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

PUD commission looks at bridge main project


December 7, 2017

Capital projects were a big topic at Tuesday’s Wahkiakum County PUD Board of Commissioners meeting.

With a mind to the potential threat of an earthquake along the Cascadia subduction zone, Commissioner Bob Jungers voiced some concerns about the condition of the water main that currently crosses the bridge to serve Puget island with potable water. He suggested that the PUD take advantage of the planned Washington State Department of Transportation repairs to replace it.

Jungers suggested that the PUD abandon or remove the current pipe and replace it with HDPE. He reasoned that there would be less need for maintenance in the future and that HDPE would provide what he called more “seismic resistance.”

General Manager Dave Tramblie provided a few more options for the water main, including directional boring. Concerned about funding, he suggested a more measured approach but agreed to investigate the matter.

No bids had been awarded for the Western Wahkiakum Water System computer upgrades, and Tramblie reported that he had asked an engineer to meet with him and the water crew to discuss upgrades and look for alternatives.

“I’m turning over every rock I can to try and come up with the most reasonable cost solution,” Tramblie said. “One concern is that the computer might shut down and crews won’t be able to access information.”

The current system is 18 years old.

Tramblie said that he was still gathering information on Westside Water, the Skamokawa water system that the PUD is considering acquiring.

He ended his report with praise for Auditor Erin Wilson. The PUD had received a clean audit from the Washington State Auditor.

Wilson said that she was currently working on proposals for a new phone system.

During his report, Commissioner Dennis Reid shared that the biggest complaint he’d heard about the new automated meter reading meters was that employees would no longer visit homes to check meters.

“I thought that was a neat thing about our crew,” Reid said. “Those guys are good. They need to know they are appreciated.”

“The people that work at this PUD are great advocates for this organization,” Commissioner Gene Healy added. “This organization is ‘We the people.’ They’ve got that down pat. They’re courteous. It’s extremely valuable to our customers.”

In their final act of the meeting, the commissioners approved the write off of 18 accounts that have been outstanding for 10 years or more. The total amount written off was $3,140.34.

The accounts may have been written off for the PUD’s accounting purposes, but the debts remain “forever due and payable.”


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