The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

PUD working on water, salary policy


Commissioners listened to reports and discussed possible elements of an administrative salary policy that they are trying to create at the Wahkiakum County PUD Board of Commissioner’s meeting on Tuesday morning.

General Manager Dave Tramblie reported that he would be meeting with the Department of Health in Tumwater next week to discuss the Western Wahkiakum Water System comprehensive plan.

“It’s to hear from the DOH about how in depth of a study they are going to require,” Tramblie said. “I believe the existing comprehensive plan has everything in it that would be required and thus I don’t see that we need to do a lot to revise the plan.”

Tramblie also said that a limit on the number of new Puget Island Water System connections had been removed by the DOH after the Town of Cathlamet installed new equipment at their well site, a project which received financial assistance from the PUD. Prior to the improvements, the DOH limited the town and the PIWS to 35 new connections.

Tramblie initially planned to have the condition of the Grays River transformer assessed when the intertie project with Pacific County was completed, but now he hopes to have the Cathlamet transformer assessed as well. He informed the commissioners that he has been contacting contractors in order to find out how much it would cost.

Auditor Erin Wilson gave an update on what is going on with the PUD’s Public Utility Risk Management Services and shared that there is currently $61.58 available in the Residential Energy Assistance Program account.

Commissioner Dennis Reid has been the acting President of the WPUDA for the last year. He reported that his term comes to an end next week. He will remain on the executive committee for another year.

Tramblie shared some research that he and Wilson had done in regard to the administrative salary policy.

“I took a look at four or five utilities that are similar in size to us,” Tramblie said. “I looked at their total compensation for management as compared to the revenue. I looked at what those entities are paying in total salary percentage-wise compare to what Wahkiakum is paying. It came out very similar. Our revenue was about 55 percent of average and our total management salary compensation was about the same percentage. Similarly, I did that with the auditor position. The percentage came out to about 43 percent and the average was more like 53 percent. That is the kind of information we need to use to set our range.”

“Maybe in the next few weeks we’ll put together the numbers and try to lay some thing out and bring that back to you,” Tramblie added. “This data is telling us what is going on in the industry.”

“To synopsize, am I correct to read that you think the manager’s salary is well within the normal range and the auditor’s salary is below?” Commissioner Bob Jungers asked.

“I think that’s my analysis,” Tramblie said.

The commissioners approved travel for David Cameron and Kevin Vik to attend a training in Tacoma in May.


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