The following is a report of the Douglas County Public Utility District Commission meeting that was held on October 2, 2000.
The Commissioners held the final budget hearings for the Distribution System and the Wells Hydroelectric Project. The Distribution System budget is for the calendar year 2001 while the Wells Project budget covers the September 1, 2000 through August 31, 2001 fiscal year. Purchased power for the Distribution System Operating Budget for 2001 is estimated at $21,242,000, up approximately $6,160,000 from the 2000 estimate. This increase is primarily due to a power purchase agreement with the Bonneville Power Administration. Administration and general expenses are down approximately $200,000 from last year’s estimate and taxes are estimated to decline by approximately $170,000. The Distribution System Capital Budget of $9,204,500 for 2001 includes approximately $1.8 million for fiber optic installations and equipment. A total revenue of $32,830,000 estimate is an increase of $5,899,000 over the 2000 budget and includes a 5% rate increase that was previously approved on March 18, 1996 and has been deferred thereafter.
The Wells Hydroelectric Project Operating Budget for September 2000 to August 2001 is up approximately $400,000 from last year’s estimate. Some major changes from the fiscal year 2000 budget include an additional $300,000 for the development of base maps for property and wildlife management, $150,000 for fish study cost increases, and $185,000 for fish spawning surveys. Hydraulic Power Generation Maintenance is down $167,000. Transmission Maintenance is down $140,000. At $32,722,600, the total Wells Hydroelectric Project Operating Budget amounts to a 1.2% increase from last year’s estimate. The Wells Project revenue estimate is equal to the operating budget as required by contract. The Wells Project Capital Budget totals $1,076,400 and includes $250,000 for replacement of two 230kv circuit breakers.
A new 4 X 4 loader backhoe and 20-ton trailer was recently delivered by Central Machinery Sales, Inc. to Douglas County PUD Staff has determined the new equipment meets all terms and conditions of the contract so the Commission approved the acceptance of the equipment. After trading in a used backhoe, the amount of $68,420 plus tax was approved as final payment to Central Machinery Sales, Inc.
A new agreement with Sverdrup Civil, Inc. for consulting engineering services for the Wells Hydroelectric Project was approved by the Commission. Douglas PUD bond covenants and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) both require that the PUD maintain such services to provide safe and prudent operations at Wells Dam. Sverdrup had been selected for the agreement to provide the services at the regular Commission Meeting on September 5, 2000.
At the September 25th meeting, the Commissioners authorized an amendment to an agreement for professional services with Parametrix, Inc. Parametrix, Inc. is under contract with Douglas and Chelan County PUDs to serve as a third party contractor for the preparation of an environmental impact statement. This document will be issued for the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) concerning Douglas and Chelan County PUDs Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP). Originally negotiated at a cost of $310,000, $155,000 for each utility, Parametrix has requested an increase to the agreement of $170,024 to be shared by both utilities. The increase is necessary because NMFS is requesting additional materials, several revisions, and alternatives, all requiring additional time to address the changes. Douglas and Chelan PUD will each increase this contract by $85,012 to accommodate the additional requirements.