light was and remains the utility’s largest. The mill is also the largest consumer of electrical power on the Water and Light grid and its contract with McMinnville Water and Light includes the allocation of CSRM’s own set of electrical rates. By May of 1969, Water and Light crews had nearly completed construction of the new substation.[xiv]

After providing electricity to McMinnville for 56 years (1910-1966), the little Baker Creek Hydroelectric Plant sat idle. During a meeting in early December 1968, the Water and Light Commission discussed the disposition of the old plant and set in motion the legal steps necessary to abandon the water rights on Baker Creek by January of 1971. Directing staff to dismantle the old dam and plant, re-using parts at the utility’s various dam and reservoir sites, the Commission retained the turbine and intake at the historic powerhouse. Receiving the title to the Baker Creek Hydroelectric Plant property, the City of McMinnville donated the 3.9-acre site to Yamhill County, in 1975, for use as a yet-to-be-developed Powerhouse Park, which will celebrate the City’s early power-generating history.[xv]

McMinnville’s 1970s: Population Growth, New Facilities, and Water Purity Advances

The 1970s census showed a population increase of 32.2 percent in McMinnville. Although the increase was roughly half of that seen post World War II, the City’s population exceeded 10,000 for the first time, with a count of 10,125 residents, up from 7,656 in 1960. The decade of the 1970s brought fuel shortages across the United States and America’s departure from Vietnam; Oregonians witnessed an exploding whale in Florence, and Vortex I, a week-long rock festival created at the behest of Governor Tom McCall, which helped show the positive side of the Anti-War Movement and prevent violent protests during President Nixon’s planned visit to Portland.[xvi]

Bad weather conditions slowed down construction on McMinnville Water and Light’s new reservoir in 1969 and 1970; however, in January 1971, utility crews closed the impounding gate enabling the 1.2 billion-gallon reservoir to fill with water. On August 24, 1971, Oregon Senator Mark Hatfield officiated over ceremonies dedicating both the new Milton Hunt McGuire Dam and Reservoir and the new $500,000, 115 kVA Windishar substation, located near CSRM. R. H. (Rudy) Windishar was on hand to witness the proceedings in his honor. Serving as a City Councilman from 1933 – 1939, Windishar became McMinnville’s mayor and served in that capacity until 1951. Previously appointed to the Water and Light Commission by Mayor O. I. Chenowith in 1937, Windishar became an ex-officio member as mayor from 1939 until 1951, when Mayor W. H. Brendrick re-appointed him as a commissioner and he continued serving until 1962. During his years on the Commission, Windishar helped formulate many of the progressive programs that made the municipal utility one of the most outstanding in the nation. Devoted to making McMinnville a great place to live and work, he became president of MIP and served on its board until 1970.[xvii]

Even though McMinnville’s water remained relatively pure, the Commission directed the use of filters at the utility’s service reservoirs and both Link and McGuire Reservoirs to help remove the algae and other biological materials. This worked for a while, but following the enactment of the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act of 1974 and newly mandated clean water standards, the Commission addressed the issue by planning for and constructing a water treatment plant below Link Reservoir. Dedicated as the Mayor Norman R. Scott Water Treatment Plant (WTP), the facility came online in 1977. Designed with future expansion in mind, the WTP received water discharged from the Link Reservoir transmission line and treated the soft bicarbonate liquid from the Oregon Coast Range with chlorine, fluoride and ash. One of McMinnville’s leading citizens and mayor from 1966 to 1979, Norman R. Scott served as a Water and Light Commissioner from 1980 to 1987. He devoted over 20 years to the utility, including his guidance during construction of the water treatment plant, later named for him. He also directed the development of McMinnville’s communications system, served on the Yamhill County Board of Health and as a member of the McMinnville Kiwanis Club for 18 years; on the Salvation Army board for 23 years; as a 48-year member of the McMinnville Elks Lodge and a 50-year member of the Masonic Lodge.[xviii]

With five times the storage capacity of Link Reservoir, the McGuire facilities added another component to the uniqueness of the whole water system, which stems from its shear simplicity. Nestled at 1,893 feet in Oregon Coast Range, the McGuire Impoundment Dam and Reservoir holds billions of gallons of winter water, which would normally flow west via the Nestucca River to the ocean. The impounded water stored in the McGuire Reservoir runs northeast into the Haskins watershed through the Idlewild and Haskins diversion dams to fill Link Reservoir, situated at 814 feet. Gravity delivers the water from Link Reservoir to the Scott Water Treatment Plant. Exiting the WTP, the water flows through water transmission mains, again by gravity, before arriving at the service reservoirs, located west of downtown McMinnville. Finally, gravity delivers the water to the City’s consumers at an elevation of 157 feet. McMinnville’s citizens are very fortunate that the early dreamers and planners looked to the Coast range for the “dependable, supply of good, pure, and wholesome water” and the ingenious use of the gravity delivery system.[xix]

