November 7, 2011

MINUTES of the 4,608th 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, November 7, 2011, 3:00 p.m., Pacific Standard Time.

WORKSHOP

The workshop was called to order at 3:00 p.m. by President Russ Skolrood.  Those in attendance were Commissioners Russ Skolrood, Tom Casey and Dave Timmons.  General Manager Rick Lovely, Assistant General Manager Doug Smith, Chief Financial Officer Doug Streeter, Power Manager Melinda James, Engineering Manager Wes Gray, Human Resources Director Linda Trygstad, IT Manager Rob Hanny, Angelo Bruscas with The Daily World and 8 members of the public were also in attendance.

The workshop consisted of a presentation given by Engineering Manager Wes Gray regarding changes to the District’s Service Policy and Rate Schedules.

BUSINESS MEETING

MEETING CALLED TO ORDER:

The business meeting was called to order at 4:31 p.m. by President Russ Skolrood.  Those in attendance were Commissioners Russ Skolrood, Tom Casey and Dave Timmons.  General Manager Rick Lovely, Assistant General Manager Doug Smith, General Counsel Rick Pitt, Chief Financial Officer Doug Streeter, Power Manager Melinda James, Engineering Manager Wes Gray, Human Resources Director Linda Trygstad, IT Manager Rob Hanny, Dave Haviland with Jodesha Broadcasting, Angelo Bruscas with The Daily World and 13 members of the public were also present.

General Counsel Rick Pitt participated in the meeting via telephone.

MINUTES:

Commissioner Tom Casey moved that the Minutes from the 4,607th meeting on Monday, October 17, 2011 be approved.  Commissioner Dave Timmons seconded the motion.  Motion carried by unanimous vote.

President Russ Skolrood asked if there were any objections to moving the Executive Session on litigation to the beginning of tonight’s meeting.  He is trying to move things forward, because most people are probably here tonight to see what’s going to happen on the Spradlin matter.

No objections were received.

PETITIONS FROM THE PUBLIC/PUBLIC COMMENT:

President Russ Skolrood called for petitions from the public and public comment.

Maizie Johnston of Elma stated that the first time she ever came to a PUD meeting was on March 1, 2010 when she asked the Board not to appeal the verdict in the Spradlin matter.  She discussed how much money the appeal of that verdict cost the ratepayers.  She hopes that the District’s reserves will cover the amount the District has to pay to Mr. Spradlin, and that rates are not impacted.

Dave Jennings of Aberdeen stated that the appellate court’s ruling indicates that PUD management is not doing its job.  The Board and PUD management have taken the advice of incompetent, greedy attorneys.  He requested that the PUD pay up and not appeal again.  Four years is long enough.

Rick Lockheart of Elma stated that he is a small business owner and has been through a few losses himself.  He talked about the PUD’s image.  This is a great PUD with great managers and good Commissioners.  The PUD’s image is tarnished now.  People around here talk.  This PUD has always provided great service.  He asked that the PUD keep its incredible image up and lay the Spradlin matter to rest.

REGULAR MEETING RECESSED:

At 4:37 p.m., President Russ Skolrood recessed the regular meeting, thereafter to convene in Executive Session to discuss litigation pursuant to RCW 42.30.110(1)(i).  The Executive Session will last approximately 20 minutes.  Action may or may not be taken.

EXECUTIVE SESSION:

At 4:37 p.m., President Russ Skolrood convened the meeting in Executive Session to discuss litigation pursuant to RCW 42.30.110(1)(i).  Those in attendance were Commissioners Russ Skolrood, Tom Casey and Dave Timmons.  General Manager Rick Lovely, Assistant General Manager Doug Smith, Chief Financial Officer Doug Streeter, Community & Government Relations Director Liz Anderson, Human Resources Director Linda Trygstad, Engineering Manager Wes Gray, Attorney Art Blauvelt of Ingram, Zelasko & Goodwin and Legal Assistant/Clerk to the Board Tiffanee Chaufty were also in attendance.

General Counsel Rick Pitt participated in the Executive Session via telephone.

Catherine Smith of Edwards, Sieh, Smith & Goodfriend also participated in the Executive Session via telephone.

