North Burbank Public Utility District, Founded June 7, 1938
It was 1937 when a group of citizens in the "Southside" area of Oroville became concerned with the deplorable conditions of the existing sanitary disposal system. The group petitioned the Board of Supervisors to call a special election for the formation of the "North Burbank Sanitary District" which would allow the construction of a new sewer system. Although the issue received wide support, a legal technicality regarding the Board hearings shut down their first efforts.
Later, the same residents reorganized with a more encompassing long term plan. This time they petitioned the same Board of Supervisors not for a sanitary district, but for the more encompassing "North Burbank Public Utility District." This would allow them to operate their own water, gas, electricity or garbage collection services if they chose to in the future. On June 7, 1938, with 295 votes in favor and 39 opposed, the citizens had chosen to form a new public utility district.
After its formation, the original District (encompassing 272 acres) provided sanitary sewer collection and treatment services for approximately 350 residences of the Southside of Oroville. The cost of the new system was approximately $72,000, half of which was contributed by the W.P.A.
The NBPUD name had been chosen because Burbank School was the center of activity for the Southside area, and due to the fact that there was a Burbank in Southern California they elected to call it North Burbank. The Burbank School was torn down in 1975 and no longer a landmark. Fifty years after its begininng General Manager Mike Glaze changed the district name to Lake Oroville Area Public Utility District as part of the 50th anniversary celebration, the name would better describe the entire area served.
The District is now approaching its 76th year and has grown to over 3,500 acres, servicing approximately 6,000 customers.