PUD in the Community

We are a team of nearly 100 individuals whose mission is to provide the folks of Okanogan County with reliable, on-demand electricity and broadband.  Not only do we focus on our jobs and the mission of the PUD, we do much more. We have a positive influence in the communities of Okanogan County in many ways, some of which you may not have heard of.

We occasionally highlight some of these stories here. You may also read all our news stories by clicking on the NEWS tab.

Pud with a group of kids
  PUD participated in Safety Day, 2015 at North Elementary School

Recent PUD in the Community News

Hydropower STEM Career Academy in June at Rocky Reach Dam

Students who will be entering grades 9 through 12 are invited to register for a week of fun and learning June 19 to 24 at the FWEE Hydropower and STEM Career Academy at Rocky Reach Dam.

The Academy, which is sponsored by the Foundation for Water and Energy Education (FWEE) and host partner Chelan County PUD, focuses on hydropower careers that require science, technology, engineering and mathematic skills (STEM).

Those attending the academy will learn how hydropower is generated at dams on the Columbia River and distributed throughout the region.  During the academy, hydropower professionals will conduct tours and hands-on activities.  You will have the opportunity to fly your own drone, experience a solar car challenge and build a hydroelectric model.  Students will also receive instruction and advice on how to prepare for a career in the exciting field of power generation and delivery.  High school counselors, college advisors and mentors will be on hand to identify the prerequisites and academic achievement needed to pursue these and related careers.

For more information and the application, go to www.fwee.org/academy.   Applications need to be postmarked no later than May 5, 2017.

During the January 9, 2017 regular Board of Commissioners meeting, Scott Vejraska, Commissioner from District #1, was elected as Okanogan PUD Board President. Steve Houston, District #2 Commissioner, will act as Vice-President and Jerry Asmussen, District #3 Commissioner, will be Secretary.

On December 19, 2016, Okanogan PUD Commissioners and staff presented Ernest ‘Ernie’ Bolz with a plaque and adopted Resolution No. 1630 honoring his service to the Utility. Bolz did not seek re-election and is retiring to the Wenatchee area to be closer to family.

Bolz was elected Commissioner in 2005 and immediately began his commitment to public power and rural telecommunications. Bolz helped guide Okanogan PUD’s development of telecom and broadband services and has been a staunch supporter of the Northwest Open Access Network (NoaNet). Additionally, Bolz was instrumental in Okanogan PUD’s Last-Mile Project made possible through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Broadband Initiatives Program. This project extended high-speed broadband to residents and businesses in Okanogan County.

The Board of Commissioners and Utility staff extends its appreciation to Bolz for providing 12 years of dedicated public service to the residents of Okanogan County by serving as Commissioner from 2005 through 2016. 

Commissioner Ernie Bolz photo         Commissioner Scott Vejraska presenting plaque

Commissioner Vejraska presents outgoing Commissioner Bolz with a plaque thanking him for his 12 years of service to the Utility. 

Okanogan PUD’s JD Adams, Rod Little, Micah Somes and Eric McKinney represented Okanogan PUD as one of 206 teams that attended the International Lineman’s Rodeo in Bonner Springs, Kansas, October 15, 2016. The Lineman’s Rodeo attracts the best linemen from around the world to compete in events based on traditional lineman tasks and skills, and promotes commitment to work safe practices.  Our team participated and placed well in the Journeyman Best of the Best competition, the Hurtman Rescue, Pole Climb and Mystery Events.

International Lineman's Rodeo 2016
International Lineman Rodeo photo
2nd International Lineman Rodeo photo
3rd International Lineman Rodeo photo
4th International Lineman Rodeo photo
5th International Lineman Rodeo photo
6th International Lineman Rodeo photo
7th International Lineman Rodeo photo

Please join the Okanogan PUD for our Public Power Week Kick Off event October 1, 2016 at the Okanogan Harvest Festival in downtown Okanogan. We will be offering to ratepayers the opportunity to choose an energy saving surge protector or a box set that includes two (2) energy efficient shower heads and two (2) LED 25,000 hour light bulbs between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. We hope to see you there!