Power Challenges and Legal Battles

As predicted, by the mid-1970s, BPA’s power production fell short of regional demand. The Public Power Council entered into a contract with the Eugene Water and Electric Board (EWEB) and BPA to pay a portion of the PGE-owned Trojan Nuclear Power Plant’s budget. EWEB had already funded 30 percent of Trojan’s construction cost by selling bonds, and McMinnville Water and Light paid a portion of that cost. In return, because BPA got a portion of its power from Trojan, McMinnville Water and Light received a credit on its power bill with BPA.[xx]

By 1975, the Federal Columbia River Hydroelectric System consisted of 14 dams on main tributaries of the Columbia Basin. There are another 46 dams on tributaries of the Columbia River watershed. Today, these 60 dams generate 50 to 65 percent of the region’s electricity. In 1976, when Bonneville gave another notice of insufficiency, McMinnville Water and Light joined the Washington Public Power Supply System (WPPSS) as one of 88 public and private utilities, including EWEB, PGE, and Seattle City Light. The Washington State Legislature authorized the creation of WPPSS, in 1957, as a municipal corporation with same status of other cities and counties. WPPSS planned a massive nuclear power plant construction project at Hanford and other locations in Washington and Oregon.

As the Pacific Northwest region faced predicted power shortages in the late 1970s, Congress became concerned and passed the Pacific Northwest Electric Power Planning and Conservation Act, also known as the Northwest Power Act, in 1980. This act enabled BPA’s acquisition of new assets with which to meet the power demand from the region’s public utilities. Of the five planned plants, three had funding from BPA and two gained funding from member utilities and the sale of bonds. At the time of the WPPSS members’ initial investments, construction estimates for the plants came to $4.5 billion, but by 1981, those figures increased to $23.9 billion. Only one of those plants saw completion, and it came online in the early 1980s.

When consumers realized the cost to produce nuclear power – in the form of increased power bills – they began to conserve energy, which reduced the predicted demand for power. This, in addition to a series of other events faced by WPPSS, including environmental concerns about nuclear power, escalating interest rates, construction delays and cost overruns, caused the organization to cancel the two projects not backed by BPA. Bondholders filed multiple lawsuits against WPPSS (by then nicknamed “whoops”), its member utilities and other entities. The lawsuits claimed fraud and misrepresentation in bond sales and resulted in settlements totaling $753 million, which only amounted to as little as 10 to 40 cents on every invested dollar.[xxi]

McMinnville Water and Light Commission minutes show on-going litigation involving the utility and WPPSS plants 4 and 5 from 1986 through 1988. On September 20, 1988, the Commission received news of a settlement agreement from the Portland law firm representing its interests. Eric Johnson and Ron Bailey of Bullivant, Houser, Bailey, Pendergrass and Hoffman presented a summary of the settlement risks, costs and returns. After a discussion, the Commission voted unanimously to accept the settlement agreement, dated August 22, 1988. Setting forth Resolution 1988-8, it executed the final memorandum of settlement agreements and release of claims relevant to litigation surrounding WPPSS plants 4 and 5. On November 22, it executed Resolution 1988-12 authorizing an agreement amending and supplementing the final memorandum of settlement, thus closing the chapter of the utility’s involvement. It was 1995 before final settlements closed all the other cases. Ironically, with less demand for energy it turned out the BPA had enough power after all.[xxii]

Expansion and Evolution: McMinnville Water and Light in the Late 1970s and 1980s

Mary Koch retired in 1979 and the McMinnville Water and Light Commission elected Delores Land as their Clerk. Known as Dee, she graduated from McMinnville High School and attended Merritt Davis Business College before joining the office staff of McMinnville Water and Light on November 1, 1966. Besides her roles as Office Manager and Clerk of the Commission from 1979 – 1996, she also served as treasurer of McMinnville’s Soroptimist Club from 1987 – 1988 and on the advisory board of Chemeketa Community College. Land later commented, “I feel fortunate to have worked with General Managers Milton McGuire and Alan Jones and Clerk of Commission Mary Koch.”[xxiii]

