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Okanogan County PUD commissioners approved the 2023 budget, which includes revenues of $69.5 million, expenditures of $55.8 million and capital of $16.2 million. The board also discussed possible ways to adjust rates for an average 3.75% increase overall, although new rates have not yet been approved.

Among the big capital projects for next year, the largest is focused on rebuilding the Tonasket substation, estimated around $5 million in 2023. Designing a new Loup-Loup transmission line ($350,000) and replacing infrastructure in Aeneas Valley ($357,000) are also on the list.

The final budget is posted on our Budget page.

The board also reviewed a first look at possible new rates, including a new rate for commercially operated electric vehicle fast-charging stations. Following the ongoing equity management plan, the proposed rates are adjusted differently to reflect the actual cost of service to each customer type. The overall 3.75% increase is proposed to be applied:

  • Residential, 5.1% (also continuing to merge the two-tiered rate into a single rate)
  • Small general service, 3.25%
  • Large general service, 1.25%
  • Industrial, 1.25%
  • Irrigation, 2.5%
  • Frost control, 5%
  • Area lighting, 1.25%
  • Street lighting, 1.25%

Commissioners will continue rate discussions at future meetings. The new rates would not go into effect until April 1, 2023.

In other business, the board approved its 5-year strategic guidance, identifying five priorities for the PUD: 1. Safety First; 2. Ensure electrical and broadband system reliability; 3. Ensure financial stability; 4. Value our employees; 5. Serve our community.

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