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

PUD board hears water, electric plans


November 8, 2018

By Diana Zimmerman

On Tuesday, Wahkiakum County PUD commissioners listened to reports and approved budgets for 2019.

Installing automatic meter reading meters has reduced the amount of time that the crew spends out in the field reading meters, according to General Manager Dave Tramblie. What used to take the crew five days can now be completed in less than one day.

There are 300 water meters that still need to be replaced in the Westend, and Tramblie wants to get half of them installed early next summer as the budget allows.

Tramblie said that he was planning to apply for a Department of Health grant, with hopes to expand the Skamokawa Water System in Sleepy Hollow and Brooks Slough.

He’s also ordered a transformer for the Grays River substation and has been working on an application for a grant for a broadband feasibility study.

A rising water table along SR 4 has had Tramblie concerned about an overhead power line that runs approximately 50 feet from the fog line from Cathlamet to Risk Road.

Columbia Land Trust purchased the land in question with BPA funds, according to Counsel Tim Hanigan.

Tramblie told commissioners that he had contacted Bonneville Power Administration about his concerns last spring, and recently, he was able to tour the area with BPA, a representative from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, and an account executive.

“Ten years ago, poles were tested by a contractor and a handful were replaced,” Tramblie said. “We were able to get equipment out there. That’s just not possible anymore. It’s too wet.”

Tramblie would like to relocate the power line out the Elochoman to Foster Road and then Risk Road to the highway.

“I don’t know if anything will come of it,” Tramblie said. “I’m hoping they’ll help compensate us for rerouting the line. We’ll see what happens.”

He estimates the project could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Commissioners approved the 2019 budgets. The budget for the Electric System will be $4,541,453, with $501,000 planned for capital investment. The budget for the Puget Island Water System will be $350,350 with $1,170 planned for capital investment. The budget for the Western Wahkiakum Water System is $355,850, with $74,005 planned for capital investment.

Commissioners also approved the sale of a surplus vehicle, a 2009 Ford F550 at a public auction.


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