Meeting of Commissioners of
Public Utility District No. 1 of Clark County, Washington
December 21, 2021
A meeting of Commissioners of Public Utility District No. 1 of Clark County was held at the Electric Center, 1200 Fort Vancouver Way, Vancouver, Washington, on Tuesday, December 21, 2021.
Present: Assistant to CEO/General Manager Margaret Anderson
Present via digital conference (phone or video): President Jim Malinowski, Vice President Nancy Barnes and Secretary Jane Van Dyke Commissioners, CEO/General Manager Lena Wittler, Director of Finance Melissa Ankeny, Director of Energy Resources Dan Bedbury, Director of Information Services Jeff Groff, Director of Communications Erica Erland, Director of Customer Service Lisa Fix, Director of Employee Resources Nichole Reitzenstein, Director of Operations Gene Morris, Director of Engineering Cal Morris, Director of Water Doug Quinn, General Counsel John Eldridge, Energy Services Project Manager Matt Babbitts, Power Manager Steve Andersen, Business Applications Manager Julie Landry and Customer Experience Manager Cameron Daline.
Press representatives: None
Others present via digital conference (phone or video): Mark Hughley, Cathryn Chudy, Don Steinke, Alona Steinke, Heidi Culbertson, Rick Marshall, Kristin Endmark, Janet Hedgepath and Monica Zazueta.
At 9:00 a.m., President Malinowski called the meeting to order for the transaction of formal business. Commissioner Malinowski noted a quorum was present and the agenda was approved as presented (Materials A).
The following are comments made by members of the public in attendance:
Don Steinke provided his thoughts on carbon life cycle, carbon intensity, his participation with the City of Vancouver Climate Action Plan and the future of electric vehicle charging in Clark County.
Alona Steinke provide her thoughts on General Motors electric delivery vans, and Oregon’s plans to reduce emissions and resource adequacy.
Kristin Endmark congratulated staff on the recent J.D. Power award. Ms. Endmark shared her thoughts on methane gas and encouraged the Utility to shut down River Road Generating Plant and to get to 100% clean energy as soon as possible.
Janet Hedgepath shared her urgent concern to mitigate climate change, she is switching to an electric vehicle and moving from gas heating to an electric heat pump. Ms. Hedgepath encouraged the Utility to do their part by shutting down the River Road Generating Plant.
Cathryn Chudy felt that customer concerns were not considered during the Clean Energy Implementation Plan process noting that River Road Generating Plant and nuclear options were still in the plan.
Heidi Culbert encouraged the Utility to follow science when making decisions surrounding River Road Generating Plant, noting reduction of carbon emissions is critical to stop global warming.
Monica Zazueta supports clean energy efforts and would like the Utility to implement an electric vehicle program incentive that would allow her to own one. She shared her concerns for her son’s future.
Nancy Helget was not able to attend the meeting put provided written comments that were shared with the Board and CEO/General Manager prior to the meeting. Ms. Helget’s comments are available upon request.
If members of the public have provided written comments, copies of these comments in their entirety may be obtained by contacting Margaret Anderson at [email protected] or 360-992-3378.
Consideration of the Minutes of December 7, 2021
There were no changes.
Consideration of Accounts Payable
The board, by a unanimous vote, approved the following payment amounts as listed on the Letter of Transmittal dated December 21, 2021 from the District Auditor
Electric Revenue Fund – $9,141,737.82
Water Revenue Fund – $347,896.84
Generating System Fund – $711,117.71
For a total of $10,200,752.37
Consideration of a Resolution Reorganizing the Board of Commissioner Chairs for 2022
Commissioner Van Dyke moved to nominate Commissioner Barnes as President, Commissioner Van Dyke as Vice President and Commissioner Malinowski as secretary effective January 1, 2022. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Barnes and passed unanimously (Materials C).
Consideration of Bid Award No. 621 – 115kV Switches
Director of Operations Gene Morris reviewed the memo dated December 21, 2021 detailing the bid results (Materials D). Commissioner Van Dyke moved to recommend that Bid No. 621 be awarded to the low evaluated bidder Cleaveland Price Inc., in the amount of $167,958.00 plus applicable taxes. Commissioner Barnes seconded the motion, and it passed unanimously.
Consideration of Resolution Adopting the Clean Energy Implementation Plan
Energy Services Project Manager Matt Babbitts reviewed the presentation outlining the Clean Energy Implementation Plan (CEIP) process (Materials E). Mr. Babbitts started with a summary of the public process that included engagement with local community-based non-profit groups and interaction with customers during meetings and on the Utility customer comment portal.
A summary of customer comments and website data analytics was provided to the board, all of these items were taken into consideration that led to the CEIP focus areas. Staff will focus on demand response, decreased operations of the River Road Generating Plant, focused conservation and electric vehicle incentives for our limited income and vulnerable populations and future community solar projects.
Mr. Babbitts shared that CEIP highlights also show that Clark Public Utilities is expected to meet the 2030 carbon-neutral target ahead of schedule.
Member of the public Rick Marshall cautioned the Utility against relying on website analytics as a true reflection of customer thoughts on clean energy and wondered if our customers even knew about River Road Generating Plant at all. Mr. Marshall thanked Utility staff for encouraging comments and for being quick to respond to questions.
Member of the public Cathryn Chudy shared her thoughts about shutting down the River Road Generating Plant, citing her concern for the long term and stating that even if the Utility has flexibility, there are still emissions. Ms. Chudy would like to see more work in the area of advanced metering and demand response, she also shares the same concern regarding dependence on website analytics.
The Board thanked the members of the public for their thoughtful questions and participation in the CEIP process and encouraged that participation to continue. The Board also thanked staff for all the care and hard work that went into finalizing the CEIP and getting it ready to submit to the Department of Commerce before January 1, 2022.
Commissioner Van Dyke moved to adopt the Clark Public Utilities Clean Energy Implementation Plan for the Years 2022 to 2025, Pursuant to RCS 19.405.060. Commissioner Barnes seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.
Commissioner Reports and Comments
Commissioner Barnes reported on her attendance at the Vancouver Chamber of Commerce Legislative Outlook event.
Commissioner Van Dyke reported on her attendance at the Columbia River Economic Development Council Executive Committee meeting.
Commissioner Malinowski reported on his attendance at the Energy Northwest meeting and shared that he had been selected to participate in the development of a Clean Energy program with Clark College.
Business Applications Manager Julie Landry provided the board with an update on the recently launched Pandemic Relief Assistance Program. Ms. Landry shared since the program launch on December 6, the Utility has provided $3.1 million in direct credits to accounts and nearly $6,117 in payment matching.
The board thanked staff for all the hard and thoughtful work that went into getting the program up and running.
CEO/General Manager took the opportunity to share that Clark Public Utilities had received word of not only the 14th consecutive J.D. Power award for midsize utilities but that Clark Public Utilities had tied for 1st place in the nation among all 145 utilities surveyed, regardless of size. Commissioners joined Ms. Wittler in thanking staff for their compassion and service to all of our customers.
There were no public comments.
Other Business before the Board
There being no further business to come before the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 10:45 a.m.