Commission at Clark Public Utilities adopts 2020 budget for electric, generating and water systems

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The Clark Public Utilities Board of Commissioners voted last week to approve the annual budgets for electric, generating and water systems. Electric and water rate increases are not currently required to fund the approved budgets. 

The 2020 combined operating budget for electric and generating systems is $360.67 million, which is down about $6 million from the 2019 budget. Power supply remains the large majority of the budget at $230 million, down about $2 million from last year. The operating and maintenance budget is $58 million. The remainder is made up of taxes, debt service, rate-funded capital and funding for efficient energy programs. 

The board also approved $20.2 million for the 2020 water systems budget, which is less than the $21.3 million budget in 2019. 

“A former colleague of mine used to say you can tell a lot about an organization by their budget, and staff has done a meticulous job of capturing the direction of the board in a pragmatic and disciplined way in this year’s forecast,” Clark Public Utilities Board of Commissioners President Nancy Barnes said in a news release. 

The release said capital budgets for both electric and water systems allot funds for system maintenance and improvements. For the electric and generating systems, projects planned for the $55.96 million capital investment include ongoing replacement and treatment of aging underground cable, substation and transmission upgrades and road improvement projects. The $8.18 million for the water system allocates funds for main extensions and upgrades as well as the completion of the Paradise Point well field treatment plant. 

“This budget not only absorbs higher power supply costs from the Bonneville Power Administration without the requirement of a rate increase for our customers, but continues to reflect our priorities of energy conservation, support of our limited-income communities and the ongoing proactive maintenance and improvement of our systems,” Barnes said in the release.

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