The Central Lincoln People’s Utility will be closing its office in Depoe Bay effective Thursday, January 15th. “We hired a local security firm last year to look at our offices from Depoe Bay to Reedsport, and the firm’s experts felt that having an office staffed by just one person was not a safe situation, yet having more than one employee work in that small office wasn’t efficient either,” said Central Lincoln’s General Manager Debra Smith. “Over time, more and more of our customers have chosen to pay their bills online or via electronic banking systems, rather than in person. As a not-for-profit community-owned utility, we have to balance the needs of the vast majority of customers who do not use our walk-in offices with the needs of those who want that face-to face contact.”
Depoe Bay’s Columbia Bank branch will accept and process payments via cash or check from Central Lincoln customers.
“The ways in which our customers engage with us has changed a great deal, particularly in the past five years. We’ve had many requests for paperless billing, online bill payment, etc., and we’ve been happy to make these services available. Customers can now view not only their current month’s bill, but previous months’ bills, going back some years depending on how long they have been customers of Central Lincoln via MyAccount Online,” said Smith. “They no longer need to see or call a customer service representative for this info. We’ve also added “MyMeter” –an online system for customers to view their electricity use—on a daily, weekly or monthly basis, so they can track their use as they see fit.”
The office closure will not result in a layoff. “The customer service representative in Depoe Bay will be working in our Newport office,” Smith said. “We are now open in Newport from 8 in the morning to 5 p.m., including the lunch hour, and customers in Depoe Bay are of course welcome to stop by our office in Newport, as are all of our customers.”
The Central Lincoln People’s Utility District is Oregon’s fourth-largest electric utility, serving one-third of Oregon’s coast, from Lincoln Beach to North Bend—approximately 55,000 people in portions of Douglas, Coos, Lane, and Lincoln counties. Central Lincoln is not-for-profit, and is community-owned, meaning it was created by voters to serve the public. Central Lincoln can be reached via its website, clpud.org, email at email@example.com, or at its local offices.