By Nicole Montesano • Staff Writer • 

Water & Light approves 2013-14 budget

With the rates it pays to BPA continuing to rise, the utility is expecting to begin experiencing annual operating losses in 2015 if nothing is done.

Projections show the utility ending its current fiscal year with a surplus of $956,069, but its year-end balance dropping to $257,814 next year and going  negative the following year. The projections predict the utility’s losses growing from $700,000 in 2014-15 to $3.2 million by 2017-18.

On Thursday, the commission will hold a special meeting, in part to conduct a workshop on electrical side costs. For the past year, the commission has been examining how well its rates track the actual cost of providing service.

The meeting is set for 11 a.m. at Water & Light headquarters at 855 N.E. Marsh Lane. It is open to interested members of the public.

The commission plans to review a proposed budget for the water side of its operation in June.

In other business Tuesday, commissioners:

n Approved purchase of earthquake coverage from a Lloyds of London syndicate, rather than City County Insurance Services. CIS could not provide the amount of coverage the utility sought, and could not match Lloyds’ rates.

n Adopted amendments to bring its cross-connection policy into compliance with state law, which has changed.

n Approved amendments to a pole logging contract, allowing the contractor to receive logs at alternate locations. However, commissioners stipulated that the contractor must carry cargo insurance, to cover any potential loss from the longer haul distances.

n Held an executive session to consider trade negotiations, labor negotiations, property transactions and litigation. No action was taken on any of the issues in open session.

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