Meeting of Commissioners of
Public Utility District No. 1 of Clark County, Washington
August 1, 2023
A meeting of Commissioners of Public Utility District No. 1 of Clark County was held at Clark Public Utilities, 1200 Fort Vancouver Way, Vancouver, Washington, on Tuesday, August 1, 2023.
Present: Vice President Jim Malinowski, Secretary Nancy Barnes Commissioners, CEO/General Manager Lena Wittler, Director of Energy Resources Dan Bedbury, Director of Engineering Cal Morris, Director of Communications Erica Erland, Director of Information Services Jeff Groff, Director of Employee Resources Nichole Reitzenstein, General Counsel John Eldridge, Director of Customer Service Lisa Fix, Community Engagement Specialist Morgan Van Fleet, Senior Communications Manager Heather Allmain, Customer Experience Manager Cameron Daline, Education Program Specialist Amber Hall, Field Services Manager Dana Christensen, Transmission and Distribution Manager Brian Roden, Field Service Representative Andre Dickerson, Utility Helper – Warehouse Joe Cryblskey and Assistant to the CEO/General Manager Margaret Anderson.
Staff present via digital conference (phone or video): PIO/Media Specialist Dameon Pesanti.
Others present via digital conference (phone or video) or in person: Gordon Matthews, Peter Harrison, Cathryn Chudy, Don Steinke, Rick Marshall and Tom Gordon
Press representatives: None
At 9:00 a.m., Vice President Malinowski called the meeting to order for the transaction of formal business, agenda was approved (Materials B) and Commissioner Van Dyke was excused from the meeting.
The following represents a brief summary of comments made by members of the public in attendance:
Don Steinke provided comment on the Shin-Etsu Handotai America expansion, Portland General Electric battery project and the Growth Management Act.
If written comments are submitted, they may be obtained by contacting Margaret Anderson at [email protected] or 360-992-3378.
Consideration of the Minutes of July 24, 2023
The minutes were approved as presented.
Consideration of Accounts Payable
The board, by a unanimous vote, approved the following payment amounts as listed on the Letter of Transmittal dated August 1, 2023 from the District Auditor (Materials C):
Electric Revenue Fund – $9,392,973.55
Water Revenue Fund – $304,544.00
Generating System Fund – $1,120,219.45
For a total of $10,820,737.00
Employee Service Awards
Director of Communications Erica Erland introduced Education Program Specialist Amber Hall and Senior Communications Manager Heather Allmain. Amber was recognized for 20 years of service and Heather was recognized for 25 years of service.
Transmission and Distribution Manager Brian Roden introduced Utility Helper/Warehouse Joe Cryblskey. Joe was recognized for 20 years of service.
Field Services Manager Dana Christensen introduced Field Services Representative Andre Dickerson. Andre was recognized for 30 years of service (Materials D).
General Manager Performance Review and Compensation Resolution Recap
Commissioner Malinowski and Commissioner Barnes provided a brief recap of the performance review for CEO/General Manager Lena Wittler. Highlights included the Box Canyon power supply agreement and the undeclaration of a portion of the output from the River Road Generating Plant, which together provide a path to compliance with existing carbon legislation. Commissioners also praised the relationships Ms. Wittler has made with other leaders in the industry and the local community, and the support she provides to staff as they continue to do great work on behalf of utility customers.
Commissioner Barnes shared that Ms. Wittler’s salary was increased to $335,000 annually. Additionally, Ms. Wittler will receive a one-time award of 100 hours of comp time in recognition of 2022 utility goals achieved, a $400 a month car allowance, and all other benefits provided employees of the utility.
Consideration of Resolutions of Intent to Establish LUD Nos. 1441, 1453, 1460 and 1463
Director of Engineering Cal Morris addressed the board regarding the Intent to Establish Local Utility District Nos. 1441, 1453, 1460 and 1463.
Resolution No. 7791 – LUD No. 1441 – 109th Street Cottages
Resolution No. 7792 – LUD No. 1453 – Curtin Creek Meadow PUD
Resolution No. 7793 – LUD No. 1460 – 114th St. Townhomes
Resolution No. 7794 – LUD No. 1463 – Ramble Creek PH 2 ABC
After the presentation by Mr. Morris, Commissioner Malinowski opened for public comment. There being no comment, a motion was made by Commissioner Barnes, seconded by Commissioner Malinowski, and unanimously carried that Resolution Nos. 7791 – 7794 be adopted and a public hearing was set for September 5, 2023 (Materials E).
Consideration of Establishment of LUD Nos. 1445, 1456 and 1461
Director of Engineering Cal Morris addressed the board regarding the Establishment of Local Utility District Nos. 1445, 1456 and 1461.
Resolution No. 7795 – LUD No. 1445 – Stone’s Throw PUD PH1
Resolution No. 7796 – LUD No. 1456 – Walnut Grove Subdivision
Resolution No. 7797 – LUD No. 1461 – Rachels Ranch
After the presentation by Mr. Morris, Commissioner Malinowski opened the public hearing for comments. There being none, a motion was made by Commissioner Barnes, seconded by Commissioner Malinowski and unanimously carried that Resolution Nos. 7795 – 7797 be adopted (Materials F).
Review of 2023 First Half Customer Survey Data
Customer Experience Manager Cameron Daline reviewed transactional and sentiment survey results for the first half of 2023 with the board (Materials G). Customer satisfaction is high and recent experience and sentiment surveys show almost all customers report being satisfied with Clark Public Utilities and the service they receive. Reliability, affordability and customer service continue to be the priorities for our customers.
Key insights were the continuing impacts of COVID-19 including ongoing financial struggles in the community. Despite struggles, nearly half of customers believe their electric service is the best value among household utilities and almost all customers are familiar with the utility. Overall, customers remain overwhelmingly satisfied with the service they receive but continue to mention reduced rates as the most common area cited for improvement.
Commission Reports and Comments
Commissioner Malinowski reported on his attendance at the Energy Northwest meetings.
Commissioner Barnes reminded everyone of the upcoming Columbia Springs event, Hooked on Nature that will be held at ilani casino on September 9.
There were no staff reports.
Other Business before the Board
There being no further business to come before the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 10:29 p.m.