Proposed property transaction with the Port of Chelan in Olds Station discussed

Horan property proposal map.

WENATCHEE, WA – Chelan County PUD commissioners Monday reviewed a package of proposed agreements with the Port of Chelan County to preserve options for an operations base in Wenatchee that will improve service for customer-owners.


The agreements would finalize terms announced in July that include the PUD buying about 19 acres of Port property for possible construction of a new base for its Wenatchee operations. (00:48)


Several years of study under the strategic priority to invest in assets and employees showed the pressing need for major improvements to facilities at the hydro projects, the Hawley Street shop and at the downtown Wenatchee campus. Analysis found that improvements are essential in an effort to offer customers great service and at a single location.


Many PUD buildings date back to the 1950s. In addition, growth over the decades has shifted county power loads. More than 60 percent of service calls for Wenatchee-area crews are to areas north of Wenatchee.


Dan Frazier, Shared Services director, said analysis determined the most cost-effective approach would bring utility operations, customer care and decision-making together in one location. “Proximity of employees, equipment and materials to our customers is key to achieving efficiency and a higher level of customer service. This option is the most cost-effective for the future,” he said.


In what location is still to be determined, said General Manager Steve Wright. “These proposed agreements will preserve an important option for the Commission as we develop alternatives and seek feedback from customer-owners.”


Key components of the multi-agreement deal (see attached map) are:

·         PUD purchase of the Port’s Horan Property at $10/square foot; $8.3 million total

·         Port purchase of the PUD’s 25-percent share of the Confluence Technology Center (CTC) for $1.4 million and leaseback by the PUD during potential development of the Horan  Property

·         PUD lease of Industrial Building No. 5

·         Options for the Port to buy back the property under various scenarios

·         PUD priority use for 25 percent of the CTC Video Conference Center

·         10-year exemption from upfront capital charges for up to 2 megawatts of high-density and cryptocurrency loads in the CTC

·         Redevelopment planning for the PUD’s Fifth Street campus with the Port and City of Wenatchee (up to $75,000 funding each)


PUD commissioners set a hearing at 10 a.m. on Dec. 3 to consider declaring the CTC units surplus so they could be sold to the Port. Staff will seek board approval of the total package of agreements on the same day. 


In other business, commissioners:

·         Heard from three people offering comment on the proposed rate for cryptocurrency operations.  Board members extended the rate hearing and the moratorium on accepting applications for new service to crypto operations until Dec. 3, when staff will ask for board action on the proposed rate to be effective April 1, 2019. (00:00)

·         Heard that Net Wholesale and other energy-related revenue is forecast to be $10.1 million above budget at $126.4 million for 2018. That includes $5 million in premiums paid for carbon-free hydropower. They also heard that energy efficiency programs are on track to meet compliance and stretch goals and installation of LED streetlights across the county is about 25 percent complete. (00:15)

·         Reviewed updates to the proposed 2019 budget. Staff will ask for board approval at the Dec. 3 meeting. (02:05)

·         Thanked Casey Hall, construction manager, and Mark Hoefner, environmental compliance technician, for taking ownership in separate situations to improve efficiency in making daily construction reports, and for making sure contractors and employees were safe during demolition that could have exposed hazardous material. (00:05)

·         Applauded Corporate Communications Manager Suzanne Hartman and thanked her for outstanding work during her tenure. Hartman will retire on Nov. 30. (01:54)


Upcoming events:

·         Nov. 20 – Tri-Commission meeting, 1 p.m., Chelan County commission offices, 400 Douglas St., Wenatchee

·         Nov. 22 – Thanksgiving holiday, offices closed

·         Dec. 3 – Hearing to consider declaring CTC units surplus, 10 a.m.

·         Dec. 3 – Cryptocurrency rate and moratorium hearings, 10 a.m.; 2019 budget and Horan Property resolutions to follow.

·         Dec. 14  - Fiesta Decembrina, 8-10 p.m., Wenatchee Valley Chamber Visitor Center

·         Dec. 17 – Commission meeting, 10 a.m., boardroom 

·         Dec. 25 – Christmas, offices closed

·         Jan. 1 – New Year’s Day, offices closed

·         Jan. 7 – Commission meeting, 10 a.m., boardroom


The next regular PUD commission meeting is at 10 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 3, in the boardroom at 327 N. Wenatchee Ave.


Chelan PUD records most commission meetings, and a link to the audio is available on the PUD’s home page at www.chelanpud.org. Find us on Facebook.com/ChelanPUD and follow us on Twitter @ChelanPUD.

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