PUD staff proposes 2022 budget to commissioners

Budget proposal includes Tonasket substation

OKPUD/file photo
Okanogan County PUD crew installing hotspots at access points throughout the county.

OKPUD/file photo Okanogan County PUD crew installing hotspots at access points throughout the county.

OKANOGAN – Okanogan County PUD staff presented the draft 2022 proposed budget to the board of commissioners at their Sept. 13 meeting.

The proposal includes:

  • $60.6 million in revenue, including an average 3.75 percent revenue increase, with exact adjustments per customer class yet to be determined;
  • $50.7 million in expenditures, including the proposal to fill three vacant positions and meet increased demand for customer work with two new positions;
  • $4.2 million in debt service, including the pay-off of 2016 bonds; and
  • $21 million in capital projects, including the Okanogan-Brewster transmission line, Tonasket substation and other projects.

General Manager Steve Taylor said the budget margin is tight, so staff went back over the proposed budget again last week to cut another $600,000 of expenses. Most of the capital projects will be funded by the 2020 bond issuance of just under $40 million.

The PUD has posted the budget and corresponding documents and information on their website, www.okanoganpud.org/budget. Budget meetings will be held in-person (as health and safety restrictions allow) and via Zoom (link will be posted online and on Facebook closer to the event):

Sept. 27, 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.; Oct. 11, 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.; and Oct. 25, 3 p.m., with possible final board approval.

In other business, the board:

  • Heard that Michels will begin rebuilding the Okanogan-Brewster transmission line Sept. 20. They had originally been scheduled to do so in July, but the project was delayed by wildfire activity.
  • Heard from Customer Service Supervisor Mindy Morris that less than 100 customer accounts are past due leading up to the end of the moratorium on disconnects, expiring Sept. 30. She said her biggest concerns were 33 accounts that are more than 90 days past due and account for more than $50,000 of arrearages. Customer service representatives continue to work with customers and funding assistance agencies to help customers avoid disconnection.
  • Approved Resolution 1739, setting the general managers compensation after a second reading.
  • Set future board meetings for Oct. 11 and 25; Nov. 8 and 22; and Dec. 13 and 27.