Wednesday, April 17, 2024

FEMA approves snowstorm funding for Okanogan PUD

Wildfire reimbursements coming?


OKANOGAN – The heavy and damaging snowstorm that blanketed the county early last November was approved by FEMA for funding reimbursements to the PUD. Senior Accountant Megan Morrissey told the January meeting of the PUD commissioners that the utility can expect about $420,000 in reimbursements. Funding for the 2020 Cold Springs wildfire and other FEMA events are still progressing.

Work is progressing on Okanogan County PUD’s Tonasket substation, with 90 concrete foundations now poured and a control building installed in January. Wiring, installation of conduit and more is planned in the next few weeks.

The rebuild will include replacing the aging power transformer with two new transformers, improving both capacity and reliability for the northern county.

Engineering Manager Allen Allie reported at the Jan. 23 PUD board meeting that the PUD completed 429 electric and 68 telecom work orders in 2022. Upcoming projects for 2023 include several rebuilds of underground and overhead systems in neighborhoods, a larger one being the rebuild of the lines serving Aeneas Valley.

In other business:

  • The board approved the first reading of updated wholesale broadband rates, including the addition of a 100GB service rate. The board will revisit the discussion at the next board meeting.
  • The board approved up to $600,000 for a new transmission line truck with a 100-foot bucket.
  • Chief Engineer Dan Simpson reported that, aside from major events and planned projects, there were 395 outages in 2022, resulting in an average of .92 outage per customer, below the .96 national average. Average restoration time was about 121 minutes, above the national 103 minutes due to the geography of our territory and the additional time it takes to reach many of the outages.
  • Catrin Bryan, the Director of Dam Safety, with McMillen Inc. presented a summary of the comprehensive Enloe Dam safety inspection that successfully occurred in September 2022.



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