June 14, 2010

MINUTES of the 4,555th being a Regular Meeting of the Commission of Public Utility District No. 1 of Grays Harbor County.

 

Office located at 220 Myrtle Street, Hoquiam, Washington.  Monday, June 14, 2010, 2:00 p.m., Pacific Standard Time.

 

WORKSHOP

The workshop portion of the meeting was called to order at 3:00 p.m., by President Truman Seely.  Those in attendance were Commissioners Truman Seely, Russ Skolrood and Tom Casey.  General Manager Rick Lovely, Assistant General Manager Doug Smith, General Counsel Rick Pitt, Engineering Manager Wes Gray, Community & Government Relations Director Liz Anderson, Human Resources Director Linda Trygstad, IT Manager Rob Hanny, Senior Key Accounts Representative Kevin Howerton, Chief Financial Officer Doug Streeter, Daily World Reporter Angelo Bruscas and 3 members of the public were also present.

 

The workshop session consisted of a presentation by Assistant General Manager Doug Smith about how to handle new large customer loads under BPA’s Tiered Rate Methodology (TRM).

 

BUSINESS MEETING

 

MEETING CALLED TO ORDER:

 

The business meeting was called to order at 4:30 p.m. by President Truman Seely.  Those in attendance were Commissioners Truman Seely, Russ Skolrood and Tom Casey.  General Manager Rick Lovely, Assistant General Manager Doug Smith, General Counsel Rick Pitt, Legal Assistant/Clerk to the Board Tiffanee Chaufty, Community & Government Relations Director Liz Anderson, Chief Financial Officer Doug Streeter, IT Manager Rob Hanny, Engineering Manager Wes Gray, Human Resources Director Linda Trygstad, Senior Key Accounts Representative Kevin Howerton, Daily World Reporter Angelo Bruscas and 9 members of the public were also present.

 

MINUTES:

           

Commissioner Tom Casey moved that the Minutes from the 4,554th meeting on Monday, June 7, 2010 be approved.  Commissioner Russ Skolrood seconded the motion.  Motion carried by unanimous vote.

 

PETITIONS FROM THE PUBLIC/PUBLIC COMMENT:

 

Commissioner Truman Seely stated that sometimes campaigns go on inside meetings due to upcoming elections.  Commissioner Seely asked that the public try to limit its comments to a reasonable amount of time.

 

Charles Laier stated that there was a WPUDA meeting held at the Great Wolf Lodge last year.  Mr. Laier questioned each of the Commissioners about their attendance and cost of this meeting.

 

Mr. Laier also mentioned that he drove by PUD offices today and observed 39 PUD vehicles sitting in the lot.  He asked which employees use these vehicles and found it odd that so many were just sitting there on a work day.  The District could save money by getting rid of some of these vehicles.  Tim Spradlin is sitting right behind him still waiting for his check and this is one way the District could save money.

 

Ray Brown of Westport stated that he would like to reiterate his personal opinion that Commissioner Tom Casey has a conflict of interest in the Radar Ridge project.  Mr. Brown thinks that Commissioner Casey should consider recusing himself from making anymore decisions on Radar Ridge.

 

STAFF AND ATTORNEY REPORTS:

 

Community & Government Relations Director Liz Anderson reported:

 

1)      Operations Manager Ed Pauley is not here for tonight’s meeting due to a car/pole accident in the Kalaloch/Humptulips area and the accident caused an outage.  Mr. Pauley is currently on scene.  Restoration of power is estimated at around 5:00 p.m.

2)      Radar Ridge public scoping meetings have been scheduled this week in Lacey and Naselle.  The public comment period goes through June 28, 2010.  She will be happy to draft something at the Board’s direction.  She plans to attend both of the meetings on June 15th and 16th.

 

Commissioner Truman Seely stated that he plans to attend the Naselle meeting.  He has some comments and needs to coordinate with Energy Northwest.

 

Human Resources Director Linda Trygstad reported:

 

1)      Ralph Koal will be retiring from the District on June 30, 2010 after 30 years of service.

2)      She reminded the Board about the Annual Employee and Retiree Recognition Luncheon on Tuesday, June 29th.

 

Chief Financial Officer Doug Streeter reported:

 

1)      He will be out of the office on June 16th.

2)      He will be attending the Auditor’s Exit Conference on June 17th.

3)      He will be participating in a teleconference with BPA this week.

4)      He discussed the Treasurer’s Unaudited Financial Statements for April 2010.

 

IT Manager Rob Hanny reported:

1)      He will be attending a Washington State broadband meeting this week.

