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PUD should not change rates for big business

Letter to the Editor

 


There seems to be some confusion about what a public utility district is intended to accomplish.

The large corporations who have come into Grant County will attempt to lower their rates if they can, and in that attempt, they will urge a cost analysis because it will support their request to lower their rates. If you are closer to the point of distribution or you are ordering larger quantities of power, a cost analysis will show that it costs less for the PUD to distribute short distances or provide large quantities of power to one customer.

But a PUD is an organized effort by a group to provide products or services to the group in general. Over the years, there never has been, nor should there be, a cost analysis to decide the rates to individual customers. It is not the role of the commissioners to favor big business.

If there are rate increases as proposed, there will be an effort to make changes in the board’s composition. If that change is successful, the rates will be changed again to where they should be, consistent with a policy of rate uniformity. There will be a battle, of course. The businesses affected will threaten their employees and the community with closure. Those businesses who came into the county knew they were getting their power from a PUD and they know what that means. They knew the rate when they came here, and made their business decision accordingly.

Uniformity, not cost analysis, promotes fairness as that term is applied to public utility entities. Consider this: a PUD is a taxing district. At its inception, taxes could have been imposed to accomplish the district purpose to provide power. Had taxes been imposed, no one would have even suggested that someone should pay less taxes than others because it cost less to deliver power to them. My point is that cost analysis should not govern decisions by the board of commissioners of a PUD.

A PUD is a public entity designed to provide power to all, no matter where they are in the county and at essentially the same rates regardless of the intended use.

Ken Jorgensen

Moses Lake

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