The following is a report of the Douglas County Public Utility District Commission meeting, which was held on October 5, 1998.
The commissioners held the final budget hearings for both the Distribution System and the Wells Hydroelectric Project budgets. The Distribution System budget is for the calendar year 1999 while the Wells Project budget covers the September 1, 1998 through August 31, 1999 fiscal year. The distribution budget anticipates the cost of purchased power at $12,870,000. This represents a decrease of approximately $199,000 from 1998. Distribution and transmission expenses are expected to increase by $185,000 from last year to $2,694,600 for 1999. Operating revenues are anticipated to increase by approximately $1.5 million to $24 million and net operating revenues should be up $950,000 to almost $4 million. These figures include a 5% per kilowatt-hour rate increase which was previously approved on March 18,1996.
The Wells Hydroelectric Project operating expense budget is in the amount of $32,605,700 which represents an increase of approximately 1% from the last fiscal 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 for maintenance of transmission equipment. Other major reductions can be seen in interest paid on long term debt, taxes, and endangered species studies.