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Initial figures presented to PUD commissioners reflect no electric rate increase for 2018

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Rock Island Spillway. (Image courtesy of Chelan County PUD)

Chelan County PUD commissioners held their regular meeting on Monday evening, Nov. 6 at the Confluence Technology Center. They had an extended meeting to address the issue of the Chelan substation site and to address several other business items.

Commissioners voted unanimously to move forward on plans to purchase property in Chelan on Henderson Road for the purpose of siting the new North Shore Lake Chelan substation.

Read story on Chelan substation here – Chelan County PUD commissioners direct staff to move forward with Henderson Site for Chelan substation

In other business, Chelan County PUD commissioners:

Received a briefing on the 2018 budget that reflects no electric rate increase for the sixth straight year. Staff will come back on Nov. 20, with additional details, but initial figures released today show continued investment in the District’s key generating assets driving a $128 million Capital budget – the highest in several years since work on the juvenile fish by-pass at Rocky Reach Dam. The budget reflects the  significant modernization work to be done at Rock Island, continued work on the large turbine units at Rocky Reach, planned improvements to the surge tank at Chelan dam, as well as debt reduction plans. 2018 net surplus energy forecasts show a $9.5 million decrease from the 2017 budget, but the District’s long-term “cost-plus” power contracts help to reduce the impact of lower wholesale revenues. The District will continue to pay down debt and is on track to meet its 2019 goal of a less than 35 percent debt ratio. Overall, the 2018 budget shows a positive bottom line of $71.5 million. The investment priorities for 2018 focus on increasing long-term value for customer-owners.

Heard that the District is close to reaching 15,000 high-speed fiber customers. The goal is to reach the 15,000 customer mark by the end of the year. In an effort to achieve that goal, the District is offering an incentive for customers who sign up before Dec. 15. New customers signing up by Dec. 15 will entered into a drawing for a chance to win an iPad. Currently, the District has 14,821 customers;

Welcomed iFiber as a “Triple Play” fiber service provider – meaning that they can provide Chelan County PUD customers with internet, phone and television services. iFiber has offices at 303 S. Mission in Wenatchee. They currently work with public utilities in seven Washington counties: Mason, Kitsap, Douglas, Grant, Franklin and Pend Oreille;

Received the Third Quarter Financial update and Balance Scorecard results showing that the District is on track with overall revenue forecasts higher than budget due to colder weather earlier in 2017 driving up power use and increased revenues from its long-term “cost-plus” power contract charges. Operating expenses are also lower than budgeted contributing to the strong net revenue forecast for 2017;

Approved moving forward with a $4 million contract increase to TCF Architects from Tacoma and a $1 million contract increase to RH2 Engineering of Wenatchee to move forward on the design of five new buildings and renovation of 19 existing buildings at Rock Island; and seven new buildings and renovation of 18 existing buildings at Rocky Reach. TCF and RH2 have been working with the District for more than 22 months on the strategic facilities planning effort. This expanded service agreement is for work at Rock Island and Rocky Reach only and does not include any construction activity;

Set two special meetings:

1) 5:30 p.m., Monday, Nov. 13, at the Tijuana Restaurant in Quincy for a meeting of the Mid-C Public Utility District Commissioners

2) 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 14, at the Orondo School District Building, 100 Orondo School Rd. to take public comment on the proposed transfer of Orondo River Park from the Port of Douglas County to Chelan County PUD.

Upcoming events:

  • Nov. 7 – Tri-Commission meeting, 1 p.m., PUD boardroom (location change)
  • Nov. 10 – Visitor Center and Rocky Reach Park close for the season
  • Nov. 10 – Veterans Day holiday
  • Nov. 13 – Special meeting of the Mid-C PUD Commissioners, 5:30 p.m.
  • Nov. 14 – Special public meeting at Orondo School District 6:30 p.m.
  • Nov. 20 – Board meeting, 10 a.m.
  • Nov. 23 – Thanksgiving holiday

The next regular Chelan PUD commission meeting starts at 10 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 20, 2017, in the boardroom at 327 N. Wenatchee Ave. 

Chelan PUD records most commission meetings, and a link to the audio is available on the PUD’s home page at www.chelanpud.org. Find us on Facebook.com/ChelanPUD and follow us on Twitter @ChelanPUD.

(Submitted by Christy Shearer, Chelan County PUD)

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