Primary Election ballots mailed
Registered voters across Washington should be receiving ballots for the upcoming Primary Election, Tuesday, Aug. 3.
The Primary Election’s 18-day voting period began Friday (July 16), and lasts through Election Day. Ballots include a prepaid-postage return envelope, so people who return their ballots via U.S. mail do not have to pay for a stamp. Voters who place their ballots in an official drop box must do so by 8 p.m. on Election Day. Drop box locations may be found at https://voter.votewa.gov/WhereToVote.aspx.
To vote in the Primary Election, registrations must be received by July 26 — eight days before election day — either online or via U.S. mail. After July 26, people can register or update their registration in person at their county’s elections office during business hours and until 8 p.m. Aug. 3. There are ballot drop boxes at the Winthrop Barn, and at the temporary Twisp Town Hall offices on East Second Avenue.
Registered voters can log in to https://voter.votewa.gov/WhereToVote.aspxto access their personal voting information. More voter and election information, including county elections office locations, is available at www.sos.wa.gov/elections.
Consulting grants for 14 nonprofits
The Nonprofit Practices Institute, a partnership between the Community Foundation of NCW and the Icicle Fund, has funded Strategic Consulting Grants to 14 nonprofits across the region, including three serving the Methow Valley.
The grants will provide one-on-one customized consulting in one of three areas: planning and engagement, partnerships and collaboration, or organizational culture and structure.
Local organizations receiving the consultant grants are Aero Methow Rescue Service, the Methow Valley Citizens Council and the Methow Valley Interpretive Center.
Grant recipients will work with a consultant over the course of several months to identify goals and create working plans to strengthen organizations post-pandemic.
About half the organizations will begin their consulting project this summer, while the other half will begin in the fall. The grant funds cover consultant fees and the nonprofits invest staff and board leadership time. The Strategic Consulting Grant Program is funded by donations to the Community Foundation’s Partners in Giving program and the Icicle Fund.
PUD extends moratorium on cutoffs
At its July 12 meeting, the Okanogan County PUD commission said it is planning changes to the district’s COVID-19 policy, including resuming in-person meetings in the near future. But the district will keep Zoom meetings for people who can’t come in person.
The PUD also expects to extend its COVID-19 moratorium on power shut-offs due to non-payment until Sept. 30, but expects that will be the final extension.
PUD staff has also submitted documentation to the Federal Emergency Management Agency for reimbursement for more than $7 million in damages due to storms and fires in 2020. The PUD will ask for $85,522 for January 2020 winter storm damage, $45,253 for damage due to the Palmer Fire and $6,756,772 for the Cold Springs Fire.
Summer power usage records
The heat wave from June 28 – 30 resulted in new summer peak power usage records three days in a row at Okanogan County PUD, the district reported.
The previous record was 110 megawatts set Aug. 13, 2015. The record was broken this June 28 with 111 megawatts, June 29 with 118 megawatts and June 30 with 116 megawatts.
At a July 12 commissioners’ meeting, PUD Director of Power Resources and Broadband Services Ron Gadeberg said June was an “unheard of month.”
The heat wave affected wholesale power pricing, forcing the PUD to spend $718,847 on power when it actually expected to make money on wholesale power sales instead.
The winter peak record is 178 megawatts.