Board Adopts 2022 Budget

St. Helens, OR – December 22, 2021 – The Columbia River People’s Utility District Board of Directors adopted a $44.2 million Operating and Capital Budget at their December meeting. That represents a $3 million increase from 2021, most of which is earmarked for a new substation at the PUD headquarters in Deer Island.

“I’d like to thank the staff for their hard work on this budget. I know it’s a trying time for everybody to get through it and you did a great job,” said PUD Board Member Neal Sheppeard.

Deer Island Substation

In June of 2021, the PUD broke ground on the site of its 10th substation. The budget allocates $1.47 million to the substation.

An additional $1.24 million is slotted to build a new transmission line that will allow the substation to be energized. The transmission line will run along Chaney Road to connect the substation to Bonneville Power Administration’s Alston to St. Helens transmission line.

The substation will help improve service reliability in the Deer Island and Goble areas. It will also help facilitate growth in Columbia City and St. Helens.

System Improvement Projects

In addition to the new substation, the PUD has budgeted $5 million for capital projects elsewhere in its system. That includes overhead-to-underground projects along Apple Valley Road in Scappoose, Grey Cliffs Drive in St. Helens, and Gensman Road in Yankton.

The PUD will also begin a 5-year process to replace its meters system-wide. The current meters are nearing the end of their useful lives. The new meters will help improve operational efficiencies and improve outage awareness and response. They will ensure uniformity and consistency across the PUD’s system.

Cash Balance

The 2022 Budget calls for ending the year with cash reserves of $8.8 million. This is $500,000 above the year-end minimum cash balance of $8.3 million established by the Board of Directors.

“I’d like to thank the staff for the hard work they always do year in and year out, in the daily work to not only put a budget together, but to work hard to stick to a budget and come in under budget,” said PUD Board Member Jake Carter. “We always end up looking better at the end of the year than we project.”