Tramblie, general manager for the PUD, reported that water losses were below 10 percent for the Puget Island water system. The commissioners were pleased.
“You and the guys,” Commissioner Dennis Reid said, “are just doing an excellent job over there.”
“Having the resources to complete those projects makes all the difference in the world,” replied Tramblie.
They eventually hope to find the same success in western Wahkiakum County.
“I attended the Council of Governments-Wahkiakum forum the other day,” Commissioner Gene Healy said, “and I talked a little bit about the fact that our efficiency efforts around here are currently saving our customers about $25,000 a year.”
Tramblie also told the commissioners that the warranty work at the Wahkiakum substation transformer had been completed.
Commissioner Robert Jungers reiterated his interest in tacking on a monthly $6.20 fee for Puget Island rate payers in order to raise capital for the water plant they may need in 2037 when the current water contract with the Town of Cathlamet ends.
“I think we’re going to need to do something like that,” Reid said, “but I’m not sure we should do it before we figure out what’s going on with the water contract.”
Jungers asked if anyone had gotten feedback about the water system.
“I’ve heard a few casual comments that we should put in our own system,” Healy said, “until they realize the cost.”
The board decided to delay the $7,500 Gray and Osborne Engineers' Puget Island Supply Alternatives Evaluation until after the first of the year, when negotiations regarding the water contract are complete and their direction is clearer.
Commissioners continued last session’s discussion of how net metering will affect the PUD.
“Essentially what it amounts to is they can over produce or under produce,” Jungers said, “if they overproduce at the annual true up it’s ours, they eat it.”
“I can’t imagine us taking their profit will last forever,” Healy said.
Reid stated that with the current push for renewables, the PUD needed “to be active and make sure it’s not going to cripple us and also at the same time take away local control. Once they start chipping away at that, we might not have a board, we might not have a PUD anymore.”
Mark Reddeman, CEO for Energy Northwest since August 2010, was there to meet with people in the local PUD and talk about the Columbia Generating Station near Richland and the shift he had seen in their work environment as they continued to encourage employee excellence. The Columbia Generating Station supplies about 10 percent of Washington state’s power.