Chief Financial Officer Doug Streeter left the meeting room at 4:57 p.m. to inform the public waiting in the lobby that the Executive Session would last approximately 20 more minutes.

Chief Financial Officer Doug Streeter left the meeting room to inform the public waiting in the lobby that the Executive Session would last approximately 20 more minutes.

RETURN TO REGULAR SESSION:

At 5:07 p.m., President Russ Skolrood reconvened the meeting in regular session.

Commissioner Russ Skolrood stated that all legal remedies have been followed and a decision has taken place.  He suggested paying Mr. Spradlin and following through.

Commissioner Tom Casey stated that there are legal pursuits that could be had.  The District is out of capital.  He does not have the heart to go forward, but he is badly shaken.

Commissioner Dave Timmons made a motion to authorize the General Manager to pay the judgment as stated by the court to Tim Spradlin and not to pursue further appeal.  Commissioner Tom Casey seconded the motion.  Motion carried by unanimous vote.       

OLD BUSINESS:

           PUBLIC HEARING ON RE-DISTRICTING

President Russ Skolrood opened a hearing to discuss the re-districting of the District’s Commissioner boundaries.

President Russ Skolrood called for public comment.  No public comment was received.

President Russ Skolrood closed public comment and asked for comments from the Board.

Commissioner Dave Timmons stated that he thought the proposed boundaries looked good.

General Counsel Rick Pitt stated that the District is proposing to adopt revised boundaries for its Commissioners identical to the boundaries recently adopted by the Grays Harbor County Commissioners.

President Russ Skolrood closed the hearing and stated that the District will be adopting a Resolution at its next meeting on November 21st to approve the revised Commissioner boundaries.

Engineering Manager Wes Gray discussed the Customer Service Engineers – Customer and Maintenance Job Statistics for October 2011.  Work is starting to drop off, but that time is being filled up with system improvement work.

STAFF AND ATTORNEY REPORTS:

Chief Financial Officer Doug Streeter reported:

1)      He participated in recent discussions with investment banks.

Human Resources Director Linda Trygstad reported:

1)      She reminded everyone that District offices will be closed on November 11, 2011 in observance of the Veteran’s Day holiday.

Operations Manager Ed Pauley reported:

1)      There was a car/pole accident on October 30, 2011.

IT Supervisor Ged West reported:

1)      IT has been busy with the District’s e-mail upgrade.

Community & Government Relations Director Liz Anderson reported:

1)      The District’s annual report is now on its website.

Engineering Manager Wes Gray reported:

1)      He has been making some adjustments to Engineering’s O & M and capital budget for the upcoming budget workshop.

Power Manager Melinda James reported:

1)      On-peak prices are in the upper 30’s and off-peak prices are around 30.  Gas is $3.70.

2)      Frederickson has been online five days this month.

Senior Key Accounts Representative Kevin Howerton reported:

1)      He had no report.

General Counsel Rick Pitt reported:

1)      He is attending the APPA Legal Seminar this week.

2)      He will be on PTO this Thursday.

Assistant General Manager Doug Smith reported:

1)      He attended a Columbia Pacific RC & EDD meeting.  There is on-going discussion about putting electric vehicle charging stations in the I-5 corridor and out to the Oregon coast.  They are looking into getting funding for charging stations out to the Washington Coast.  Vicky Cummings at COG agreed to put together some information on grants.  She is willing to give a brief presentation to the Board.  The Board indicated they would like her to give a presentation.  Discussion ensued.

2)      He attended PPC meetings on November 3rd.  Discussion ensued about BPA consistently overspending its conservation budget.

Human Resources Director Linda Trygstad requested that the Executive Session on tonight’s agenda regarding personnel be removed from the agenda.

General Manager Rick Lovely reported:

1)      He attended the Washington Strategic Energy Conference October 18th – 19th.

2)      He attended a WPUDA budget meeting in Olympia on October 20th.

3)      He attended an EDC Executive Committee meeting on October 25th.

4)      He held a Department Head meeting on October 25th.

5)      He attended an RMC meeting on October 26th.

6)      He attended an I-937 caucus meeting at Sea-Tac Airport on October 28th.

7)      He attended a Chamber/EDC joint meeting on November 1st.

8)      He attended a WPUDA Government Relations meeting on November 2nd.

