PUD foremen review summer project process
November 4, 2021
The Wahkiakum County PUD Board of Commissioners got a visit from the electric and water crew foremen on Tuesday morning who were able to give first hand accounts of their recent projects and what they are seeing in the field.
Electric Foreman Shane Pfenniger talked about a Deep River project his crew was able to complete this summer and what they have been focusing on since then.
“We tried for like seven years to get out there in that swamp area…it was a huge deal to get those 12 structures changed out, and that is where the summer started,” he said.
Since then, the crew has been playing catch up with customer service.
“It’s just unreal. I’ve never seen anything like this since I’ve been here,” Pfenniger said of new construction in the county. “Every morning we put new services in, line extensions, upgrading transformers, you name it, it’s just non-stop.”
He acknowledged that procuring materials has been a big issue, and praised the new general manager for his ingenuity in doing so.
“We’ve been keeping our heads above water,” Pfenniger said. “These delays, like 38 weeks to get transformers, has just been crazy. Luckily, we’ve just been moving along.”
With the changing weather, they were preparing for winter and a project coming to Ingalls Road.
Water Foreman Jim Jespersen said his crew spent the summer replacing water line in the Westend, including on Covered Bridge Road.
“Our water losses have dropped dramatically down there,” he said.
The water crew continues to keep busy with maintenance, and have been looking for leaks in the Skamokawa system.
General Manager Dan Kay said he was bringing in the two foremen to involve them in his engineering and design.
“It helps me learn,” he said. “They are the experts.”
After the foremen left, Kay said there was talk about creating a new customer handbook. He also suggested setting up a general manager email address for customer contact.
Auditor Erin Wilson said there would be an exit conference with the state auditor on Monday. She also said she would go through the 2022 budget at the next meeting.
The meeting opened with a public hearing for the 2022 budget, but there was no public comment, and the public hearing was closed.