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

PUD commission rejects deposit request


September 21, 2017

The Wahkiakum County PUD Board of Commissioners met Tuesday morning to listen to reports, discuss a recent request for an exception to a policy, and approve travel.

After reviewing the PUD’s policy on security deposits, the commissioners announced that they would not take action on the request from a customer for an exception at the last meeting.

The customer was required to pay a deposit equaling two months of bills due to late payments or nonpayment. After paying the deposit in full, the policy states that a customer must pay 11 of the next 12 bills on time. After that, the customer would be refunded their deposit in full.

The customer that approached the commissioners was struggling to pay the deposit and pay her monthly PUD bill. She asked if the board would grant her an exception and skip the year long period for which she must pay on time, and to use the money in her deposit to pay her monthly PUD bill.

“I think it would be inappropriate and setting a bad precedent to grant a variation from our policy as it exists,” Commissioner Bob Jungers said.

There have been several outages since the beginning of September, according to General Manager Dave Tramblie, set off by a myriad of things including customer error, falling trees, and vehicle accidents, including a log truck that went off the road just east of Cathlamet last week.

Tramblie reported that the new intertie project with Pacific County would get it’s first real test next week, when the PUD will take the Grays River substation offline to make repairs to the transformer.

“It is sure nice to do that intertie, so you can do what needs to be done, and nobody has any outage,” Commissioner Dennis Reid said.

“I’m a little nervous about this whole thing because we’ve never done this before,” Tramblie admitted. “I think we’ve got all our ducks in a row, but we won’t know until we actually do it.”

In other news, Tramblie said that the PUD would be doing some work on the western Wahkiakum water system. The Department of Health did a sanitary survey on the system in July, and had made some recommendations that needed to be addressed.

“We didn’t have a choice,” Tramblie said.

Auditor Erin Wilson reported that the PUD had received $21,147 from FEMA and the Washington State Department of Emergency Management for the storm in January.

Commissioners approved travel for Wilson to a Washington PUD Association Officer’s Meeting in Kennewick in October, and for Doug Condon and Bruce McClain to travel to Aberdeen this week to learn about control valve field inspections and repair.


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