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.