PUD crews work on fiber, water issues


December 8, 2022

The Wahkiakum County PUD Board of Commissioners listened to reports and reorganized for the next year at their meeting on Tuesday.

General Manager Dan Kay reported on a message from the Public Power Council: moving forward, utilities throughout the state are acting as one public power with the same contract with Bonneville Power Administration.

“PPC is doing a good job of bringing us together,” he said. “There is a real strong push to make sure no utility is left behind.”

He added that the Wahkiakum PUD has been very active in meetings to make sure that the interests of the small utility were getting heard.

Improvements are being seen in the Skamokawa Water System, including a decrease in water loss, after a meter and valve issue were discovered.

“In a nutshell, we think we’ve got it captured,” Kay said.

Along with valve maintenance the water crew has been busy replacing hydrants in the Westend.

Kay said that he and Auditor Erin Wilson met with representatives from the Town of Cathlamet as well as an engineer from Gray and Osborne, per the request of the commissioners to see if there was interest in partnering in the Puget Island Water System.

The town requested more information and more discussion is expected.

Electric crews are stringing fiber for Wahkiakum West from SR 4 out East Valley Road and Middle Valley Road to Peterson Road. Crews are being pulled in other directions with installations that need to be done in new subdivisions, but Kay expects the PUD’s portion of the fiber work to be completed by the end of the year.

“[Wahkiakum West] will be making the individual connections,” Kay said.

WW is just one internet service provider submitting pole attachment applications. Charter Communications has sent in numerous pole attachment applications for Puget Island, and Kay said that several new services were coming into the county.

Kay only had a couple outages to report, but Commissioner Dennis Reid disagreed, commenting on several outages in his area.

“We’ve been trying to track that data, collecting that information so we have an idea where we are at and what we can improve on,” Kay said.

The board handled end of the year business. They reorganized, with Reid stepping into the position of president for the following year, Gene Healy as vice president, and Bob Jungers as secretary.

The commissioners approved an annual write off of accounts totaling $2,916.37 this year, and approved a Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Fund Disbursement that will help some PUD customers who are in arrears.

According to Wilson, they are federal funds that have been passed through the Washington State Department of Commerce.

“It doesn’t bring anybody current, but it brings them a lot closer," Reid said.


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