It seems fitting that I share my awe and excitement about this moment in our history as we open the new Service Center at Olds Station on Saturday, October 7.
I never get tired of honoring the foresight of our community visionaries and early leaders as they built and acquired hydropower projects on the Columbia and Chelan rivers. Their courageous decisions, many decades ago, have ensured local control for our community and allowed us to provide some of the lowest electricity rates in the county.
Our headquarters on Fifth Street served us very well since the 1950s. It’s been an important venue for our customer-owners to access services and provide input to our elected commissioners. Our commissioners want your input. They’ve consistently demonstrated a commitment to an open public process. Again and again, our commissioners have shown their dedication to public power and local control.
Looking back through history -- and still today -- North Central Washington is a place where big ideas become reality because of three attributes: community mindedness, transformational leadership and courage. Chelan PUD embraces this outlook and vision as we look to the future. We’re committed to continuing this legacy. Our new Service Center became a reality with this way of thinking.
Built for the Future
Our new campus was years in the making, and was designed to serve you, our customer-owners, for generations to come. It supports our vision of providing the best value for the most people for the longest time. It illustrates how important it is for us to continue to be good stewards of the resources entrusted to us – now and for future generations.
During our planning, we reached out to the community to ask for input. We formed citizen advisory groups and a task force to identify design elements. After considerable review, we determined that building a new Service Center in North Wenatchee was the best option among several alternatives to meet the objectives.
The new Service Center provides a centralized site for one-stop-services. You can visit us to pay a bill, talk to energy efficiency experts to learn how to save money, apply for electrical and water/wastewater services and check out fiber internet options in your neighborhood. You can also attend one of our Board of Commissioners meetings, held twice monthly.
The new site at Olds Station consolidates multiple operations at a single location to create efficiencies as we serve customers. At the geographic center of the county, it will reduce the time crews spend traveling to locations throughout Chelan County, in turn reducing vehicle congestion on local roads.
I’m also pleased to share that the main building is highly efficient – in fact, it exceeds energy code requirements by 40 percent. We’ve incorporated a state-of-the-art “smart” heating and ventilation system that redistributes heat from warm areas to cooler areas. All windows have energy-saving low-emittance glass to reduce heat loss. In addition, plug controls ensure that unused appliances and chargers only draw energy when in use.
I welcome you to join us at our grand opening on October 7! If you can’t make it, please stop by for a visit soon. As always, we’re proud to serve our customers. We look forward to seeing you.
Join us Saturday, Oct. 7, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 203 Olds Station Road. The free event includes:
- Behind-the-scenes tours
- Kids activities
- Food trucks
- Information stations
- Opportunities to meet elected PUD commissioners and employees
Watch the video for a sneak peek behind the scenes
I can’t wait to see you there!