2)      Records Coordinator Tara Ramos was selected to receive ARMA’s Chapter Member of the Year award for 2010.  This is the first year ARMA has given this award, so this is quite an honor.  He showed the Board the plaque Tara received.

 

Engineering Manager Wes Gray reported:

 

1)      He will be participating in a conference call with BPA on June 16th regarding CCAP’s wind project.  The turbines at the site have completed their start-up testing and are certified for commercial operation, but the District is still working on some distribution system improvements.  During commission testing, the turbines were operating at near full capacity, but were only allowed to operate one turbine at a time.

2)      He will be participating in a conference call with the Western Electrical Coordination Council on June 17th regarding NERC issues.

3)      He will be on PTO June 18th.

 

Senior Key Accounts Representative Kevin Howerton reported:

 

1)      He will be on PTO the morning of June 15th.

2)      He will be attending a Northwest Utility Lighting Summit on June 16th and 17th.

 

General Counsel Rick Pitt reported:

 

1)      He will be attending a Radar Ridge meeting at the U.S. Department of Fish & Wildlife Office in Lacey on June 15th.

2)      He will be attending the Auditor’s Exit Conference on June 17th.

3)      He will be attending a WPAG meeting on June 18th.

4)      He will be requesting an Executive Session during tonight’s meeting to discuss litigation pursuant to RCW 42.30.110(1)(i).  The Executive Session will last a minimum of 30 minutes and action may or may not be taken.  Attorney Terry Mundorf will be here later tonight to attend the Executive Session.  He will be requesting a second Executive Session during tonight’s meeting to discuss litigation pursuant to RCW 42.30.110(1)(i).  The second Executive Session will last 15 minutes and action may or may not be taken.

 

Assistant General Manager Doug Smith reported:

 

1)      He will be attending a Joint Slice Operating Committee meeting on June 16th.

2)      He will be attending the Auditor’s Exit Conference on June 17th.

3)      He will be attending a WPAG meeting on June 18th.

4)      He will be participating in a CARES Board meeting via conference call on June 18th.

 

General Manager Rick Lovely reported:

 

1)      He attended an EDC Executive Committee meeting on June 8th.

2)      He held a Department Head meeting on June 8th.

3)      He attended a meeting with Bob Dyer, Jeff Fuller and Ed Mount of TEA, and staff on June 9th to discuss TEA’s annual customer satisfaction survey.

4)      He attended WPUDA meetings in East Wenatchee on June 10th and 11th.

5)      He will be attending a Radar Ridge meeting at the U.S. Department of Fish & Wildlife Office in Lacey on June 15th.

6)      He will be attending tentative mediation negotiations in Portland on June 16th.

7)      He will be attending the Auditor’s Exit Conference on June 17th at 10:00 a.m.

8)      He will be attending a WPAG meeting in Tacoma on June 18th.

 

COMMUNICATIONS:

 
General Manager Rick Lovely stated that BPA had to curtail wind generation last week due to a water surge.  BPA had to run the system at capacity and could not spill water over the dams as there would be serious nitrogen saturation issues affecting fish.

 

Commissioner Tom Casey asked Mr. Lovely what this does to the budget.

 

Mr. Lovely replied that the budget remains the same.  There has been an unusual dry period.  Discussion ensued about opportunities presented by pumped storage.

 

Mr. Lovely also mentioned that BPA has hired a new BPA CSE for the District’s region.  His name is Chad Caldwell.  The District is trying to get a meeting set up between Chad, the District’s Transmission Account Executive Melanie Jackson and District staff to clear up the misconceptions around transmission issues in the District’s service area and how a 150 MW bulk transmission issue may impact the District locally.

 

BID ANALYSIS:

 

Engineering Manager Wes Gray stated that the District received six bids in response to its Call for Bids for the trenchless underground conduit street crossings contract.  One of the bids was non-responsive, because the contractor did not list the cost per foot which was a requirement in the District’s specifications.  The District’s contract crew will be installing conduit for underground service within the District’s service area, primarily in the City of Ocean Shores.  The City of Ocean Shores requires underground service, which is very expensive.  The District evaluated and qualified the bids.  South Bay Excavating is currently doing contract work for the City of Ocean Shores installing conduit for the City’s water and sewer lines.  South Bay Excavating is the lowest, best bid and he recommends awarding a contract to them. 

 

Commissioner Russ Skolrood made a motion to accept the bid of South Bay Excavating, Inc. and to award a contract to South Bay Excavating, Inc.  Commissioner Tom Casey seconded the motion.  Motion carried by unanimous vote.