Closing out the decade of the 1970s, McMinnville Water and Light used “old fashioned” horse power when machinery could not accomplish the task without destruction. The utility needed to install a feeder line between the Windishar Substation and the industrial complex on Orchard Avenue, but a planted field stood in the way and the use of heavy machinery would tear up the field. The innovative answer came from long-time employee, Chuck Kadell, who joined the utility in 1957 and, after working his way up to the position of Electric Superintendent, retired in 1992. Kadell and his draft horses, Rowdy and Porter teamed up to pull the four feeder lines into place, accomplishing the task in a matter of hours.[xxiv]

The 1980 census recorded an increase of 25.9 percent in Oregon’s population during the 1970s. McMinnville saw a greater increase of 39.1 percent, with the resident population growing from 10,125 in 1970 to 14,080 in 1980. National restaurant chains, like Burger King, came to town and local food enterprises, such as KC Flight 97, made their debut. New residences and businesses required water and electricity from McMinnville Water and Light. The municipal utility encouraged its residential customers to participate in a conservation program known as “Super Good Cents”. This program promoted the efficient use of energy and offered weatherization incentives to local residents, including those with low incomes through the Yamhill County Action Partnership (YCAP), a social service organization. Established in 1984 as a short-term marketing program, intended to terminate in 1988, Super Good Cents originated through the Department of Energy and BPA as a means to promote the Model Conservation Standards (MCS) for new residential construction. The Northwest Power Planning Council launched MCS to encourage adherence to cost-effective residential energy savings not addressed with older building standards. The program netted a participation of 113 utilities before it ended and resulted in the Super Good Cents certification of 3,221 homes and 3,005 multi-family units in the region serviced by BPA. McMinnville Water and Light continued its energy conservation efforts, encouraging its customers with cost-saving incentives into the twenty-first century.[xxv]

Advancements and Expansion

In the early 1980s, MIP purchased 72 acres located off Riverside Drive to expand the Industrial Park established there during the 1970s. A $770,000 Federal Economic Development Grant, written by MIP member Chuck Colvin and City Manager Joe Dancer, together with $330,000 in matching funds from MIP, provided the funding to develop expanded infrastructure for the Industrial Park. McMinnville Water and Light provided the power and water setup for the growing complex of commercial manufacturers and industrial enterprises.

An interesting side note is that many MIP members also served as McMinnville Water and Light commissioners. MIP and McMinnville Water and Light are two examples of McMinnville’s business and governing leaders coming together and setting a high bar for the benefit of the community, always looking to the future. Largely because of leadership foresight, McMinnville became attractive to several national retail and restaurant chains during the 1980s, including Wal-Mart and McDonald’s. The success of David Lett and other wine-producing pioneers brought an international reputation to Yamhill County vintners and McMinnville as the heart of Oregon’s wine country, attracting more growers who established vineyards and wineries in the area. Indeed, McMinnville was fortunate with a surge of diversified growth in industrial, agricultural and service businesses during the 1980s, which helped make up for the loss of revenue from a timber industry sidelined with environmental issues.[xxvi]

In 1982, McMinnville Water and Light employed a staff of 60; its main office was located at 130 Baker Street (the site of today’s Kent Taylor Civic Hall), and its warehouse complex was located at 11th between Hembree and Irvine streets. A few years later, after spending substantial time examining different sites, the Water and Light Commission hired McKenzie and Saito for the design of new facilities and Triplett Wellman to construct them on a piece of property located off Riverside Drive near McMinnville’s Industrial Park and overlooking Joe Dancer Park. When complete, the beautifully designed headquarters brought all McMinnville Water and Light staff together at one location. The new facility included offices, a conference room, rest rooms, control rooms and a nicely lit reception area where customers could pay their bills. Also onsite, but separate from the office facilities was a warehouse complex, with offices, room for trucks and a mezzanine area.[xxvii]

McMinnville Water and Light installed a 115-kV-power line from the BPA McMinnville Substation to the Walnut City Substation on McMinnville’s west side in the early 1980s. Later, in June 1984, the Commission awarded RTEI / ASEA the $208,977 contract for a large transformer that became part of the new Booth Bend Substation, located on McMinnville’s south side. Its completion, in late 1985, created a loop of substations around the City: with Windishar at the north end (near CSRM); Walnut City in the west (Second Street); Booth Bend at the south end (on Booth Bend Road); and BPA McMinnville to the east (at Fifth and Oregon streets). This loop enabled the flow of uninterrupted power throughout the City, even if there was a break in the 115-kV lines. Thus, McMinnville Water and Light achieved redundancy in both its water and power systems.[xxviii]

