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Posted on Oct 31, 2018

Letter to the editor: Brewer, Paris best

Brewer, Paris best
We have important PUD commissioner choices on the ballot this year. The platform of two of the PUD commissioner candidates seems solely to be reducing rates for irrigation and residential customers. But, history is full of unintended consequences from seemingly simple solutions.
Irrigation and residential electric rates in Grant County are among the lowest in the nation. Much of that is due to the foresight of prior PUD commissioners in building Priest Rapids and Wanapum dams, but it’s also due to the practice of current PUD commissioners in allocating less than the full cost of service to irrigation and residential customers. However, the PUD’s total costs need to be met, so if one class pays less, the other classes pay more. Who are those other classes? They are the commercial and industrial customers.
Commercial and industrial customers are willing to pay a little more than cost of service as they recognize that the combination of power rates, land availability and transportation makes it a sound economic decision for them to stay in Grant County. Their presence here provides jobs and adds to the tax base to the benefit of all.
What happens if their power rates go up and commercial or industrial businesses decide to leave? Power rates for the rest of us go up. Our schools, fire districts, cities and county lose much needed tax revenue. Stores close. Jobs disappear. Let’s not let that happen.
Beware of unintended consequences. Please vote to retain Terry Brewer and elect Patti Paris.
Don Long,
Soap Lake