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

PUD studying benefit, cost of water main work


On Tuesday, the Wahkiakum County PUD Board of Commissioners listened to reports, a thank you from a community member, and a proposal from the general manager to have the water main on the Puget Island bridge sandblasted and painted by the contractor doing work on the bridge for the Washington State Department of Transportation.

The estimate for the project was approximately $150,000 after taxes.

General Manager Dave Tramblie also proposed that because the contractor currently had a catwalk set up under the bridge for the next couple months, it would be a good time to repair a patch on the main as well. In order to avoid turning off the water to Puget Island, Tramblie suggested that the PUD route water through 3,200 feet of six inch HDPE. He estimated that this project, including labor, the $40,000 of HDPE, and the tools to fuse the pipe, would cost another $100,000.

According to Auditor Erin Wilson, reserves for the Puget Island Water System were $184,000 in April. The potential of a loan from the electric system was discussed.

“There are a lot of moving parts,” Tramblie said. “Before I go to the contractor, I need you to be on board.

“The other option is to do nothing.”

The project could incur a rate increase or a surcharge for customers.

“I’d like to see what we’re buying if we take that much debt,” Commissioner Gene Healy said. “I think in a perfect world, it all needs to get done. Is it affordable? Raising those water rates is not an exciting thing for me.”

Discussion continued for some time and several different options were suggested for tackling the project.

“Perhaps we should table this till the next meeting,” Tramblie said. “I think I got headed down a path of trying to get something done, and got blinders on that we really need to do this. Maybe we need to take a time out here.”

Commissioners agreed and decided to recess the meeting until next Tuesday at 8:30 a.m. to allow Tramblie time to do some more research before they made a decision.

Local resident Ron Wright, who is a member of the radio club, stopped by to thank the PUD.

When the radio club had gotten the okay from the Wahkiakum School District to use two light poles at the baseball field two months ago for field day and for future use in emergency services, Wright approached Tramblie for assistance, he said.

“I was blown away,” Wright said. “After a discussion, Dave said, ‘Let’s go take a look.’ I brought the stuff in two weeks ago and asked if we could arrange to do this sometime and Dave said, ‘I think we might be able to do it today.’”

Two crewmen hung ropes at the top of the poles so the radio club could string some wires.

“They were very professional,” Wright said. “Thank you from the radio club, and from me.”

In other news, the commissioners approved a resolution to adopt a public records policy for the district. They also approved travel for Wilson to attend a finance officers conference in Vancouver in September and for Healy to attend a Department of Commerce’s presentation on broadband in Chehalis later this month.


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