By Marcy Stamper
The Okanogan County Public Utility District (PUD) commissioners are still working on the utility’s budget for 2015. The budget projections include revenues of $59.8 million and expenditures of $44.1 million. The bulk of the revenue comes from electricity sales, with $3 million derived from use of the PUD’s broadband network.
PUD staff have budgeted for $18.8 in capital expenditures, including $9.9 million for the Methow transmission line and Gold Creek substation, $1.8 million for Enloe Dam and $4.2 million for standard equipment replacement.
The largest expense connected with the Pateros-Twisp transmission line is $6 million for construction, with another $2 million for materials and substation construction and upgrades.
Another $2.2 million expenditure is anticipated for restoration connected with the Carlton Complex Fire. The PUD is anticipating $6.2 million in reimbursement for 2014 expenses related to the fire as part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s public infrastructure disaster declaration, and will get more to offset future costs.
The 2015 budget takes into account increased revenues in electricity sales this past year, with the majority — $2.3 million — in the retail market.
The transmission line, an emergency-action plan for Enloe Dam, and fire recovery were all assigned the highest priority.
Wages amount to $7.7 million and benefits are $3.1 million. The PUD has added three employees and has budgeted for an overall wage increase of 2 percent.
The utility is paying $3.7 million on principal and interest for a loan for broadband and fiber-optic equipment.
The next budget workshop is scheduled for Dec. 15 at 2:30 p.m.