PUD commission starts long term planning


The Wahkiakum PUD Board of Commissioners met Tuesday and talked about supply chain issues, weather, and projects in the county.

General Manager Dan Kay said that he and Auditor Erin Wilson were collecting information for long term planning, which he hoped would be a collaborative project.

“This could take a good solid year,” he said. “I don’t want to rush it.”

Commissioner Gene Healy suggested posting the graphic for long range planning created by the PUD on their website in order to stimulate interest in the community.

Moving on to the manager’s report, Kay said that he, Wilson, and Commissioner Dennis Reid approached the Wahkiakum County commissioners about funding from American Recovery Program Act and had reached out to the Town of Cathlamet as well.

“We need to review our strategy and come up with some next steps,” Kay said. “The PUD is not a prime recipient, but the county and the town as a prime could be a conduit to channel those funds down.”

A pole treating project was completed by National Wood Treating Company on Tuesday, and Kay seemed pleased with the outcome, and said he had heard positive comments from the public.

The line crew has replaced poles from the list made during testing last year and are ready to start replacing the ones that have been listed as a high priority from this year’s testing.

“We have a strong system and have to continue to invest in that system,” Kay said.

The weather was its own topic on Tuesday morning.

“I hope it stops raining at some point,” Kay said.

It came up again when Reid asked about water losses in the Skamokawa Water System. Reid said that the system’s losses had been at 10 percent but had been over 30 percent since the expansion last year.

Kay said he believed the PUD had located a couple leaks but they needed dry weather to fix them.

In the meantime the water department is getting ready to replace some pipe in the Westend, and water tank inspection and cleaning contracts are in process.

Supply chain issues continue to plague the PUD.

“Right now we are doing okay, but I’m waiting for those trucks to come in with stuff and trying to stay ahead of it,” Kay said. “We’re still serving our customers. Every day a truck comes in is like Christmas. You don’t know what’s going to be on it, it may be partial loads, but it’s exciting to see a freight truck show up.”

“It’s all industry,” he added. “We’re holding our own. Customers are still getting taken care of.”

After Wilson went over the cash flow so far for 2022, the meeting was closed for an executive session for an employee review.


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