Chelan PUD commissioners will vote Monday on a plan that will not increase water bills for customers in Pehastin.

The PUD is taking over the Peshstin Water District and had considered adding a $16.00 monthly charge to cover the cost of improvements, including a new water well.

Peshastin water rates will drop under the PUD system and a much smaller additional charge will be added under the plan PUD commissioners will vote on, and are expected to pass.

The smaller additional charge will leave overall charges unchanged for Peshastin residents.

The PUD rates by themselves would have lowered Peshastin water bills for residential customers by a little under $5 a month and industrial customers by close to $700 a month.

The PUD refers to the small additional charge as a "rate equalization charge."

The rate equalization charge will keep rates consistent with a plan adopted by the Peshastin Water District several years ago to increase the rates by 4% annually between 2024 and 2030.

The rate equalization charge is expected to generate about $33,000 a year toward covering the improvements in Peshastin.

It will be in place for three years, which will not come close to covering the $2.6 million in improvements planned (including $2 million for a replacement water well.)

PUD staff will use the three years to look for outside funding, possibly through grants, to pay for the upgrades.

The plan for the PUD to take over water operations in Peshastin has been in the works since 2016 when Peshastin Water District asked to join Chelan PUD for better efficiency. The PUD already operates the wastewater system in Peshastin. The benefits to customers include faster outage response, more operational support, more payment options, and low-income senior and disabled customer discounts.

Chelan PUD currently operates five water systems in Wenatchee, Chelan Falls, Chelan Ridge, Dryden, and Ollala Canyon, which collectively serve more than 6,500 homes and businesses.

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