Mayor Ed Gormley’s Influence on McMinnville Water and Light

Ed Gormley became the Mayor of the City of McMinnville in 1985, and by virtue of the position, an ex-officio member of the McMinnville Water and Light Commission. The Commissioners serving with Mayor Gormley included Norman R. Scott, Thomas Gunness, Charles Moore and Gormley’s first appointee, Alan Hay. Gormley’s practice of appointing Commissioners with specialized expertise created a more robust authority that had the ability to question different aspects of not only day-to-day operations, but also capital expansion projects. He was very talented at bringing people to the Commission with just the right skills to guide the utility through the strategic planning, negotiations and management necessary to bring about infrastructure improvements and oversee daily operations. He brought his understanding of water systems and plumbing to the Commission and encouraged the use of best practices in budget forecasting as part of long-term planning. With an increase in federal, regional and state regulations, Gormley was also instrumental in moving the utility from in-house experts to the use of consultants.[xxix]

“The Commission transitioned from using staff to research and navigate regulatory and construction issues to using consultants and contractors to perform the tasks,” said Gormley. It found that subject matter experts understood the hurdles of regulations and environmental concerns. This action helped the utility become more efficient and save money over the long term.”[xxx]

Mason, Bruce and Girard (MBG) began providing the Water and Light Commission periodic comprehensive watershed management reports since the mid-1960s. These reports covered the utility’s forestry activities and the Commission relied on them for making decisions about the sale of watershed timber. Between 1965 and 1985, the utility sold approximately five million board feet annually, with no net loss in timber inventory. On February 18, 1986, upon receiving a report from MBG that indicated a “good competitive market”, the Commission authorized four timber sales, to include the Snap Point, 107 Road, SST #3 Remark and 300 Road locations within the watershed. Water and Light Commission minutes from April 2, 1986 show estimated sales of approximately $900,000 for that year alone.

Transition and Leadership Change

Alan Jones retired effective January 1, 1986 but, following Milt McGuire’s example, he agreed to serve as a consultant to McMinnville Water and Light and remained in that capacity until 1991. Rich Custer served as acting general manager while the Commission conducted a nation-wide search for Jones’ replacement. Receiving 62 applications for the position, the General Manager Search Committee reduced the pool to 10 for further consideration by all members of the Commission. During a special meeting held at Safari Restaurant on April 2, 1986, the Commission reduced the pool to six applicants and set April 18 and 19 for interviews at the Water and Light office. During its next meeting on May 1, the Commission announced its decision to hire Robin Morecroft as the new General Manager for McMinnville Water and Light.

A native of California, Morecroft worked for the Southern California Edison Company before moving to Ohio and working as the manager of the City of Orrville’s Electric Utility. He was active as a board member of American Municipal Power – Ohio, the wholesale supplier to Ohio’s 83 municipal utilities. He also served as a chair of the American Public Power Association (APPA) Generation and Fuels Committee, and as a member of APPA’s Microcomputer and Performance Indicator taskforces.

Protecting Sidalcea Nelsoniana and Securing Water Resources

The Commission met several times in February 1986 to wrestle with issues surrounding a plant species known as sidalcea nelsoniana, or commonly as Nelson’s checkermallow. The plant grew in an area of Walker Creek long planned as the site of a future reservoir. Friends of Walker Creek Wetlands had petitioned the United States Forest Service to list the plant as threatened or endangered. A representative from CH2M hill summarized the approach to the issue, which included preparing either an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) or an Environmental Assessment process before further commitment to the site. After considering the consultant’s advice, the Commission chose to pursue the Walker Creek Project through the EIS process. In the meantime, consultants hired by the Commission flew over various locations searching for areas where the plant grew and discovered 150 specimens growing in a horse field. The consultants also conducted an experiment of planting 1,400 plants in six different watershed locations, which yielded 1,390 plant survivors.[xxxi]

The EIS study on the proposed Walker Creek site continued through 1986, with a study draft finally submitted to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and United States Fish and Wildlife (USFW) in October. The following month, as part of the EIS study, the Commission approved a Memorandum of Understanding with the USACE, the Oregon Department of State Lands, the Oregon Water Resources Department and BLM. In December, the Commission learned that BLM had signed off on the EIS RFP; however, it received bad news from USFW, which indicated that construction of a reservoir at the Walker Creek site would threaten the survival of sidalcea nelsoniana. As a direct result, concerns about water shortages motivated the Commission to place a moratorium on extensions of water to individual properties outside McMinnville’s urban growth boundary while it explored solutions for the City’s future water supply. During a special meeting in March 1987, the Commission reviewed the Water System and Source Alternative Study presented by CH2M Hill. The study addressed water needs, quality, supply options through the year 2020 and the City’s water distribution system. It also presented a review of existing and alternate water source sites.

