[11/10/21] Okanogan PUD Budget Approved

Posted in Public Utility

Okanogan County PUD commissioners approved the 2022 budget Oct. 25. The budget anticipates the PUD taking in more than 60 million dollars in revenue, with expenditures of more than 51 million. It includes 4.2 million dollars in debt service, and a capital outlay of almost 21 million dollars.

Capital outlay is mostly funded by a $40 million bond issued last year. Major projects include the continued work on the Okanogan-Brewster transmission rebuild, Tonasket substation replacement, and substation power transformer upgrades.

The PUD also anticipates a rate increase of 3.75% effective April 1, 2022, but the exact details of the increase have not yet been determined. The PUD says each customer type will be adjusted based on the costs to provide those services.

At that meeting, commissioners heard that about 57 total accounts are 30 days or more past-due, and that many are still working on getting assistance to pay those bills or are setting up long-term payment arrangements. The 60-day and more past-due amount is down to $15,000, with only 8 accounts disconnected due to non-payment and non-contact with the PUD.

The PUD has received reports of people using their access roads or the pathways along the powerlines, known as an easement or right-of-way. Some use them to cross private land and access public land during hunting season. However, for safety and out of respect for private landowners’ rights, the PUD is asking that no one use those easements or rights-of-way. Doing so is considered trespassing.
Anyone who sees unofficial vehicles or persons accessing PUD easements or rights-of-way should report it to either the PUD or law enforcement.