PUD commissioners reviewed a 2021 budget that marches forward with plans outlined in the utility’s strategic plan. The budget includes significant investments at the dams, new substations to improve reliability, and new metering technology for better customer service. (2:00:38 on the board meeting audio)
Overall, the PUD’s financial outlook remains strong. Staff expect flat revenues and a 1 percent increase in net expenses compared to 2020, resulting in a forecasted $55 million bottom line. The budget includes paying down debt, and reducing the debt ratio from 30 percent this year to under 25 percent in 2021.
The PUD plans to spend about $195 million on key capital projects that support the strategic plan, including:
- Construction of a new Service Center at Olds Station
- Remodels at the Discovery Center, and other facilities at Rocky Reach and Rock Island
- Maintenance and modernization of power-generating units at Rocky Reach and Rock Island dams
- Construction of distribution substations in Wenatchee, Leavenworth and Chelan
- Advanced metering roll-out for better reliability and customer service
The annual budget priorities are part of a five-year business plan, which commissioners reviewed Oct. 5.
The second public hearing for the 2021 budget will be Nov. 16, followed by a board vote on Dec. 7.
In other news, commissioners:
- Heard a report about the process to re-issue a special permit from the U.S. Forest Service for the McKenzie-Beverly transmission line (1:51)
- A report about fish quality and hatchery operations by Fish & Wildlife staff (1:08)
- Heard a report about maintenance repairs at Tumwater Dam fishway in November and December. (03:04)
- Nov. 5, 2-6 p.m. – Wellness event with Parques Padrinos, Methow Park
- Nov. 16 -- Commission meeting, 10 a.m., virtual meeting
- Nov. 24 – Tri-Commission meeting, 1 p.m., virtual meeting
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The next regular PUD commission meeting is at 10 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 16. The public is welcome to attend remotely in accordance with the latest guidance from the state Department of Health.
Chelan PUD records most commission meetings, and a link to the audio is available on the PUD’s home page at chelanpud.org. Find us at Facebook.com/ChelanPUD and follow us on Twitter @ChelanPUD.
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