The Commission decided to continue its mitigation efforts and monitor sidalcea nelsoniana while it examined the near-term option of raising McGuire Dam and the budgetary criteria for water treatment and distribution costs. In May, after a unanimous vote, the Commission authorized staff to proceed with the 1987 – 1988 plant study work and in December, it considered what might happen if Walker Creek became a scenic river. Ultimately, in November 1989 it passed resolution 1989-10, authorizing a land exchange with Willamette Industries. As a result of the exchange, the Commission transferred property outside the physical drainage area of the Haskins Creek Watershed and acquired property within the Nestucca drainage area with the aim of controlling existing water quality and facilitating the future raising of McGuire Dam. Because of its location within the Walker Creek drainage area, the land exchange benefitted from McMinnville’s existing water rights as a potential future water source. The exchanged property in the Meadow Lake and Walker Creek area also included populations of sidalcea nelsoniana, so it was valuable to the Commission for continued mitigation purposes and future development of the McGuire and Walker Creek sites. The property served as a major factor in the development of alternate sites for short and long-term development of McMinnville Water and Light’s water system.[xxxii]

In September 1986, the Commission received a letter from the City of Lafayette requesting to hook into the McMinnville water system. Commission Attorney Dave Haugeberg, working with General Manager Morecroft, examined the legal implications of such a contract between the two cities. The estimated cost for constructing the necessary lines was $80,000. This was the first of many discussions surrounding water resources between McMinnville and Lafayette, which would continue into the next century.

Another Transition: The Harshman era

Robin Morecroft began his duties as general manager on June 16, 1986, but submitted a letter of resignation 18 months later, on November 23, 1987, effective January 8, 1988. Morecroft’s accomplishments while general manager included a recommendation for the purchase of four new micro-computers and acquisition of program software, which led to a transition to a computerized office, with expanded word processing capabilities and financial data management with electronic spreadsheets. Morecroft also proposed that the Commission explore a new technology that allowed for automated meter reading and he was involved in the sidalcea nelsoniana issue of the Walker Creek project.

The Commission appointed Norm Scott as Commissioner of Operations, upon General Manager Morecroft’s resignation, to assist with the transition and day-to-day operations of the utility. It later passed Resolution 1988-3, which named Scott as Acting General Manager and authorized an employment agreement outlining his temporary duties in the role. The search began in late 1987, with the Commission reviewing the general manager’s job description, authorizing advertisements for the position, and discussing its recruitment plan and screening responsibilities. Following a similar process used in the hiring of Robin Morecroft, Commissioners screened the initial applications, paring them down and conducting interviews. The Commission ultimately chose John Harshman as McMinnville Water and Light’s new general manager.

In the meantime, construction work continued on the new facility. Assistant manager Rich Custer set a moving schedule for the office of April 22 and 23, with the control center move scheduled a few days earlier on April 18, 1988. The Commission began the process of advertising the pending move to the new office, informing customers about a new drop box location in which to place their utility payments and naming the access road from Riverside Drive as Marsh Lane, which subsequently became part of the utility’s new address. The name “Marsh Lane” recognized long-time City of McMinnville and Water and Light attorney Eugene Marsh, who worked alongside commissioners, including Walter S. Link, as a driving force in the purchase of McMinnville Water and Light’s watershed lands. Comprising thousands of acres loaded with timber, the watershed is worth millions of dollars today. By pro-actively managing and applying best timber practices, McMinnville Water and Light protected its watershed, keeping the water clean; and raising the funds necessary to offset systems maintenance and upgrade costs through the sale of timber, which helped keep rates low for its consumers. Marsh also served as speaker of the Oregon House of Representatives and as president of the Oregon Senate from 1953 through 1954.[xxxiii]

John Harshman relocated to McMinnville from Alaska, where he had served as general manager of the Anchorage Water and Wastewater Utility from 1978 through 1981, executive manager of Public Utilities Anchorage from 1981 through 1984 and the general manager of Anchorage Telephone Utility from 1984 through 1988. He attended Washington State University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering and he did graduate work in accounting, business administration, finance and arctic engineering at Eastern Washington State College and University of Alaska. He began his duties as general manager on April 4, 1988.[xxxiv]

New Headquarters and a Century of Service

Finally, the time arrived for McMinnville Water and Light employees to move into the new $2,072,092 facilities. An open-house celebration and ribbon cutting ceremony took place on June 10, 1988 and around 400 citizens from the McMinnville area came to see the utility’s new consolidated headquarters, taking tours of the office building and warehouse complex.