 

CONSENT CALENDAR:

 

a)                  155 Claim Vouchers for the Week of June 14, 2010 (No. 0065986 through No. 0066140) in the Total Amount of $419,721.54

 

b)                  6 Wire Transfers for the Week of June 14, 2010 in the Total Amount of $471,269.37

 

c)                  Payroll for the Pay Period Ending June 4, 2010 in the Total Gross Amount of $519,969.22

 

d)                  Treasurer’s Unaudited Financial Statements for April 2010

 

e)                  Travel:

 

For Substation Crew Coordinator Robert Reime to Attend the Cascade Users Group 2010 Conference from September 26th – 30th, 2010 in Stevenson, Washington for a Total Estimated Cost of $1,397.40

 

Commissioner Russ Skolrood moved that the Consent Calendar be approved.  Commissioner Tom Casey seconded the motion.  Motion carried by unanimous vote.

ACTION ITEMS:

 

Commissioner Tom Casey made a motion to cancel the July 5, 2010 Commission Meeting.  Commissioner Russ Skolrood seconded the motion.  Motion carried by unanimous vote.

 

Commissioner Truman Seely stated that the District received correspondence from the Grizzly Booster Club asking for donations to help provide opportunities for extracurricular activities for Hoquiam High School students.  Some examples of activities the Booster Club assists with are band excursions, equipment, cheerleading competitions, student scholarships, etc.  The Booster Club is asking the District to donate a minimum of $50.00 for the 2010 – 2011 school year.

 

General Counsel Rick Pitt stated that the District cannot donate money, but it can make monetary contributions to organizations if it receives comparable advertising value for its contribution.

 

Chief Financial Officer Doug Streeter suggested not donating to the Grizzly Booster Club, because then the District may start receiving requests from all of the other schools and the District already purchases yearbook ads from the local High Schools.  The District supports the local schools, but too many requests for monetary contributions will end up being too costly.  Discussion ensued.

 

With no motion being made to contribute any funds to the Grizzly Booster Club, the Board moved on to the next agenda item.

FORWARD PLANNING:

 

Commissioner Russ Skolrood asked about scheduling a workshop to discuss the District’s capital improvement projects.  A workshop was scheduled for July 12, 2010 and the Accounting workshop scheduled for that date was re-scheduled to August 16, 2010.

 

General Manager Rick Lovely stated that the recent solar workshop has generated some discussions.  He suggested that the Board sponsor a community solar energy project.  The District can only sponsor one project, but can assist other entities in putting together projects and can take advantage of the rebate programs.  A customer would recover their money in about six years.  The District would receive the REC’s for a solar project it sponsored.  The ratepayers pay for the project and make money. 

 

Commissioner Truman Seely encouraged Mr. Lovely to proceed by bringing a business plan to the Board and the Board will look at it.

           

Mr. Lovely stated that if the project is on the District’s facilities, then the District owns the project.  The District would still be able to provide technical support for projects not on its facilities.  For example, any school can put a project on its own facilities. 

 

Commissioner Tom Casey suggested Oakville as a project site.

 

Mr. Lovely stated that in addition to Oakville, there are also buildings in Montesano and some buildings in Elma that might work.  He will create a business plan and bring it back to the Board.

 

Assistant General Manager Doug Smith stated that 75 KW is the maximum size per installation.  There is a cap on the amount of incentives the District can pay out. 

 

Mr. Lovely stated that the incentives are scheduled until 2020 and then they end.  The waiver of sales tax expires in 2013.

 

Commissioner Seely told Mr. Lovely to bring a plan to the Board and the Board will look at it.

 

John Martinsen of Aberdeen stated that he thinks that the community solar projects are a great idea and will help satisfy some green credits.  It is imperative that this PUD does everything it can to help the community.  Mr. Martinsen is very concerned about the public’s perception of Grays Harbor PUD right now.  The public perception is that the PUD spends money.  Mr. Martinsen appreciates the PUD.

COMMISSIONER REPORTS:


Commissioner Tom Casey reported
:


1)      He attended the WPUDA Reform Workshop on June 10th and 11th.  There is going to be a decision document at the July WPUDA meetings.  Power sources have the #1 impact on the District’s rates.  The main reason PUD’s were created was to conserve power resources.

2)      He will be attending Energy Northwest meetings June 16th and 17th.  He will be attending his last Executive Board meeting this week.

3)      He will be attending a Satsop PDA meeting on June 15th.

4)      He will be attending the WPAG meeting on June 18th.

