The following is a report of the Douglas County Public Utility District Commission meeting which was held on August 31, 1998.
Douglas PUD had recently asked to receive bids for the removal of asbestos known to be located in various locations around the District. When the bids were opened, only one firm had submitted a price for the work. That bid exceeded the estimate in excess of 15%. PUD staff has subsequently found additional work to be included in the removal process and the Commissioners approved a new call for bids to include that additional work.
The Commission previewed the preliminary budgets for the Distribution System and the Wells Hydroelectric Project. The Distribution System budget for 1999 showed that the cost of Purchased Power is being estimated at $12,870,000, which is down approximately $199,000 from the year 1998. The cost for the transmission and the distribution of that power is expected to be $2,654,600. This figure is up approximately $145,500 from last year. The estimated revenues from this service are $24 million which is an increase of around $1.5 million over the 1998 figures. This means net additions to retained income should increase by approximately $950,000 over the 1998 figures and amount to around $2,334,540. All of these estimates include a 5% per kilowatt-hour rate increase that was approved on March 18, 1996.
The Wells Hydroelectric Project operating expense budget runs from September 1998 to August 1999. That budget is up approximately 1% from the prior budget year. Some of the major changes include a $300,000 increase for fish studies; a $1.3 million decrease for work on the reservoir; $300,000 more for maintenance on the dam; and $325,000 additional funding for needed transmission equipment. Other major reductions can be found in taxes, the endangered species studies, and interest the PUD anticipates paying on long term debt. The Commission set a final hearing date of October 5, 1998. It will take place at 2:00 p.m. in the East Wenatchee Headquarters Commission Board Room.
Since the PUD offices will be closed on Monday, September 7th in observance of Labor Day, the Commission rescheduled the next regular meeting for Tuesday, September 8th at 2:00 p.m. in East Wenatchee.