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

PUD revisits Oneida water main extension


August 17, 2017

Wahkiakum County PUD commissioners heard a variety of reports at their meeting on Tuesday.

General Manager Dave Tramblie reported that a crew, in preparation for a potential new customer, had replaced an old water line on the Westend after they found that it was composed of varying sized pipe and numerous fittings.

Tramblie said that he purchased 1,000 more automated meter reading meters. He plans to have them installed in Cathlamet, on the east side of the county, in the Elochoman, and in Skamokawa. He estimated that it will eliminate four days worth of meter reading time.

Tramblie presented the proposed contract for the intertie with Pacific PUD to the commissioners for review. The contract had been prepared by Pacific PUD and addressed several issues including billing, which will be handled by Bonneville Power Administration on the behalf of both PUDs.

“That way it will work out to a wholesale rate for both parties,” Tramblie said.

The intertie project will be tested on August 29.

Tramblie reported that he had received only one bid, in the amount of $28,000, to upgrade computer software and hardware at a western Wahkiakum well site. He contacted a consultant at Gray and Osborne, who will put together a bid document in order to solicit more bids. The last upgrade to the equipment at the well site was in 2002.

“That’s a long time in computer years,” Commissioner Dennis Reid said.

According to Tramblie, a resident on Oneida Road was frustrated that his family farm has never had water. The resident said he was purchasing two 2,500 gallon holding tanks and asked if the PUD could provide water through hydrants if he provided a truck.

Tramblie said yes.

“We’ve got to have a long term plan to get a main down that road,” Commissioner Gene Healy said. He suggested contacting the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, as they had a boat ramp on the road, and might have some interest in such a project.

“We’ve had discussions over the years,” Tramblie said. “What appears to be the most reasonable solution is to have a local improvement district and put a lien on everyone’s property that the main goes by, and that could be paid off through the county, I believe, over the next 30 years.”

“There’s not water at the highway, Reid said. “That would have to tie in to the project that we’ve been wanting to do for years to get water there. The idea of a lien on the property didn’t sit well with a large percentage of the people down there from what I heard.”

Finally, Tramblie reported that there was a high pressure event on Friday in the Puget Island water system when a two inch pressure regulator got stuck. A crew bypassed the two inch pipe, got the pressure down, and got it functioning again.

Because of the issue, Tramblie said he had decided to do maintenance on the pressure regulators every year instead of every five years, which is recommended by manufacturer.

At the last meeting, Tramblie reported that BPA was going to raise their rate by 5.9 percent.

In order to offset the increase and inflation, Tramblie suggested that the PUD either go to a $0.75 daily rate or raise their monthly basic fee to $20. Currently, they charge a $14.70 basic monthly fee, he said.

No decisions were made.

Auditor Erin Wilson reported that she was working on the preliminary budget for 2018.

The meeting was closed for an executive session to discuss property acquisition.

The next PUD meeting is scheduled for September 5, at 8:30 a.m. in the PUD meeting room.


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