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

PUD: Bridge water line repaired


August 9, 2018

The Wahkiakum County PUD Board of Commissioners met on Tuesday to hear reports, and discuss broadband, infrastructure, and new projects.

“The Puget Island bridge project was a total success,” General Manager Dave Tramblie said.

A portion of the main that runs water to the Island was repaired by the PUD last Friday. Service was returned to customers that day, and on Saturday, Puget Island residents were notified when water was safe to drink.

The line had been damaged a decade ago when the boom of a crane on a barge passed underneath and broke the line. The new repair enhances the water main's integrity.

Tramblie said the PUD plans to install 100 automated meter reading water meters in the Grays River area. In the next two years, they hope to finish transitioning the entire Western Wahkiakum Water System to AMR.

After an inspection of the meters in the Skamokawa water system, which the PUD just acquired, Tramblie said he would like to replace them with AMR meters as soon as possible.

“Meters may be wearing out,” he said. “Some read in gallons and some in cubic feet. There are 36. I think we should just go and replace them.”

Auditor Erin Wilson presented the preliminary 2019 budget for all three systems: electric, Western Wahkiakum Water System, and the Puget Island Water System.

“Currently there are no rate increases factored in,” Wilson said.

She also said three commercial customers had received phone calls from someone claiming to be from the PUD, saying they needed to pay their bill. It was a scam.

“Fortunately, all three knew their accounts were in good standing and they didn’t talk to the person too long,” Wilson said.

“You guys do an amazing job running this PUD,” Commissioner Bob Jungers told Tramblie and Wilson.

Commissioners approved a resolution supporting two Public Utility Risk Management Services resolutions. Wahkiakum PUD is a member of PURMS and participates in some of their risk pools.

Commissioner Gene Healy gave an update on the Broadband Committee’s activities.

“At some point we’re going to have to do something besides talk about it,” Healy said. “Anybody that’s on this team that we’ve got put together is not in the building business, we’re policy people and we need to hand it off to somebody.”

The commissioners gave the okay for Tramblie to be involved in the committee’s research on the possible broadband project.

Jungers gave an explanation on Energy Northwest’s solar and energy storage project that is being developed in Richland.

“On the surface, it looks like it might be a good gamble for Energy Northwest,” Jungers said. It could behoove us to be in on the ground floor of this developing technology.”

Jungers also expressed concern about a future seismic event. He recommended that the PUD take extra steps to make sure they were prepared with the best current technology to protect local substations.

The commissioners approved travel for Tramblie. He will attend a Northwest Communications and Energy Innovations Conference in Coeur d’Alene, ID, in September.

The next PUD meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, August 21, at 8:30 a.m. in the PUD meeting room.


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