Interestingly, McMinnville Water and Light moved into its new facilities near the 100th year anniversary of the gathering of local citizens who declared their desire for a safe and dependable water system. The following year, McMinnville Water and Light celebrated its first 100 years of continual service. At the close of 1989, the Walter S. Link Reservoir held 250 million gallons of water and the Milton Hunt McGuire Reservoir impounded 1.2 billion gallons. The combined annual flow of water from the two reservoirs provided the City of McMinnville with an adequate water supply through the year 2020. The Coast Range water supply traveled through the Scott Water Treatment Plant before entering the gravity fed system to flow toward the three, covered service reservoirs on Fox Ridge, two miles west of downtown McMinnville. From there, it flowed to the taps of the City’s 5,000 water consumers, whose growing numbers kept the Commission busy with its focus on a continued dependable water supply for McMinnville.[xxxv]

In December of 1989, the 100-year-old municipal utility served 8,200 electric customers. Thirty-five percent of its consumers’ electricity came from Grant County PUD’s Priest and Wanapum Dams, 5 percent from the Canadian Power Exchange, and 60 percent from BPA’s dams operating in the Columbia River System. The contracts with Wanapum, Priest Rapids and the Canadian Power Exchange would expire at the turn of the new century, just a few years away. Contracts with BPA enabled McMinnville Water and Light to continue providing its customers with dependable service at low rates. The excellent relationship with BPA assured a continued source of hydroelectric power for the anticipated future growth of McMinnville and increased demand on power loads from local industries like Cascade Steel Rolling Mills. The municipal utility celebrated its 100th anniversary with no debt and the capability to address operations, maintenance and capital improvements, keeping up with the expanding community it served at the approach of a new century.

“McMinnville Water and Light’s 100th anniversary is a great milestone for our community,” said McMinnville Mayor Ed Gormley in a special November 6, 1989 section of the News Register. “Through the foresight and wisdom of city officials over the years, we have seen the great reward of municipal ownership of our power and water supply.”

Commission Chair Skip Huwaldt also commented in the special anniversary issue. “As we pause to recognize and celebrate the first 100 years of the McMinnville Water and Light Department, we want to reaffirm the commitment of the board of commissioners to the process that has yielded so many favorable results for the citizens of McMinnville.” Continuing he said, “The mission of the McMinnville Water and Light Department is to provide quality water and power services and facilities at a reasonable cost and to accommodate the development needs of the community.”

In the same issue, General Manager Harshman looked to the challenges of the next decade. “The resources administered by McMinnville Water and Light, both the fresh, pure water of the Upper Nestucca and the public preference power provided by BPA, will be strained as we enter the 1990s. On the supply side of both water and electricity, candidly, things are going to get a lot tighter… To ensure McMinnville’s options, we will seek the development and utilization of practical, cost-effective solutions for our consumer’s needs, offer programs to help strengthen public policy decisions and improve communications with our customers.”[xxxvi] McGuire Years (1920-1957) Urban Growth & Increased Regulations (1990-1999)

[1] “City to Honor Jones for Utility Service”, The News Register, January 24, 1986, 1.

[2] ““As We Pause To Look Back During Oregon’s Centennial Electricity Rushes Ahead Toward Tomorrow!” News Register Centennial Progress Edition, June 25, 1959.

[3] “History: 1960 Fast Facts”, United States Census Bureau,, retrieved June 4, 2020; “1960s Establishments in Oregon”, Wikipedia,, accessed June 9, 2020; “Population and Housing Unit Counts: Oregon”, 1990 Census of Population and Housing, US Department of Commerce, Economics and Statistics Administration, Bureau of the Census, November 17, 1992, 29, 33, and 36; Lehner, Josh, “Population and Housing, Some History”, Oregon Office of Economic Analysis, September 16, 2015,

[4] Water and Light Commission Minutes, May 13, 1958 and June 30, 1959; Interview with Alan Jones, August 30, 1988, conducted by Katherine Huit.

[5] Water and Light Commission Minutes, September 25, 1962; Mary Koch, “Memoir”, and Interview with Mary Koch, August 26, 1988, conducted by Katherine Huit.

[6] Kathie Dello, ”Fifty years later: Legacy of Columbus Day Storm Still Stands”, Oregon State University Newsroom, October 2, 2012,; Wolf Read, “The 1962 Columbus Day Storm, A Perspective by Wolf Read”,, accessed June 8, 2002; Ron Fulham, “The Columbus Day Storm, McMinnville, Oregon”,, accessed June 8, 1962; Stuart Tomlinson, “50 Years Later: Still Blown Away”, The Oregonian, October 3, 2012,, accessed June 8, 2020; Water and Light Commission Minutes, November 5, 1962.

