Avista offers employees voluntary severance packages to cut costs

LEWISTON, ID - Avista Utilities is offering voluntary severance packages for employees within the company as part of a sustainable savings plan.

Avista Utilities Communications Manager Dan Kolbet said they announced to 919 employees on Monday that they could voluntarily leave the company if they'd like. He said the plan is only for non-union workers, so those out in the field who deal with customers may not be affected.

"We're just at a point now where, we need to decrease the gap in between our rising costs and our customer loads," said Kolbet. "And this is just one of the ways that we're trying to close that gap by offering a voluntary severance program."

Kolbet said he doesn't know the exact number of people who were offered voluntary severance packages in the region, but they have locations in Pullman and Lewiston that employ a number of workers. He says since 2010, Avista Utilities started instituting programs that reduced costs and spending.