PUD prepares for water meet in Skamokawa
April 18, 2019
The Wahkiakum County PUD Board of Commissioners met briefly on Tuesday morning to listen to reports and discuss a couple items before their meeting with Skamokawa residents next week to discuss the water system expansion.
General Manager David Tramblie reported that an electrical transfer switch had been installed on the PUD campus. It will allow employees to operate lights and bay doors in the event of an outage.
Tramblie is planning a project to balance loads on the Skamokawa circuit in the near future, and he warns it may cause numerous short outages at the residences in the area. He hopes to do the work next week, but the project isn’t officially on the schedule.
Preparation for the Grays River substation continues to move forward. Tramblie said he had received a recommendation from an electrical engineering contractor for the purchase of regulators for the substation, which will cost the PUD $49,875 before taxes. He has also been speaking to the county auditor about how the PUD might borrow funds for the project, asking that the agreement include language that would allow the PUD to draw out money as needed instead of a lump sum of $500,000.
“I thought that made good sense,” Tramblie said.
A large maple tree came down Sunday night on utility lines in the Flandersville area, and according to Tramblie it damaged about 800 feet of poles, conductor, and cross arms.
“It took us about four hours to put everything back together,” Tramblie said. “It’s somewhat ironic that we have an outage scheduled today for that same area.”
Head lineman Shane Pfenniger and the Washington State Department of Transportation planned to remove a few more maples on Tuesday.
“It’s become a safety issue,” Tramblie said, noting that three trees have come down in that section in the last month or so.
Finally, they went over some last minute matters regarding the coming meeting about the expansion of the Skamokawa water system at the Skamokawa Grange on April 25 at 6 p.m.
The expansion is possible due to a $572,000 grant.
They discussed waiving customer fees for system development within the boundary of the proposed project.
“I think that would give them adequate time to relocate their individual pipes or install new pipes from the meter, should they decide to commit,” Tramblie said, suggesting waiving the fees for a period of 90 days.
After that period is over, the standard fee is $3,500.
Commissioner Eugene Healy suggested a longer period hoping it might allow every customer who wanted to hook up to the system to do so, but Commissioner Dennis Reid pointed out that the customers had six to eight months to consider the matter before the project would even be completed.
“We need to be as customer friendly as we can, and I think that by being able to provide potable water on their property on the street, at no cost, is a real bargain,” Tramblie said.
The project could begin as early as this fall, Tramblie said.