5)      He will be attending the APPA Annual Meeting in Orlando, Florida June 18th – 23rd.

Commissioner Russ Skolrood reported:

1)      He did not attend the WPUDA Reform Workshop June 10th and 11th.  He read the numerous e-mails back and forth between Commissioners.  He thinks WPUDA should be the strongest voice the District has.

2)      School finishes up for the summer this week and he is looking forward to spending more time on District matters.

 

Commissioner Truman Seely reported:

 

1)      He attended the WPUDA Reform Workshop on June 10th and 11th.  Education was recognized as one of the primary functions of WPUDA and it does not appear much in the managers’ re-organization proposal.

2)      He will attend one of the Radar Ridge meetings, most likely the meeting in Naselle since he will be on his way back from Gearhart.

3)      He will be attending the Auditor’s Exit Conference on June 17th at 10:00 a.m.

 

PUBLIC COMMENT:

 

Ray Brown of Westport stated that the City of Westport was told that underground transmission service was prohibitively expensive and the City could not do it due to the expense.

 

General Manager Rick Lovely stated that Ocean Shores requires underground and the District has a separate connect fee in Ocean Shores that is much higher because of this.  Presently, the District’s contractor is only pushing conduit out in Ocean Shores.  The lines that are run underground will be low voltage distribution lines, not transmission.  A bunch of underground was installed in Westport out at the marina by the boat launch.  This is a primary distribution line.  It costs 6 – 7 times more for underground distribution lines than overhead ones.

 

Charles Laier of Aberdeen asked Commissioner Tom Casey if he was going to answer his question from earlier on in the meeting.  Mr. Laier went on to say that the District has wasted more money in the last ten years than it owes Mr. Spradlin.  The ratepayers in this County came up with the verdict and the District should let it stand.  The District threw away $1 million on Radar Ridge, though he does think Radar Ridge is a good project.  The environmentalists are killing everyone.  He discussed a recent phone call with Commissioner Tom Casey where he called Commissioner Casey to ask him about the District’s debt load.

 

Tim Spradlin of Hoquiam asked if the Auditor’s Exit Conference on June 17th is closed or open to the public. 

 

Commissioner Truman Seely stated that the Auditor’s Exit Conference is a closed session.

 

Chief Financial Officer Doug Streeter stated that the Auditor’s Office’s standard practice is to have the session closed.

 

Mr. Spradlin stated that about four weeks ago, he thought he recalled a Resolution being passed regarding EDC membership dues and he thought the annual dues paid were $5,000.00.

 

Mr. Lovely stated that the EDC dues are set during the budget process in the fall.  The District contributes annual dues of approximately $20,000.00 annually.  The District supports economic development.  The District did not recently pass a Resolution regarding EDC dues.  Maybe Mr. Spradlin is thinking of the Resolution the Board passed recently for the Relay for Life.

 

REGULAR MEETING RECESSED:

 

At 5:28 p.m., President Truman Seely recessed the regular meeting, thereafter to convene in two separate Executive Sessions to discuss litigation pursuant to RCW 42.30.110(1)(i).  The first Executive Session is expected to last approximately a minimum of 30 minutes and action may or may not be taken.  The second Executive Session is expected to last approximately 15 minutes.

 

EXECUTIVE SESSION:

 

At 5:35 p.m., President Truman Seely convened the meeting in Executive Session to discuss litigation pursuant to 42.30.110(1)(i).  Those in attendance were Commissioners Truman Seely, Russ Skolrood and Tom Casey.  General Manager Rick Lovely, Assistant General Manager Doug Smith, General Counsel Rick Pitt, Community & Government Relations Director Liz Anderson and Attorney Terry Mundorf were also present.  No action was taken.

 

RETURN TO REGULAR SESSION:

 

At 6:38 p.m., President Truman Seely reconvened the meeting in regular session.

EXECUTIVE SESSION:

 

At 6:45 p.m., President Truman Seely convened the meeting in Executive Session to discuss litigation pursuant to 42.30.110(1)(i).  Those in attendance were Commissioners Truman Seely, Russ Skolrood and Tom Casey.  General Manager Rick Lovely, Assistant General Manager Doug Smith and General Counsel Rick Pitt were also present.  No action was taken.

 

RETURN TO REGULAR SESSION:

 

At 6:50 p.m., President Truman Seely reconvened the meeting in regular session.

 

ADJOURNMENT:

 

There being no further business to bring before the Board, President Truman Seely declared the meeting adjourned at 6:50 p.m.

 
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