A public budget hearing last week turned into a heated discussion over the Okanogan County Public Utility District's plan to re-build the Enloe Dam powerhouse and relicense the dam. What do you think should be done?

Rebuild the dam and generate power 84 votes


Breach the dam and end the debate 150 votes


Have a third-party evaluate the cost of rebuilding and breaching, then decide 16 votes


Tear out the existing structure and build something modern, with amenities for recreational activities upstream 23 votes


273 total votes


jimomak 5 years, 2 months ago

There is no business case to generate power. Breaching the dam is not practical because the county would have to set aside money each year until enough is collected to pay for the breaching...the county ratepayers cannot afford this. Of the current proposals, having a 3rd Party assume the risk to generate power is the best course of action. The best solution is to challenge the Department of Ecology to drop the requirement to remove the dam and the sediment. There is no compelling reason to remove "anything" accept by the Department of Ecology. The county needs to just say "NO". If this hasn't been tried or attempted, it should be the next step. I don't see this as one of the choices...sometimes one simply has to have the courage to stand up to the big boys...who live like bullies behind a bluff. Call the bluff...do nothing. :)


Straycat 5 years, 2 months ago

renovation of Enloe Dam makes no financial sense at all. As soon as the PUD and their coyotes get a renovated Enloe on line, your rates will double. You can count on that, but at least The Okanogan can say "look! we have a dam too!"


isabelleSpohn 5 years, 2 months ago

I favor removal of the dam. It is an economic drain on the taxpayers and prevents effective measures for salmon passage intended to mitigate for Grand Coulee Dam.

Richard Tingelstad


Bioricardo 5 years, 2 months ago

Please vote for "Breach the dam and end the debate" option that will convince the PUD that the ratepayers do not want to increase their debt load by building the Enloe Dam Generation Project in the poll the Omak Chronicle is conducting.

Eventually this will lead to cleaning up the sediment and taking out the dam by regional and national interests like BLM, Bureau of Reclamation, NOAA, USFW, and BPA, not the PUD ratepayers. The PUD ratepayers will be responsible for sediment and dam removal only if the PUD goes ahead and develops the generation project at Enloe Dam. We must convince the PUD that they must abandon this project because it will, in perpetuity, create enormous debt ratepayers will be responsible for, create enormous liability if the 90 year old dam fails and releases toxic sediment, and lock up a river resource for only one use, generating an average of 4.5 MWh of power.


jimomak 5 years, 2 months ago

Breaching the dam is a better option than doing nothing...only if larger agencies can assume the risk. If this can be developed by standing up to the agencies that are directly or indirectly forcing this onto the Okanogan ratepayers, then this is the best option. However, state laws exist that denote how much "risk" a utility can assume will come to bear. Currently, if the dam is not electrified, the PUD will have to begin to pay into a "breaching fund" which the ratepayers cannot afford. The ratepayers cannot afford to to build the dam or pay into a breaching fund...so another solution has to be found that addresses the "risk" of the sediment, and the cost of breaching. Doing nothing without the liability is worth pursuing, as well as moving the risks to other agencies with more budget. Another option is find out if the sediment is really "toxic" or has it been politically defined as toxic. In total, all avenues have to be explored.


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