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Pend Oreille County, Seattle City Light Reach 10-Year Deal

Seattle's City Council approves a 10-year agreement with Pend Oreille County for impact payments related to Boundary Dam.

On an 8 – 0 vote Monday, Sept. 20, the Seattle City Council approved Council Bill 116792, a new 10-year agreement with Pend Oreille County.  This represents the City’s impact payment obligation for the operation of Boundary Dam in Northeastern Washington.  The agreement concludes two years of negotiations between the city and county.  The previous agreement ended in December, 2008.

“We are delighted to see these negotiations come to a successful result,” stated County Commission Chair, Diane Wear.  “It’s been a difficult process for all concerned, but, in the end, it’s a very positive conclusion for all of us. The City Light employees at Boundary Dam are an integral part of almost every event that takes place in Pend Oreille County and we appreciate their support and community involvement.”

“I am pleased that the City of Seattle and Pend Oreille County were able to negotiate in good faith and resolve the issues,” said Councilmember Bruce Harrell, Chair of the Energy, Technology and Civil Rights Committee.  “Now the relicensing process can move forward efficiently, without the threat of impasse.”

“Boundary Dam is an essential part of our power portfolio,” added City Light Superintendent Jorge Carrasco.  “It was important to all of us, especially our ratepayers and the residents of Pend Oreille County, to reach agreement.  The resolution adopted by the Council puts in place a solid foundation for reaching common ground on impact agreements in the future.”

Boundary Dam

The term of the agreement is for 2010 – 2019, for a total of $19,043,638 million, which reflects approximately a $3.7 million increase above the previous agreement.  The Pend Oreille County Commission approved the agreement on Aug. 24, 2010.

Pend Oreille County, located in Northeastern Washington has 13,100 residents and covers a large territory 67 miles long and 22 miles wide.  Pend Oreille was the last county to be formed in Washington State.  It is home to a bounty of recreational opportunities and natural beauty.

Seattle City Light is the tenth largest public utility in the U.S.  Its seven hydroelectric dams provide about half the power required for City Light’s nearly 400,000 customers.  City Light has been a national leader for thirty years in energy efficiency programs.  In 2005, the utility became the first electric utility to be a net zero carbon producer and has remained greenhouse gas neutral ever since.