August 25, 2010
County PUD Commissioners today voted to accept a 25 million dollar grant and to proceed with the build-out of the
District’s fiber-optic system to 98 percent of the County. Steve Hair reports . . .
Commissioners met in
special session to decide the fate of the fiber system. Monday night the Board also received input from the public
at another special meeting at the Confluence Technology Center. Prior to the vote the Board members each explained
why they supported the plan even though it will require a 2 to 4 percent electric rate increase to pay for the
PUD’s 8 million dollar share of the expense.
Each of the Commissioners stressed the importance of
maintaining sound business principles going forward given the Utility’s budget shortfalls and longterm debt
burden. After voting to accept the grant the Board then discussed the process for considering the electric rate
increase and the public process that decision will require. The board will discuss that in more detail at their
September 7th meeting.