Meeting of Commissioners of
Public Utility District No. 1 of Clark County, Washington
July 18, 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, July 18, 2023.
Present: President Jane Van Dyke, Vice President Jim Malinowski, Secretary Nancy Barnes Commissioners, CEO/General Manager Lena Wittler, Director of Finance Melissa Ankeny, Director of Energy Resources Dan Bedbury, Director of Operations/Interim Director of Water Gene Morris, 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, Power Manager Steve Andersen, Energy Resource Manager Terry Toland, Key Account Senior Manager Zeecha Van Hoose, Senior Accountant Trayson Harmon, Environmental Sustainability Manager Michael O’Loughlin 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, Bill Kostich, Peter Harrison, Frank Dick, Robert Mash, Cathryn Chudy, Don Steinke, Sherry Erickson, Rick Marshall, Bryan Kast, Tom Gordon, and Chris Thobaben.
Press representatives: None
At 9:00 a.m., President Van Dyke called the meeting to order for the transaction of formal business and the agenda was approved (Materials B).
The following represents a brief summary of comments made by members of the public in attendance:
Don Steinke shared his desire for Clark Public Utilities to work toward more solar and storage in order to use the River Road Generating Plant less. Mr. Steinke would like the utility to move faster toward shutting the plant down.
Cathryn Chudy shared her thoughts on increased demands on the grid with the electrification of transportation and buildings, lowering dependence on fossil fuels and increasing use of solar and battery storage to meet this expected increase.
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 June 27, 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 July 18, 2023 from the District Auditor (Materials C):
Electric Revenue Fund – $33,577,909.37
Water Revenue Fund – $3,590,995.60
Generating System Fund – $4,272,621.89
For a total of $41,441,526.86
Employee Service Awards
CEO/General Manager Lena Wittler introduced Director of Finance – Melissa Ankeny. Melissa was recognized for 25 years of service.
Director of Finance Melissa Ankeny introduced Senior Accountant Trayson Harmon. Trayson was recognized for 25 years of service (Materials D).
Consideration of Bid Award No. 656 – UG Cable Replacement – NE Valley View Lane & Mountain View Dr.
Director of Operations/Interim Director of Water Gene Morris reviewed the memo dated July 18, 2023 detailing the bid results (Materials E). Commissioner Barnes moved to recommend that Bid No. 656 be awarded to the low evaluated bidder Magnum Power, LLC in the amount of $337,000 plus applicable taxes. Commissioner Malinowski seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.
River Road Generating Plant Maintenance Recap
Energy Resource Manager Terry Toland provided the board with a recap of the maintenance work conducted at the plant in May (Materials F). Mr. Toland shared pictures and descriptions of the work completed on the major projects including; Gas Turbine and Steam Turbine Maintenence, Cooling Tower Fill Replacement, HRSG Bottom Seal Replacement and Condenser Tube and Lube Oil Tank Cleaning. Over the course of the maintenance outage over 160 individuals spent time working at the plant.
City of Vancouver Equipment Upgrade Conservation Project
Key Account Senior Manager Zeecha Van Hoose provided a recap of the City of Vancouver’s Wastewater Lagoon Phase 1 project. Ms. Van Hoose reported that the project has an energy savings of .03 average MW and a $690,434.90 rebate toward project costs was provided to the City of Vancouver. Phase 2 is in progress and expected to wrap up before the end of the year.
Director of Finance Melissa Ankeny addressed the board (Materials G). Weather was warmer and drier than normal, which resulted in electric revenues and off system sales both coming in above budget. May residential sales were 107.4% of budget, commercial sales were 106.6% and industrial sales were 99.2% of budget. May ended with a net income loss of $3.9 million compared to a budgeted net income loss of $1.8 million. Year-to-date net income loss is $5.1 million compared to a budgeted net income of $9.9 million.
The Water System ended May with 445 new customers, which is a growth rate of 2.7% year-to-date. May ended with a net income of $108,000 compared to a budgeted net income loss of $243,000. Year-to-date net income is $259,000 compared to a budgeted net income loss of $1.2 million.
May Wholesale Operations
Power Manager Steve Andersen addressed the board (Materials H). Mr. Andersen provided an update on power supply noting that Slice generation was 13 average MW above budget and loads in May were 25 average MW above budget. The warmer than normal temperatures contributed to higher than expected slice generation and loads.
Mr. Andersen reviewed volume run-off, Combine Hills production and May gas prices during the month. May net metering generation was 3.1 average MW.
Commission Reports and Comments
Commissioner Barnes reported on her online attendance at the Washington PUD Association Meetings.
Commissioner Van Dyke reported on her attendance at the Washington PUD Association (WPUDA) meetings and provided the board with an update on the recruiting efforts for the Executive Director position at WPUDA. Commissioners discussed their recruiting preferences and Commissioner Van Dyke will take the feedback to the Executive Committee.
Environmental Sustainability Manager Michael O’Loughlin shared the success of the first Pollinator Festival held at the Operations Center (Materials I). The event highlighting the utility’s Pollinator Project was held on June 24, showcasing the pollinator garden and meadow, hosting renowned author Doug Tallamy as a guest speaker, featuring a variety of local community partners and Farmers Market vendors, and offering many educational activities for families.
The meeting was recessed into executive session at 11:15 a.m. in accordance with the Open Public Meetings Act. RCW 42.30.110 (1)(g) – to evaluate the qualifications of an applicant for public employment or to review the performance of a public employee. The executive session was expected to last no longer than one hour.
Commissioner Van Dyke reconvened the public meeting at 12:30 p.m., Commissioners reviewed calendars and scheduled a special meeting to be held on Monday, July 24 at 1:00 p.m.
Other Business before the Board
There being no further business to come before the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 12:35 p.m.