Wahkiakum PUD changes September meeting dates
August 20, 2020
The Wahkiakum County PUD Board of commissioners listened to reports, changed the dates for September meetings, and continued discussing a succession plan for the general manager’s eventual retirement on Tuesday.
General Manager Dave Tramble said there was a pre-construction meeting planned for the Skamokawa water expansion project on August 20, and noted that construction would begin soon after.
He said that there had been a couple minor outages over the weekend, but they were quickly resolved.
A project on Hoikka road was supposed to be completed sometime in the middle of next week, he said. Most of the pipe and conduit were now installed.
The PUD will move to Seal River Road next.
“We have about 11 water customers out there,” Tramblie said. “We have two inch pipe, and an overhead circuit in need of tree trimming. We are considering putting in underground conductor and upgrading the water pipe to four inch to accommodate for growth out there.”
A project with the county was going well, he added.
“They are very helpful,” Tramblie said.
“That’s good to hear because some counties and PUDs don’t have that cooperation,” Commissioner Dennis Reid said.
Tramblie requested that the meetings in September be moved to the second and fourth Tuesdays, adding that the PUD could take advantage of the extra time to prepare a preliminary budget.
“Hopefully as you are preparing these budgets you are working very hard to not have any price increases during this pandemic,” Reid said.
Auditor Erin Wilson assured Reid that there were currently no rate increases built in.
Broadband consultant Steve Carson said that he, along with personnel from Noanet, and help from Bill Fashing from Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Council of Governments have been pursuing several grants and looking for more, while Noanet continues to fine tune the engineering plan.
Carson said he had also been talking to other motivated individuals in the community and hoped to have fiber to some homes in 2021.
In other news, Reid said according to some literature he had received, the utility’s fuel mix is 95 percent green.
“Even though there is a lot of push to get greener, we’re one of the greenest ones in the state. We’re 83 percent hydro, and 12 percent nuclear,” Reid said.
Commissioners viewed a rough draft of a succession plan as they continued proactive preparations for Tramblie’s eventual retirement. The draft follows a 20 week schedule and provides a plan for identifying desired skills, reaching out to potential candidates, and more.
When pressed for a date, Tramblie said he could not be more specific at this time, but did not expect to be with the PUD in 2023. He offered to provide ample notice.