The Cowlitz PUD is making plans to hold rate hearings some time next month, after getting word from the Bonneville Power Administration that wholesale power rates are going up nearly 8 percent in October. The BPA announced earlier this week that wholesale power rates will go up 7.8 percent on October first. PUD officials say that they were waiting for this news, also saying that the wholesale rate hike is actually less than they expected. The Cowlitz PUD buys about 90 percent of its electricity supply from the BPA, and will be required to make a rate adjustment to reflect this increased cost. The exact size of the projected increase hasn’t yet been determined. PUD officials say that they should know more in the next few weeks, and will release those figures prior to the rate hearing, which will be held at one of the regular PUD Commission meetings in September.
A six-week competition between Cowlitz PUD employees has been a big benefit to the Help Food Warehouse, as the employees collected more than 16,000 pounds of food over a six-week period. Dave Andrew says that PUD employees were split into two teams, competing to see who could raise the most food and money. Along with the food donations, the teams collected $3,761 in cash. This is the fourth year of the PUD employee competition, which has now resulted in more than 18 tons of food for the Help Food Warehouse.