9)      He attended a PPC open forum in Portland on November 2nd.  They discussed capital issues with BPA.

10)  He attended a WWPU meeting in Shelton on November 4th.

11)  He will be attending a Washington Ocean Energy Conference in Bremerton November 8th – 9th.

12)  He will be participating in a Radar Ridge conference call on November 10th.

13)  He will be attending a WPUDA Executive Committee meeting on November 16th.

14)  He will be attending WPUDA committee meetings on November 17th.

15)  He will be attending an I-937 Public Utility Caucus on November 18th.

Discussion ensued about appointing an alternate board representative for Greater Grays Harbor, Inc.  Commissioner Dave Timmons will be the District’s alternate representative.

NOTICE OF HEARING/ACCEPTANCE OF WORK:

President Russ Skolrood stated he was opening the Public Hearing for Acceptance of Work for A.C. Schommer & Sons, Inc. under Purchase Order #11-0324.

President Russ Skolrood called for comments, claims, or objections in relation to Schommer’s work under this project.

IT Supervisor Ged West recommended acceptance of the work and release of Schommer’s bond and retainage.

President Russ Skolrood closed the hearing.

RESOLUTION #4610 

A RESOLUTION OF PUBLIC UTILITY DISTRICT NO. 1 OF GRAYS HARBOR COUNTY AUTHORIZING ACCEPTANCE OF PERFORMANCE OF WORK AND IMPROVEMENTS PURSUANT TO CONTRACT (FURNISH LABOR, MATERIALS, TRUCKING, EQUIPMENT & SUPERVISION TO REPLACE THE WESTPORT COMMUNICATIONS TOWER LOCATED AT 550 SR 105 IN WESTPORT, WASHINGTON, PO# 11-0324) 

Commissioner Dave Timmons moved that Resolution #4610 be approved.  Commissioner Tom Casey seconded the motion.  Motion carried by unanimous vote.  The full text of Resolution #4610 is available at District offices during regular business hours.

President Russ Skolrood stated he was opening the Public Hearing for Acceptance of Work for A.C. Schommer & Sons, Inc. under Purchase Order #11-0392.

President Russ Skolrood called for comments, claims, or objections in relation to Schommer’s work under this project.

IT Supervisor Ged West recommended acceptance of the work and release of Schommer’s bond and retainage.

President Russ Skolrood closed the hearing.

RESOLUTION #4611 

A RESOLUTION OF PUBLIC UTILITY DISTRICT NO. 1 OF GRAYS HARBOR COUNTY AUTHORIZING ACCEPTANCE OF PERFORMANCE OF WORK AND IMPROVEMENTS PURSUANT TO CONTRACT (FURNISH AND SUPPLY LABOR AND EQUIPMENT TO PERFORM COMMUNICATIONS SITE & TOWER MAINTENANCE AT MINOT PEAK, COSI HILL, ELMA AND OCEAN SHORES IN ACCORDANCE WITH DISTRICT SPECIFICATIONS AND REQUIREMENTS, PO# 11-0392)

Commissioner Tom Casey moved that Resolution #4611 be approved.  Commissioner Dave Timmons seconded the motion.  Motion carried by unanimous vote.  The full text of Resolution #4611 is available at District offices during regular business hours.

COMMUNICATIONS:

The District received correspondence from the Grays Harbor EDC thanking the District for its continued support and sponsorship of the Showcase Tour.

The District received a thank you card from the Washington State Department of Natural Resources thanking the District for its sponsorship and support of its municipal tree workshop in October.  Legal Assistant/Clerk to the Board Tiffanee Chaufty briefly described the workshop and the District’s participation.

The District received correspondence from Aberdeen High School encouraging donations to foodball.  Legal Assistant/Clerk to the Board Tiffanee Chaufty stated that whereas this request falls outside of the District’s policy guidelines, she encouraged everyone to donate to foodball.  Discussion ensued.

The District received correspondence from WPUDA selecting the District’s Materials Supervisor, Carl Jonsson, as the 2011 recipient of the William T. Elmgren Public Service Award from WPUDA.  Discussion ensued.

