PUD commission works on budgets, rate increases
August 8, 2019
The Wahkiakum County PUD Board of Commissioners met on Tuesday to go over a preliminary budget for 2020, listen to reports, and approve a couple resolutions.
General Manager Dave Tramblie gave an update on the Grays River substation project.
The contractor is about 60 percent done with the installation of a larger ground mat, which had been suggested by the engineer, Tramblie said. A subcontractor has drained oil from both transformers and the regulator. A spare transformer case has been opened to facilitate removal of the core. They hope to be done with all that equipment by the end of the week.
Finally, the delivery date of the new transformer has been delayed until August 30.
Noanet has completed their field work for the broadband feasibility study. Tramblie guessed they were working on a design and is waiting for their report.
Two more customers expressed interest in participating in the Skamokawa water system grant project, according to Tramblie. The two were not part of the original scope of the project, but are currently being served by the Brooks Slough Water System.
“I sent a letter to the Department of Health and our engineers letting them know what the situation was and I haven’t gotten any push back,” Tramblie said.
Bonneville Power Administration has announced a zero percent average rate increase, Tramblie said. However, he pointed out, that was an average, and Wahkiakum PUD is likely to see a 3 percent rate increase from BPA.
Auditor Erin Wilson went over the proposed budgets for 2020.
The preliminary budget for the Electric System was $4,323,935, and included a proposed $7 increase in the basic fee. $224,315 has been set aside for capital investments, which will likely include a big project to test all the poles in the county.
The preliminary budget for the Western Wahkiakum Water System is $378,465; $93,635 has been set aside for capital investments and a 2 percent rate increase has been proposed for the system.
“It’s pretty minimal,” Wilson said of the increase.
The preliminary budget for the PIWS is $391,435.
Currently, there is no increase proposed for the Skamokawa Water System or the Puget Island Water System.
Commissioners approved a resolution confirming the Skamokawa Water System rates. The basic monthly charge depends on the meter size and ranges from $56.23 to $121.19, and the rate for water is $2.54 per 100 cubic feet.
They also approved a resolution citing the PUD’s financial management policies, which Commissioner Gene Healy asked to have posted on their website.
Finally, commissioners approved a motion to surplus a spare Cathlamet transformer.