Clark Public Utilities electric and water rates to remain unchanged
Electric and water rates will not change under budgets approved by the Clark Public Utilities Board of Commissioners.
Carol Curtis, president of the utility’s board, says 2009 was a difficult year: “We faced difficult economic conditions, which resulted in lower-than-expected sales of electricity and water.” She says the utility expects sluggish economic conditions to continue in 2010. “Our challenge was to keep spending as low as possible without reducing the service we provide to our customer-owners,” says Curtis.
Commissioners voted to use $4.7 million from the utility’s rate stabilization fund to balance the budget.
The budgets assume growth levels just slightly higher than this year’s anemic levels. Electric System customer growth is anticipated to be about 0.7 percent, with the number of new water customers to be up just 0.3 percent.
Electric System expenses are expected to be about $388 million. That’s down from $413 million planned for 2009, but that number is expected to end up about $379 million after the cuts made earlier this year. As has been the case historically, about 70 percent of the budget is the cost of power the utility generates or purchases for sale to its customers.
Reduced costs for natural gas that is used to produce electricity at the River Road Generating Plant are offset by higher costs of power purchased from the Bonneville Power Administration, the purchase of wind energy and added spending on energy conservation programs.
Investments in energy conservation are expected to grow in 2010 with new and expanded programs. The budget includes a net cost of $3.8 million for weatherization and conservation investments, up from about $2.1 million in 2009.
The wind energy and conservation spending is required by Initiative 937, which was passed by voters in 2006.
The budget also includes about $1.3 million for business information improvements, which will provide more efficient operations in many areas of the utility. That’s down from $2.8 million budgeted in 2009.
Spending on construction projects will fall to $26.2 million, a drop of about $6.9 million from 2009. A portion of that reflects reduced spending on an expansion of the utility’s Ed Fischer Operations Center, much of which will be completed this year. It also includes reduced spending on substations, meters, and streetlights.
Water System expenses are expected to be about $13.4 million next year, down from $13.7 million this year.
Construction spending by the Water System will drop to about $4.3 million from $12.1 million in 2010, reflecting completion of initial work at the South Lake Well Field.
Clark Public Utilities is a customer-owned public utility district that provides electric service to more than 182,000 customers throughout Clark County. The utility also provides water service to about 30,000 homes and businesses in the Hazel Dell, Salmon Creek, Lakeshore, Hockinson, Brush Prairie, La Center, Meadow Glade, Amboy and Yacolt areas.
Clark College honors November's student athletes of the month
From left to right are Clark College’s athletes of the month Brittany Henderson and Justine Tabor.
Student athletes competing in volleyball and cross country have been honored as the November 2009 "Athletes of the Month" at Clark College.
Brittany Henderson came to Clark from Prairie High School in Brush Prairie. Henderson led the Clark College cross country team to a fifth place finish at the NWAACC cross country championships on Nov. 14. Henderson placed fourth overall, earning All-American status in the process. Head cross country coach Ryan Hovde notes that Henderson also excels academically. “This spring she'll be graduating from Clark and heading to Eastern Washington University on an athletic/academic scholarship,” says Hovde. “Brittany is doing all she
can to leave her mark at Clark College before she leaves us next spring.”
Clark freshman Justine Tabor is a graduate of Vancouver’s Union High School. Coaches say Tabor, a freshman outside hitter for the Lady Penguins volleyball team, had an impressive month November. In three matches, Tabor totaled 35 kills and a .250 hitting percentage, along with 19 digs. In a match against Pierce Community College, she recorded an outstanding hitting percentage of .390. Head volleyball coach Jessie Uribe describes Tabor as “a leader on and off the court.” Uribe adds, “Her work ethic--and passion to be the best--is not only displayed on the court but in the classroom as well. She is majoring in chemistry with hopes of pursuing a career in forensic science.”
The Student Athlete of the Month program recognizes both the academic and athletic achievements of Clark's student athletes. Two recipients are selected each month by a committee that includes Clark College coaches, athletic department personnel, and fellow students.
H1N1 vaccine restrictions lifted in Southwest Washington; vaccine now available for everyone
Washington State public health agency administrators and health officers decided yesterday to lift priority group restrictions on H1N1 vaccine. Although some Washington counties may still decide to offer vaccine to priority groups only, restrictions have been lifted in Clark, Cowlitz, Skamania and Wahkiakum counties.
“As more vaccine has arrived in the region, we are meeting vaccine demand among the priority groups to the extent that we can now make the vaccine available to everyone,” said Marni Storey, Region IV incident commander. “Even so, we are focusing our outreach efforts on people in priority groups and encouraging those at greatest risk to get vaccinated as soon as they can.”
For information about where to get vaccinated, call your healthcare provider or pharmacy, or visit http://www.flunewsswwashington.org/Vaccines.html.
Southwest’s Spiritual Care Services invites all those who have experienced the death of a loved one to a community memorial service, featuring Words of Reflection from Chaplain Jason Dong, with music by Celtic Muse, from 6 to 7 p.m. tonight, Dec. 9, Southwest Washington Medical Center, 400 NE Mother Joseph Place, Health Education Center, auditorium A/B. Refreshments will be served. RSVP to Spiritual Care Services at 514-2257. <> Battle Ground Planning Commission meets at 7 p.m. tonight, Dec. 9, in Council Chambers, 109 SW 1st Street, 2nd door, Battle Ground. For more information, call 342-5044. <> YWCA invites community members, service providers, and local authorities to attend its community forum, “Standing Together Against Domestic Violence in Our Community!” The forum will be held from noon to 1 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 10, at the YWCA Community Room, 3609 Main Street. <> Loaves & Fishes will provide hot meals to senior citizens from noon to 2 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 10, La Center Community Center, 1000 E 4th Street. <> Design Review Committee meets at 4 p.m. Thursday, Nov.11, 4400 NE 77th Avenue, Conference Room 3A. <> Contemporary Chiropractic is having a grand opening with a ribbon cutting from 1 to 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 10, 12214 SE Mill Plain Blvd., Ste. 101. <> Clark County’s Three Creeks Advisory Council will meet from 10 a.m. to noon Thursday, Dec. 10. The meeting is open to the public and will be at the Clark Regional Wastewater District, 8000 N.E. 52nd Court, in the Hazel Dell area.
Wednesday on the air
Clark Homeless Engagement Collaboration - Report to the Community (10-30)--4:30 p.m. CVTV
Clark County Planning Commission (live)--6:30 p.m. CVTV
Clark County Board of Commissioners: Mid-Term Modification of the 2009-2010 Biennial Budget (12-8)--11:30 p.m. CVTV
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Wednesday, December 9, 2009 Headlines
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