Thursday, June 13, 2024

Peshastin Water District acquisition moves forward


WENATCHEE - Customers of the Peshastin Water District will see little change in their monthly bills when Chelan County PUD acquires the community water system on March 26.

In a 3-1 vote on Monday, PUD commissioners approved creating a temporary rate equalization charge for the 240 homes and businesses served by Peshastin Water District. The charge aims to have customers pay about the same amount as they currently do under Peshastin Water District rates.

Chelan PUD's standard water rates are slightly lower than Peshastin's, from less than $5 per month for residential customers to under $700 for industrial users. The equalization charge, estimated at $33,000 annually, will help cover planned water system upgrades in Peshastin as the PUD takes over operations.

The consolidation process began in 2016 when Peshastin Water District requested to join the larger PUD system for improved efficiency. Chelan PUD already operates the wastewater system in Peshastin.

Under an agreement signed last September, the PUD will assume the water system's debt and fund about $2.6 million in upgrades, including drilling a $2 million replacement well. Other benefits for Peshastin customers include faster outage response, more payment options, and discounts for low-income seniors and disabled residents.

The rate equalization charge taking effect June 1 is a temporary measure. The PUD plans to reassess it in three years as part of an annual rate review process. Officials also continue seeking grant funding to help offset system improvement costs in Peshastin.

Chelan PUD currently operates five other water systems serving over 6,500 connections in Wenatchee, Chelan Falls, Chelan Ridge, Dryden and Ollala Canyon.


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