Commissioners Approve 2022 Budget

Posted Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Skagit PUD Board of Commissioners unanimously approved the 2022 budget Tuesday night during its regular meeting.

The 2022 budget incorporates a 5% increase in base water rates and more significant increases in the tiered water rates for high consumption.

The budget continues implementing the capital and financial plans adopted at the end of 2019. The multi-year financial plan meets the PUD’s anticipated operational and capital needs while undertaking a Capital Improvement Plan that anticipates construction of $35 million in capital projects next year. The focus continues on maintaining existing water system infrastructure as well as replacing critical infrastructure that is beyond its useful life.

The 2022 proposed budget was presented at a public hearing on October 12. Department managers presented their operation and capital budget requests during three work sessions held in October and early November.

The 2022 operating budget is $17,260,455, a 6.4% increase over last year’s budget. Overall, operating expenses increased by $1,045,216, with the largest increase in the salaries and benefits category. The majority of the $702,323 increase is associated with three new positions: a Human Resources administrator, an IT server administrator, and a construction maintenance worker. In addition, employees received a cost of living adjustment of 2.6% (90% of the three-year average of Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers) and a merit increase for eligible employees.

Other expense categories with material changes include property and liability insurance increase of $126,486, utility taxes increase of $122,000, and $103,820 of additional expense for computer and Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition hardware and software projects.

The rate increases take effect January 1, 2022, and projected rate revenues should increase by $1.4 million, which will finance the Capital Improvement Plan.