Peshastin Water District acquisition moves forward

by Rachel Hansen | Mar 20, 2024

For 240 homes and businesses served by the Peshastin Water District, the monthly bill won’t change much when Chelan PUD acquires the community water system on March 26.

In a 3-1 vote Monday, Chelan PUD commissioners directed staff to create a rate equalization charge that would be calculated so customers pay about the same as they would under Peshastin Water District. (audio at 00:08:00 of the board meeting recording).

Chelan PUD’s water rates are slightly lower on average than Peshastin Water District – from less than $5 a month for residential customers to less than $700 for industrial customers. In 2021, Peshastin Water District adopted a rate plan that includes 4% annual increases from 2024 through 2030.

The revenue from the rate equalization charge – estimated at about $33,000 a year -- will be used to partially cover water system improvements in Peshastin. The charge would go into effect June 1.

The consolidation has been in the works since 2016, when Peshastin Water District asked to join Chelan PUD for better efficiency. The PUD already operates the wastewater system in Peshastin. The benefits to customers include faster outage response, more operational support, more payment options, and low-income senior and disabled customer discounts.

Under the agreement signed in September 2023, Chelan PUD would pay the water system’s debts and cover about $2.6 million in system improvements, including a $2 million replacement well.

In January, the PUD proposed a rate adder for Peshastin customers that would cover the cost of those system improvements over about 20 years. After considering customer concerns at two public rate hearings, commissioners directed staff to present more options that would reduce the financial burden.

The PUD will reassess the rate equalization charge in three years as part of its annual fees and charges review. PUD will continue to pursue grant funding opportunities that may help with system improvement costs.

Chelan PUD currently operates five water systems in Wenatchee, Chelan Falls, Chelan Ridge, Dryden and Ollala Canyon, which collectively serve more than 6,500 homes and businesses.

Media contacts

Rachel Hansen: (509) 661-4320
Libby Siebens: (509) 661-8291

Outages or Emergencies

Visit our Safety and Outage Center for information, or to report an outage, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, call 1-877-PUD-8123.


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