OKANOGAN - Okanogan County Public Utility District marked its 75th anniversary quietly last week.
Coronavirus concerns prevented the utility from having a public celebration. Its offices are closed to the public, with many employees working from home and offices staffed during reduced hours.
According to The Chronicle’s May 17, 1945, issue, more than five years of court proceedings ended with the district taking ownership of Washington Water Power properties in Okanogan and Douglas counties. Checks worth nearly $2.87 million were presented to WWP May 11 at the Okanogan County Courthouse.
The split was $2.31 million for Okanogan County and $167,096.42 for Douglas County.
Okanogan County issued $2.7 million in bonds for the purchase.
Paul W. Hand, formerly with Bonneville Power Administration in Seattle, was named the Okanogan County PUD manager and William Dixon, former manager of the Okanogan County Electric Cooperative in Winthrop, was the Douglas County PUD manager.
The same story announced that funds for a new power line from Grand Coulee Dam to Brewster had been authorized by Congress, with construction to start as soon as BPA could acquire materials. The line would bring Grand Coulee power directly to Okanogan County.
In the meantime, Washington Water Power provided electricity to the new PUD.
PUD commissioners for Okanogan County were W.S. Chummy, Omak, president; A.L. King, Malott, and Walter A.Hart, Oroville. Douglas County PUD commissioners were Clyde Rigney, Mansfield, chairman; Bob Hedges, Waterville, and George Hamilton, East Wenatchee.