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PUD Accepts Federal Fiber Grant

August 25, 2010

Chelan 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.

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