Meeting of Commissioners of
Public Utility District No. 1 of Clark County, Washington
July 21, 2020
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, July 21, 2020.
Present: President Jane Van Dyke, CEO/General Manager Lena Wittler and Assistant to CEO/General Manager Margaret Anderson.
Present via conference call: Vice President Jim Malinowski, Secretary Nancy Barnes Commissioners, Director of Finance Melissa Ankeny, Director of Energy Resources Dan Bedbury, Director of Information Services Mike Harris, Director of Engineering Cal Morris, Director of Water Doug Quinn, Director of Communications Erica Erland, Director of Employee Resources Nichole Reitzenstein, Director of Customer Service Lisa Fix, Manager of Energy Planning and Operations Tom Haymaker, General Counsel John Eldridge, Energy Services Manager Debbie DePetris and Media Specialist Dameon Pesanti.
Press representatives: None
Others present via conference call: Rick Marshall and Don Steinke
At 9:00 a.m., President Van Dyke called the meeting to order for the transaction of formal business. Commissioner Van Dyke noted a quorum was present and the agenda with the addition of consideration of Interlocal Cooperative Agreement with Energy Northwest as an action item (Materials A) was approved.
Consideration of the Minutes of July 7, 2020
There were no changes.
Member of the public Don Steinke provided his thoughts on demand growth between 2025-2040 and Clark Public Utilities’ readiness for that growth. He urged the Commissioners to propose new policies to get ready for the changes ahead, encouraging more electric vehicle support and less dependence of fossil fuels.
Consideration of Accounts Payable
The board, by a unanimous vote, approved the following payment amounts as listed on the Letter of Transmittal dated July 21, 2020 from the District Auditor (Materials B):
Electric Revenue Fund – $10,549,432.70
Water Revenue Fund – $263,859.29
Generating System Fund – $366,542.87
For a total of $11,179,834.86
Consideration of Establishment of LUD Nos. 1388 and 1395
Director of Engineering Cal Morris addressed the board regarding the Establishment of Local Utility District Nos. 1388 and 1395.
Resolution No. 7607 – LUD No. 1388 – Orchards Townhomes
Resolution No. 7608 – LUD No. 1395 – Peacock Manor Ph 2
After the presentation by Mr. Morris, Commissioner Van Dyke 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. 7607 and 7608 be adopted. (Materials C).
Consideration of Interlocal Cooperative Agreement with Energy Northwest
CEO/General Manager Lena Wittler requested approval to sign an Interlocal Cooperative Agreement with Energy Northwest (Materials D). The agreement would provide membership subscription services in American Public Power Association’s Demonstration of Energy & Efficiency Development program and provide a nominal discounted membership rate with APPA.
Commissioner Barnes moved to approve Ms. Wittler signing the Interlocal Cooperative Agreement with Energy Northwest as presented, seconded by Commissioner Malinowski and passed unanimously.
Director of Finance Melissa Ankeny addressed the board (Materials E). May was warmer and drier than normal which resulted in electric revenues below budget and off system sales coming in above budget. May residential sales were 108.5% of budget, commercial sales were 83.5% and industrial sales were 93.3% of budget. May ended with a net income of $2.7 million compared to a budgeted net income loss of $941,000. Year-to-date net income is $18.9 million compared to a budgeted net income of $15 million.
Ms. Ankeny provided a year-to-date update on the utility’s conservation spending.
The Water System ended May with 357 new customers year to date, which is a growth rate of 2.30%. There was net income of $99,000 for May, compared to a budgeted net income loss of $150,000. Year-to-date net income loss is $609,000 compared to a budgeted net income loss of $1 million.
May Wholesale Operations
Manager of Planning and Operations Tom Haymaker addressed the board (Materials F). Mr. Haymaker updated the board on power supply noting that Slice performed above prompt month by 29 aMW and budget forecasts by 30 aMW. The utility’s monthly load was 32 aMW above budget. Power and gas prices were soft all month with some negative pricing near the end of the month. Due to the amount of precipitation in June, current run off is 100% of normal.
Mr. Haymaker reported on operational, financial and contractual observations so far during the COVID-19 pandemic as they relate to power and gas purchases and sales.
The River Road Generating Plant was taken off-line on April 29 for scheduled maintenance and was expected back online mid-July. An additional needed repair was discovered so maintenance work continues at the plant.
An updated timeline for the Integrated Resource Plan was provided and Mr. Haymaker thanked the public for their feedback and shared that the group thought the web page interaction went well and looks forward to improving on the process.
The final Integrated Resource Plan will be reviewed and considered for adoption on August 4, 2020.
Commissioner Reports and Comments
Commissioner Barnes reported on her attendance at the Columbia Springs Board of Directors meeting.
Commissioners Malinowski and Van Dyke reported on their attendance at the Washington PUD Association Meetings.
Director of Finance Melissa Ankeny provided a staff report on the upcoming Electric System revenue bonds and the Generation System refunding bonds (Materials G). Ms. Ankeny shared that the rating agency calls were later in the week and she would provide an update about those calls at the next meeting.
Director of Finance Melissa Ankeny provided the board with an overview of the accounts receivables through the month of June (Materials H).
Energy Services Manager Debbie DePetris provided the board with an update on the increased conservation rebates the utility will be offering residential and commercial customers. Ms. DePetris is looking forward to getting this information out to our contractors as soon as possible. She assured the board that staff would be monitoring the effects of these increases on the budget and would look to reduce the rebates if needed.
There were no public comments.
With no public comments to come before the board, 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 45 minutes and no action was taken during the executive session.
Commissioner Van Dyke reconvened the public meeting at 12:07 p.m.
Consideration of Resolution for the General Manager Salary
Commissioners Barnes, Malinowski and Van Dyke thanked CEO/General Manager Lena Wittler for her leadership this past year noting it has been an interesting first year for her as the utility navigates the current pandemic.
Commissioner Malinowski moved to increase Ms. Wittler’s salary to $264,000 annually, continue the $400 a month car allowance, allow conversion of 100 hours of sick leave to comp time and all other benefits provided to Clark Public Utilities employees. Commissioner Barnes seconded the motion and it passed unanimously (Materials J).
Ms. Wittler thanked the board for their feedback and support over the last year and said she would be donating her raise to Operation Warm Heart.
Other Business before the Board
There being no further business to come before the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 12:17 p.m.