The first of two June PUD Commissioners meetings kicked off without a hitch on June 5. PUD Manager Jason Dunsmoor addressed the commissioners with his monthly report. In attendance were Commissioners Dianna Thompson, Mike Swanson and Dick Anderson along with several PUD employees who regularly attended the meetings.
Discrepancies Dunsmoor informed the commissioners that PUD had completed its audit of the Bay Center Water System and found several discrepancies in the billing system. Several accounts were learned to have been being billed for the wrong hook up size for years.
He also made the commissioners aware that some accounts owed PUD money while others were owed a refund. PUD could go back as far as 36 months to collect and/or refund. Commissioner Thompson expressed she felt that no matter what they decide it should be the same both ways. So if they decide to refund they need also collect or do nothing.
Codes rewritten or removed PUD rewrote several codes in their code book for the first time in several years. For a commercial hookup previously a deposit was required and would be refunded 24 months after the start of service. Dunsmoor asked the code to be rewritten so that PUD could keep the deposit for the entire service contract as there was concern that some contracts amount to tens of thousands of dollars and should they abruptly leave and not pay PUD could be left with a major bill to absorb with some amounting excess of $25,000.
Prior if a resident with a PUD debt moved into another home with someone else PUD had the authority to shut that residents power off until the debtor paid their bill in full. Dunsmoor requested this code be stricken from the code book entirely.
PUD now requires stainless steel equipment for commercial hookups and is suggesting residential hookups do the same. According to Dunsmoor stainless steel equipment has a longer life span due to its durability to coastal weather. Approximately 20% of south county residents have stainless steel equipment while 1% of north county residents do.
Overhead conductors now require a 10 foot halo of cleared path clear of trees or any debris that could potentially contact the conductors. This is in order to limit the damage to PUD equipment and/or accidents that could result from damage.
PUD updated the charges for new hook ups with varying increases in fees. Commissioner Anderson voiced his concern with raising the prices as local residents already pay enough and feels they're being gouged every which way anymore. Concern was suggested that with increases people may look elsewhere to build.
BPA Spill Dunsmoor informed the commissioners that the BPA spill assessment had been completed leaving PUD with a $30,971 surcharge of which is minor compared to what other utilities have to pay. Commissioner Thompson asked if PUD had the ability to absorb the bill so residents wouldn't have to foot the bill. Dunsmoor informed her and the other commissioners that PUD could, but it would take a pretty big chunk out of their reserves. It was decided to table the matter closer to August to see if PUD would have more funds to absorb it in the future. If unable to residents would have an additional bill charge less than $2 on a monthly bill.