PUD commission hears progress reports
March 19, 2020
The Wahkiakum County PUD Board of Directors met briefly on Tuesday morning to hear reports and for discussion about consolidation and the broadband project.
General Manager Dave Tramblie said that tree trimming bids were due on Friday. He had received two as of Tuesday morning. Bids for a pole testing project will be due at the end of the month.
Tramblie also said that they were considering taking advantage of a grant to install a Level 2 electric vehicle charging station in the parking lot of the PUD by the water warehouse. It takes about an hour to charge a vehicle to go 25 miles on a level 2 charger, someone said.
Tramblie said that other entities in the county, like Port 1 and the Town of Cathlamet, have expressed interest in the grant to obtain Level 3 chargers, which cost the consumer a little more money, but give a complete charge in just a couple hours.
The Skamokawa Water System project is moving forward, according to Tramblie. They are hoping to go to bid in May.
Reclosers at the substations and out in the field will be reprogrammed soon in preparation for a new recloser that has been purchased and will soon be installed. Reclosers are built into the electrical system to shut off power when trouble occurs, like if a limb falls on a line. The recloser assesses the problem, and if it turns out to be temporary, the recloser turns the power back on. It’s quick, customers may only see a flicker of lights.
Finally, Tramblie said that Clare Ward of Noanet, would be wrapping up the final paperwork for the PUD’s broadband feasibility grant.
Auditor Erin Wilson shared that the PUD’s telephone provider could set them up with equipment that would allow people to attend meetings by phone. No decision was made on the matter.
There was continued discussion about consolidating the three systems: Electric, Western Wahkiakum Water, and Puget Island Water. They have been researching the matter, and considering all the possible ramifications. Nothing was determined at this time.
Commissioner Gene Healy said that the PUD had decided not to proceed with the application for a USDA grant for the broadband project at this time.
"We don’t have the resources necessary to submit an application that would be acceptable,” Tramblie said. “We’re taking a step back.”
He said that Noanet had suggested that they focus on state funding to possibly take on a smaller project instead of tackling the whole project at once. Discussion followed but nothing was decided.