History

Central Lincoln: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

Our mission is to ensure our communities have access to reliable and affordable energy products and services.

  • Before Central Lincoln PUD was established, residents received electrical service provided by surplus generated by local lumber companies for their own operations, but it was unreliable.
  • In 1940, residents of central Lincoln County voted for dependable, affordable, publicly-owned electricity, creating a People’s Utility District, a not-for-profit local governmental entity.
  • Directors were elected, funds were provided by a small levy and the sale of revenue bonds. The coastal facilities of West Coast Power were purchased, and on May 5, 1943, the Central Lincoln PUD officially began operations.
  • The purchased facilities were badly in need of repair, rights-of-way were not maintained, and many people in remote areas were not even connected.  Central Lincoln launched a massive upgrade and line extension program.
  • Directors negotiated with the Bonneville Power Administration for power generated by dams being constructed on the Columbia River and its tributaries. A Bonneville line was built to Toledo in 1946 and a substation was installed to supply the District’s lines, with additional substations following in Mapleton and Reedsport.
  • In later years, elections were held by voters wanting to join Central Lincoln’s District.  By 1960, our modern service territory borders were largely in place.
  • Central Lincoln — which once had about 5,000 customers — now serves more than 38,000.
  • The District now maintains a dependability rate of over 99.9 percent, while our rates have remained among the lowest in the nation.

board of directors around the year 1940. Text overlayed on photo: "Central Lincoln People's Utility District. Original Board of Directors. Selling bonds. Thomas Kane, C.W. Edenfield, Andy Naterlin, E.F. Altree.