Know your PUD

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There are a lot of great things about living in Grant County, and one of them is our Grant PUD. Yet we frequently don’t think about it except to grumble at having to pay one more bill every month. Sure, the Grant PUD keeps the lights and the heat on, but it also maintains recreational areas, supports fish and wildlife conservation and connects Grant County to the rest of the world through its high-speed fiber network. The abundance of inexpensive electricity attracts industries that would otherwise locate elsewhere, while at the same time making possible the large-scale irrigation of our farms. In short, the Grant PUD keeps this county humming along.

With two PUD Commission seats in play in this year’s election, a lot of talk has come up about how the PUD handles its money, assesses rates and runs its facilities. This is good; these things need to be discussed. Naturally it’s also very important that people discussing them do it armed with accurate information. That’s easier said than done; the facts and figures can be very confusing to people who aren’t professional number crunchers. (Note: that would include the Herald’s editorial board.) So we’re going to publish a series of articles in the coming weeks explaining in layman’s terms how the PUD determines and manages its budget.

The Herald has a longstanding policy of not endorsing candidates for public office, and we’re not going to change that now. Voters need to decide for themselves what policies they want the PUD to follow and which candidates are most likely to set those policies. But we hope we can help our readers a better understanding of what the commissioners – whoever they are – will have to deal with in order to keep our PUD working for everybody.

— Editorial Board

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