Hoping to ease travel and time constraints preventing Western Wahkiakum Water System (WWWS) customers from attending morning meetings in Cathlamet, the commissioners met quarterly at Rosburg Hall during 2012. Public attendance dropped off after the first meeting, while travel and rental expenses added up for the PUD.
Commissioner Dennis Reid, who represents Skamokawa and Western Wahkiakum County, said the commissioners were willing to revisit the discussion as warranted.
PUD Manager Dave Tramblie reported to the commissioners about the status of the PUD’s substation construction project. A pre-energization inspection in December had identified wiring issues on the substation’s transformer, and the manufacturer has been working to correct them. Initial energization is scheduled for Friday. If all goes as planned, the transformer should be in full operation later this month.
Tramblie announced that the commissioners’ decision to waive a $3500 system development fee for new water hookups in 2012 had resulted in 31 new Puget Island customers and 12 new WWWS customers. Each customer signed a two-year service agreement with the PUD.
PUD Auditor Erin Wilson reported that the Department of Revenue (DOR) had denied the utility’s request to reduce penalties assessed on underpaid taxes.
A DOR audit in fall 2012 determined that the utility owed the state $56,000 in underpaid combined excise taxes.
Wilson said DOR staff had reviewed the utility’s appeal and determined that the utility had adequate revenues to pay the full amount.
At their last meeting, the commissioners approved the first of four $14,000 payments to DOR.
Water and power employees attended the meeting to brief the commissioners on their respective systems.
Water crew employees passed around examples of pipes and valves currently in use.
Line crew foreman Shane Pfenniger and Lia Sealund reported on their plans to visit Wendt Elementary classrooms later in the spring for electrical safety education.
Pfenniger demonstrated a model he had constructed to illustrate the dangers of real-life situations such as exiting a car in contact with a downed live wire.