EPHRATA - Grant County PUD commissioners may raise rates beyond the planned 4 percent next year.
The issue is slated for discussion during their 1 p.m. commission meeting Monday in Ephrata.
Possible increases vary, with talks of increases between 4 percent and 14 percent, said Sarah Morford, a commission spokesperson.
Increases shown in a preliminary draft analysis show a 7 percent to 12. 5 percent increase in 2011, peaking to 14 percent in 2012.
How the increase looks by rate category hasn't been finalized.
Staff is recommending the increase be higher than 4 percent, she said.
Contributing factors include two below-average water years, meaning less power is produced for sale at the PUD's dams. Fewer sales resulted in a decline in revenue.
No presentations are planned at Monday's meeting, rather it is more of a regrouping and time to pick an option, she explained.
The following items were being discussed for budget reductions or deferment:
Across the board reductions to operations and maintenance
Timing of capital expenditures
16 fewer employees
$1.015 million reduction in labor
No wage increases
No new vehicle purchases
Minimal facilities updates
Some trade association withdrawals
No new fiber build-out
It's still not known how much will be spent for fiber, she said.
If there was a new build out, a rate increase would need to be higher than between 8 and 10 percent, she said.
The PUD's proposed 2011 budget is $479.6 million, which shows a deficit of $4 million compared to last year.
Rate increases wouldn't start until April 1.
The PUD's Ephrata office is located at 30 C St. SW, Ephrata.