[3/4/22] Okanogan PUD Business

Posted in Public Utility

2022 has started out as a costly one for the Okanogan County PUD; at its meeting Monday, the PUD Commission heard that the cold weather drove the PUD to buy more power than to sell, with wholesale power sales coming in at 273 thousand dollars less than budgeted.

In addition, the PUD did not receive broadband funding from the National Telecommunication and Information Administration grant program. While Okanogan County was one of five that were awarded funding, the PUD is not one of those getting funds. As we reported earlier, the PUD is working on an application to the USDA ReConnect grant program.

Meanwhile, the commission went over staffing and office changes coming later this year. The PUD’s office in Twisp will remain open Mondays and Wednesdays through May, closing its doors after June 1.
Customer Service Supervisor Mindy Morris said that the PUD has a little more than 2 thousand customers in the Twisp area, a majority of whom pay by credit or debit card. The office processes 300 payments each month, with about 55 of those on average being by card also.
Customer Service Rep Karen Williams has worked in the Twisp office around 16 years, and is retiring June 1. Over the next few months, she will focus on helping customers transition to other methods of payment.
Any payments or service requests can be taken in other branch offices, located in Brewster, Okanogan, Tonasket and Oroville.
The PUD will determine over the weeks to come whether a drop box will be needed for the
Twisp area, or if there will be any other customer solutions.
Morris said the PUD will post to fill two customer service rep positions, one to work out of the Brewster office and one out of the Okanogan office. Over the last few years, two customer service positions have remained unfilled, and with Williams’ retirement and the recent resignation of another
rep, the PUD would be short four customer service staff.