P.O. Box 500
1492 Wind River Hwy
Carson, Washington 98610

Pay by Phone: 877-885-7968
Phone: 509-427-5126
Toll-Free 800-922-5329

Manager’s Message December-January 2014

2013 Highlights

A Productive Construction Season Winds Down

Winter weather is here and the PUD crews are wrapping up a busy and productive construction season.  When the weather dried out in the spring, the Line Crew started replacing rotten distribution line wood poles.  As of September, 88 wood poles have been replaced this year representing nearly 2% of our in-service pole inventory.   Next the crew tackled rebuilding a 4100 foot length of overhead distribution line along Highway 14 immediately west of the town of Skamania.  This was the final and most difficult section of a multi-year project to completely rebuild 10 miles of the Highway 14 line from North Bonneville west to Salmon Falls Road.  Finally, about 5 miles of under-ground power line, in various locations, is being replaced.  Annually the PUD identifies the worst performing under-ground feeders to target for replacement.  The Water Crew had a productive year as well.  They repainted the inside of the Carson reservoir and replaced water lines on Monaghan Road in Carson and Scienic Heights Road in Underwood.  All of this replacement work translates into more reliable electric and water service for you our customers. 

More Successes

Carson Water:  The Bear Creek diversion dam and water intake structure resides on US Forest Service (USFS) property and requires a Special Use Permit for continued operation.  The USFS defers to the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) to regulate fish habitat in the creek.  To renew the PUD’s expired special use permit, WDFW approval is required.  In 2012 WDFW was mandating that the PUD construct a physical fish passage structure over the 12 foot high dam.  The fish passage structure was estimated to cost at least $500,000 to design and construct; this expense seemed impractical for a water system of less than 1000 customers and a creek that holds no salmon or steelhead, only resident rainbow trout.  With the assistance of a few key Carson residents, the PUD has gone back to WDFW offering mitigation in lieu of constructing physical fish passage.  The PUD has gained WDFW approval of our mitigation proposal and is awaiting USFS approval of the new special use permit.  The mitigation is estimated to cost less than $40,000 representing a cost avoidance of $460,000.  I am very pleased with the efforts of PUD staff working with WDFW and USFS to reach a realistic and cost effective solution for renewing the Bear Creek diversion dam special use permit.

Strategic Plan Development:  The Board of Commissioners and Management worked collaboratively to develop a Strategic Plan for the PUD.  For the first time, the PUD has a comprehensive written plan directing and prioritizing the efforts of management and staff.  The strategic plan includes three lists of Action Priorities in the areas of long range planning, improving system assets and improving operational effectiveness and customer service.  The focus and guidance provided by the strategic plan will better ensure the PUD operates as an effective steward of your utility now and in the future.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

 

Brent Bischoff
General Manager