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

GR substation upgrade estimated at $1.5 million


November 30, 2017

Commissioners of Wahkiakum PUD approved rates and budgets for 2018 and listened to reports at their meeting last Tuesday.

General Manager Dave Tramblie reported that he had received an estimate for the Grays River substation upgrades, which should cost about $1.5 million dollars. The upgrades include replacing the high side fuses, the transformer, the low bus side, and purchasing regulators, which the PUD would install themselves. It does not include an upgrade for the control building, though Tramblie is considering asking for an estimate for that work to be done too.

Tramblie said that he doesn’t believe it would be possible to get the project done next year, but suggested they move the entire project to 2019.

“Hopefully we can pay for a third of it in cash, and borrow the rest of it locally,” Tramblie said. This would give us reliability for 50 years and really harden our system down there.”

Employees have been installing the automated meter reading meters in Cathlamet and on the Elochoman Valley and Skamokawa routes, according to Tramblie, who reckons they have been able to install 30-70 a day, depending on what is going on.

Tramblie said that the PUD has received several requests for solar installations, new construction estimates, and more water connections in the Westend.

According to Auditor Erin Wilson, the Residential Energy Assistance Program currently has $720 available.

Commissioners approved a $5 increase in the base rate for the electric system, as well as the 2018 budgets for the electric system, the Puget Island water system, and the western Wahkiakum water system.

The budget for the electric system will be $4,214,247 with capital investments of $420,013. The budget for the Puget Island water system will be $355,160 with capital investments of $2,700. The budget for the Western Wahkiakum Water System will be $314,935 with capital investments of $73,727.


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