Rachel Hansen | Nov 03, 2021
Chelan PUD’s 2022 budget calls for significant investments in Rock Island and Rocky Reach dams, facilities, and more tools for customer service.
Staff presented the proposed 2022 budget on Monday during the first of two public hearings. (Starting at 01:58:16 on the audio recording). The annual budget priorities are part of a five-year business plan, which commissioners reviewed Oct. 4.
Overall, Chelan PUD’s financial outlook remains strong, with all financial policies met. Chelan PUD forecasted a positive bottom line of about $58.4 million for 2022, a $7 million increase from 2021. Operational expenses are expected to increase 5 percent to support the projects outlined in the 2020-2024 strategic plan. Operating revenues are also expected to increase, by about 7 percent, in part driven by a strong market for renewable, carbon-free hydropower.
The strong financial forecast will allow the PUD to pay cash for capital spending in 2022 – expected to be about $215 million -- without taking on new debt until around 2023.
Top projects in 2022 include:
- Modernize generating units and cranes at Rock Island Dam
- New substations at North Shore Chelan and Leavenworth
- Advanced metering roll-out for better reliability and customer service
- Expanding fiber optic internet network to reach 85 percent of the county by 2024
- Construction of the Service Center at Olds Station
The next hearing is Nov. 15, followed by a board vote Dec. 6.
In other business, commissioners:
• Heard a forecast of residential growth and development in Chelan County in relation to electrical demand (00:54:20)
• Reviewed the rate structure and business trends of the PUD’s fiber internet service. (01:18:44)
• Heard an update on park maintenance and projects planned for 2022 (01:37:06)
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