The District received correspondence from WPUDA selecting District Linemen Dale Benner, Steve Tobin, Justin Mills, Line Equipment Operator Natheon Camus, Groundman Steve Button, Flagger Toni Fairchild and Flagger Rachel Fredrickson as the 2011 Recipients of the Good Samaritan Award from WPUDA.  Discussion ensued.

Commissioner Russ Skolrood read a letter into the record that the District received from L & I’s Apprenticeship Committee.  The Committee was very complimentary of Line Crew Coordinator Paul Schell.  Discussion ensued.

CONSENT CALENDAR:

a)                  386 Claim Vouchers for the Weeks of October 24, October 31 and November 7, 2011 (No. 0075203 through No. 0075588) in the Total Amount of $979,900.88

b)                  17 Wire Transfers for the Weeks of October 24, October 31 and November 7, 2011 in the Total Amount of $1,789,311.17

c)                  Payroll for the Pay Period Ending October 21, 2011 in the Total Amount of $511,553.59

d)                 Transfer of Accounts Receivable to Bad Debts for May 2011 in the Amount of $23,362.23

e)                  Applications for 2011 Small Works Roster:

Wizard & Sons Electric

Harbor Offshore, Inc.

f)                   Travel:

For General Counsel Rick Pitt to Attend the APPA Legal Seminar in Memphis, Tennessee November 6 – 9, 2011 at a Total Estimated Cost of $2,102.00

Commissioner Russ Skolrood asked about payments to A.C. Schommer & Sons; Energy Risk, LLC; Fitch Ratings; Global Fiber Vision; Megger; and Kemp West.  Discussion ensued.

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

FORWARD PLANNING:

IT Supervisor Ged West requested approval of a sole source contract with CalAmp.  He would like to replace the data radio communications.  The replacement cost would be much higher from another supplier.  Discussion ensued.

Commissioner Tom Casey made a motion to approve a sole source contract with CalAmp.  Commissioner Dave Timmons seconded the motion.  Motion carried by unanimous vote.

General Manager Rick Lovely stated that he is participating in a conference call on November 10th to discuss the Radar Ridge project.  He would like the Board to acknowledge that the District will not be going forward with this project.

The Board unanimously agreed that the District will not be going forward with this project.

Chief Financial Officer Doug Streeter stated that the Board will receive its budget packets at the meeting on November 21st.

Commissioner Tom Casey stated that he would like to schedule a workshop to discuss lessons learned from the December 2007 storm.  Discussion ensued.

COMMISSIONER REPORTS:

Commissioner Tom Casey reported:

1)      He spent some time last week out at Willis Enterprises.

2)      He attended an Energy Northwest Board of Directors meeting last week.

Commissioner Dave Timmons reported:

1)      He has been busy with routine business.

2)      He met with some District employees last week to talk about their concerns.  Discussion ensued about giving work to the District’s own crews versus hiring an outside contractor to do the work.

3)      He will be attending WPUDA meetings in Olympia November 16th – 18th.

4)      He is glad the District is putting the Spradlin issue behind it.

Commissioner Russ Skolrood reported:

1)      All local entities are trying to figure out what funding the State is pulling from them due to budget cuts.  This is a tough time for all of them.

2)      He spent a lot of time last week discussing litigation.  There are a lot of hard lessons to learn.  It seems flaws are always found whenever there is an extreme event or an emergency.  He thinks there should be conversations with the public present to make sure they never happen again.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

David Jennings of Aberdeen commented on the Spradlin lawsuit.  Discussion ensued.

Ralph Koal of Aberdeen commented on the Spradlin lawsuit.  He also discussed the District’s line mile tree trimming contract and the proposed electric vehicle charging stations.  Discussion ensued.

Maizi Johnston thanked the Board for not appealing the Spradlin decision any further and suggesting improving the District’s accounts payable process.  She also asked about jackets purchased for Public Power Week and the electric vehicle charging stations.  Discussion ensued.

Tony Meyer of Aberdeen stated that the ratepayers are really upset over the Spradlin matter.  He hopes the total cost will come out in the paper.  Discussion ensued.

Mr. Koal asked if a job order was taken out for Mr. Spradlin’s work.  Discussion ensued.

ADJOURNMENT:

There being no further business to bring before the Board, President Russ Skolrood declared the meeting adjourned at 6:46 p.m.

 
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