[7] “Local Power Rates States Lowest”, News Register, August 21, 1964, 1. Award certificate located in the vault at the McMinnville Water and Light office.

[8] Water and Light Commission Minutes, April 17, May 4, June 18 and July 21, 1964. “Columbia River System Operation Review Final Environmental Impact Statement Canadian Entitlement Allocation Extension Agreements Record of Decision Summary,” United States Entity, US Department of Energy, Bonneville Power Administration, US Army Corps of Engineers, North Pacific Division, April 29, 1997. The Federal Columbia River System included Grand Coulee, Chief Joseph, McNary, John Day, The Dalles, and Bonneville dams; the Mid-Columbia projects included Wells of Douglas County Public Utility District (PUD), Rock Island and Rocky Reach of Chelan County PUD, and Wanapum and Priest Rapids of Grant County PUD.

[9] McMinnville Water and Light “Electri-Gift Days” Scrapbook, 1964, located in the history files; “City Water and Light Birthday Banquet Set,” News Register, November 8, 1964, 1

[10] “County Hit By Worst Flood in History As Rivers Rise”, News Register, December 23, 1964, 1; “Flooding in Oregon: Significant Oregon Floods, December 1964 Christmas Flood”, National Weather Service,, retrieved June 9, 2020. Metsker’s Maps of 1928, page 021, Township 3S, Range 6W, Haskins Creek and Meadow Lake; and Metsker’s Maps of 1942, page 021, Township 3S, Range 6W, Meadow Lake, Nestucca River, Haskins Creek.

[11] Water and Light Commission Minutes, June 28, July 13, August 10, September 14, October 12, November 16 and December 14, 1965; Interview with Mary Koch, August 26, 1988, and Alan Jones, August 30, 1988, conducted by Katherine Huit.

[xii] Interview with Alan Jones, August 30, 1988, conducted by Katherine Huit; “About PPC”, Public Power Council,, accessed June 14, 2020.

[xiii] Water and Light Commission Minutes, June 13 and July 11, 1967, March 26, 1968; Interview with Alan Jones, August 30, 1988, conducted by Katherine Huit.

[xiv] Water and Light Commission Minutes, October 8, 1968, May 13, June 10 and July 8, 1969; Mike Colvin, “McMinnville Industrial Promotions”, draft edited by Katherine Huit, May 29, 1999; “About Us – Company Profile”, Cascade Steel Rolling Mills, Inc., A Schnitzer Company,, accessed June 17, 2020.

[xv] Ibid., December 10, 1968 and January 12, 1971; “Powerhouse Park”, Yamhill County Parks,, accessed June 14, 2020.

[xvi] United States Census Bureau, “Census of Population and Housing”,, retrieved March 29, 2020; “1970 in Oregon”, Wikipedia,, accessed June 14, 2020; “History: 1970 Fast Facts”, United States Census Bureau,, retrieved June 14, 2020.

[xvii] “The 21st Century is Almost Here”, supplement to the News Register, August 21, 1971, 4.

[xviii] Interview with Mary Koch, August 26, 1988, and Alan Jones, August 30, 1988, conducted by Katherine Huit; “The Norm Scott Water Treatment Plant Dedication” brochure, McMinnville Water and Light, September 2010.

[xix] Water and Light Commission Minutes, January 12 1971.

[xx] Interview with Alan Jones, August 30, 1988, conducted by Katherine Huit.

[xxi] “The Columbia River Power System Inside Story,” Bonneville Power Administration, Second Edition, April 2001, 8. The 14 dams and their construction dates are as follows: Washington’s Grand Coulee (September 28, 1941), Albeni Falls (April 1, 1955), Chief Joseph (August 20, 1955), Ice Harbor (December 18, 1961), Lower Monumental (May 28, 1969), Little Goose (May 26, 1970), and Lower Granite (April 3, 1975); Montana’s Hungry Horse (October 29, 1952) and Libby (August 13, 1975); Idaho’s Dworshak (March1, 1973); and situated on the Washington / Oregon boarder are Bonneville (June 6, 1938), McNary (November 6, 1953), The Dalles (May 13, 1957) and John Day (July 16, 1968); “Public Power History – Public Power Utilities in the Pacific Northwest”, Public Power Council,, accessed June 17, 2020.

