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Monday, February 26, 2024
Feb. 26, 2024

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Clark Public Utilities to hold rates steady in 2022

Utility’s board of commissioners OK budget for next year

By , Columbian staff writer

Clark Public Utilities customers will not see their water and electric rates increase this coming year.

The utility’s commissioners voted Tuesday to approve annual budgets for electric, water and generating systems.

The electric system budget came in at $395.1 million. That’s up from $384.8 million in 2021. The largest portion of the budget is for the system’s power supply, $243.8 million, followed by the operating and maintenance budget at $66 million. The remaining portion is made up of taxes, debt service, rate-funded capital expenditures and funding for energy-efficiency programs.

The commission also approved budgets for the water system, which is $22 million compared with $21.6 million last year, and the generating system, which is $75.3 million, up $6.4 million from this year. This was, however, less than the $76.3 million budgeted for the system in 2020. Clark Public Utilities buys power from the Bonneville Power Administration and also runs the River Road Generating Plant, which burns natural gas.

The approved operating budgets also set aside funding for improvements and system upgrades, estimated to cost $55.3 million for the electric and generating systems. These areas will undergo construction and see upgrades to substations and transmission and distribution lines, as well as improvements to the generating system. Another $11.2 million will be put into upgrades in the water system, including to water main extensions, meters and reservoirs and booster stations.

Clark Public Utilities offers electrical service to about 213,000 customers countywide and water service to 37,000 customers in unincorporated areas including Hazel Dell, Felida and Salmon Creek.