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

PUD board discusses salaries, hears reports


A discussion about salaries that has bridged several Wahkiakum PUD Board of Commissioner’s meetings continued on Tuesday.

Commissioners talked about how to use a salary range, but most of the focus was on how and when to issue cost of living adjustments.

“The goal that I wanted to accomplish is that when we’ve had salary adjustments around here it contains a little too much emotion and not enough intellect to suit me,” Commissioner Gene Healy said of the topic.

In other business, General Manager Dave Tramblie reported that he would be having a teleconference requested by a representative from the Washington State Department of Transportation to talk about the PUD’s infrastructure attached to the Puget Island bridge.

“I’m not really sure what angle he’s coming from,” Tramblie said, “but I’ll find out.”

A leak was repaired on Puget Island on Monday. Consumption has been up and losses are a little higher than Tramblie would prefer.

“Hopefully this leak we found yesterday will help,” Tramblie said of the repair.

Commissioner Dennis Reid shared what he’d learned during a recent conversation with Tramblie about leaks.

“You look at the percentage (of loss) and you think there is water gushing everywhere,” Reid said. “But if you add it all up it’s probably coming from a hole measuring 3/8 of an inch. It shows you what they are really up against.”

According to Tramblie, the electric crew has been replacing an overhead tap line in the Deep River area and putting it underground. He also reported that Doug Miller from the Pacific County PUD was drawing up a contract for the two utilities to buy and sell energy through their intertie.

“I expect to see something soon,” Tramblie said.

Finally, Tramblie said that kilowatt hour sales were 19 percent higher during the first four months of this year compared to last year.

“That’s really significant,” Tramblie said, “it really helps the bottom line.”

Auditor Erin Wilson’s talk about insurance matters was precipitated by a court decision made regarding a fire in Klickitat County last year. Public utilities in the state participate in a liability pool and after Klickitat PUD was found responsible for the fire, Wahkiakum’s portion of the cost was $12,000.

Because of the fire, Wilson said, vegetation and management plans will be reviewed throughout the state.

“We’re fortunate here that our fire season is small,” Tramblie said.

The first meeting in July falls on the 4th, so the board agreed to move the meeting to July 5.

The next PUD meeting is scheduled for June 20 at 8:30 a.m. in the PUD meeting room.


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