Okanogan County PUD discusses 2022 proposed budget

Transmission line construction underway

(Compiled from meeting summaries by Sheila Corson)

OKANOGAN – The PUD’s 2022 draft budget proposed by staff at the mid-September PUD commissioners meeting contains the following components:
● Revenue - $60.6 million including an average 3.75 percent revenue increase.
● Expenditures - $50.7 million to include filling three staff vacancies and two new positions to handle increased customer demand.
● Debt Service - $4.2 million to include paying off 2016 bonds
● Capital Projects - $21 million to include the Okanogan-to-Brewster transmission line, and Tonasket substation among other projects to be mostly funded by the near-$40 million 2020 bond issuance.
At the Sept. 27 commissioners meeting, updates added to the proposed budget included reduction of one 2022 staff member. The budget draft plus supporting documents are posted2323e3333 online at the PUD website okanoganpud.org/budget.
“Staff and the board discussed possible impacts of changes to the power market, which could result in price increases to power that the PUD purchases,” wrote PUD Public Relations Coordinator Sheila Corson. “The PUD will be required to purchase more power on the market while at the same time less power will be available, driving up prices to an extent that cannot yet be predicted.”
Following a multi-month delay earlier this year due to extreme wildfire danger Michels commenced construction of the Okanogan-Brewster line Sept. 20. As apart of the infrastructure hardening steel utility poles are replacing the former wooden poles.
The moratorium on customer energy disconnects expired Sept. 30. Fewer than 100 remain with past due accounts and of those about 20 owe in excess of $1,000 in past-due balances. As of this writing a total of about $70,000 remains past due from about 80 accounts.
The next, and possibly final, PUD budget meeting will be held in person – as COVID restrictions allow – and via Zoom at 3 p.m., Nov. 8. A Zoom link will be posted online and on Facebook.


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