[xxii] Daniel Pope, “A Northwest Distaste for Nuclear Power”, The Seattle Times, July 31, 2008; David Wilma, “Washington Public Power Supply System (WPPSS)”, Essay 5482, July 10, 2003, 1-3; “1979 Annual Report”, Bonneville Power Administration, US Department of Energy, January 1979, 15-16, 28; Water and Light Commission Minutes, January 21, March 18, October 21, 1986, January 30, February 17, December 15, 1987, January 20, February 16, March 22, April 18, 19, 22 and 29, July 12, September 20 and November 22, 1988.

[xxiii] “100th Anniversary, McMinnville Water and Light”, special section of the News Register, November 6, 1989, p. B9; Interview with Clerk Delores Land conducted by Katherine Huit, August 25, 1988.

[xxiv] “City Water and Light Uses Old Fashioned Horse Power”, November 8, 1979, 1.

[xxv] United States Census Bureau, “Census of Population and Housing – 1980”,, retrieved March 29, 2020. Super Good Cents Program Evaluation Final Report, Bonneville Power Administration, July 1989, 1, 3. Water and Light Commission Minutes, January 21 and March 18, 1986, and September 18, 2018. The Commission authorized the Oregon Low Income Home Energy Assistance (LIHEAP) Agreement with YCAP on August 21, 2018.

[xxvi] Mike Colvin, “McMinnville Industrial Promotions”, draft edited by Katherine Huit, May 29, 1999; “Resident Population in Oregon” FRED Economic Data Service, Federal Reserve, January 13, 2020; “Resident Population Data: Population Change”,, retrieved June 2, 2020.

[xxvii] Water and Light Commission Minutes, January 21, March 18, April 15, May 15 and 20, June 10 and August 19, 1986. The McMinnville Water and Light Department was originally housed with other city offices on Cowls between Second and Third streets. The City offices later moved to the old Courtemache home on Second and Cowls and part of the old offices became and expanded home for McMinnville’s Police Department. McMinnville Water and Light moved from its Third and Cowls location to remodeled offices in the old Gillam Building and from there to its headquarters on Marsh Lane. After the utility vacated the Gillam Building, it became the headquarters for the McMinnville Police Department until the construction of its new facilities on Second and Adams.

[xxviii] Interview with Mary Koch, August 26, 1988 and Alan Jones, August 30, 1988, conducted by Katherine Huit; Water and Light Commission Minutes, June 6 and July 10, 1984, February 6, 1985.

[xxix] Interview with Tom Tankersley, conducted by Katherine Huit, February 18, 2021.

[xxx] Interview with Ed Gormley, conducted by Katherine Huit, February 26, 2021.

[xxxi] Water and Light Commission Minutes, February 18 and 28, March 18, April 2, May 1, May 20, and June 10, 1986. “Biographical Sketch of Robin Morecroft”, McMinnville Water and Light, undated, provided by Trena McManus via email to Katherine Huit, May 13, 2021.

[xxxii] Ibid., July 15 September 16, October 21, November 18, and December 15, 1986 and February 17, March 12, May 26 and December 10, 1987. Listed as a threatened species without critical habitat in 1993, and subject to a recovery plan, sidalcea nelsoniana appeared in 159 documented Oregon-site locations by 2020. In March 12, 2019, a 2.9-mile section of Walker Creek became a designated scenic river through the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management and Recreation Act passed by Congress and signed into law by President Donald Trump. “Nelson’s Checker Mallow”, US Fish and Wildlife Service,, accessed June 20, 2020; “The Wild and Scenic Rivers Act at 50: Overlooked Watershed Protection”, 9 Michigan Journal of Environmental and Administrative Law, January 18, 2019, revised March 25, 2020,; “John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act”, 116th Congress Public Law 9, US Government Publishing Office, 579,, accessed June 20, 2020.

[xxxiii] Water and Light Commission Minutes, May 15, August 19, September 16, October 21 and December 16, 1986, December 3 and 15, 1987, January 20, February 16, March 22, 24 and 31, 1988; “Eugene E. Marsh Legislative Memorabilia, 1939-1951”, Archives West: Orbis Cascade Alliance,, accessed June 9, 2020; Interview with Alan Jones, August 30, 1988, conducted by Katherine Huit; Interview with Mike Colvin, March 1, 1999.

[xxxiv] “Harshman Assumes W&L Duties”, News Register, April 6, 1988, 1.

[xxxv] “The 21st Century is Almost Here”, supplement to the News Register, August 21, 1971, 4.

[xxxvi] “100th Anniversary, McMinnville Water and Light.”