Meeting of Commissioners of
Public Utility District No. 1 of Clark County, Washington
March 19, 2019
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, March 19, 2019.
Present: President Nancy Barnes, Vice President Jane Van Dyke, Secretary Jim Malinowski Commissioners, CEO/General Manager Wayne Nelson, Director of Communications and Employee Resources Lena Wittler, Director of Engineering Cal Morris, Director of Finance Melissa Ankeny, Director of Water Doug Quinn, Director of Operations Gene Morris, Director of Information Services Mike Harris, Director of Energy Resources Dan Bedbury, Director of Customer Service Lisa Fix, Corporate Communications Manager Erica Erland, Materials and Purchasing Manager Cathy Wannamaker, Manager of Energy Planning and Operations Tom Haymaker, Senior Manager of Large Industrial/Conservation Planning Larry Blaufus, Communications Services Manager Heather Allmain, Manager of Engineering & System Planning Ryan Kerr, Manager of Construction Design David Tetz, Water Operations Manager Oscar Maciel, Energy Services Project Manager Matt Babbitts, Water System Operator Dave Neibert and Assistant to CEO/General Manager Margaret Anderson.
Press Representatives: None
Others Present: Rick Marshall, Terry Oliver, Sherry Erickson, Dameon Pesanti, Susan Stratton-NEEA Executive Director and Jeremy Littow – NEEA Chief Operating Officer (Materials A)
At 9:00 a.m., President Barnes called the meeting to order for the transaction of formal business. Commissioner Barnes noted a quorum was present and the agenda (Materials B) was approved as submitted.
Consideration of the Minutes of March 5, 2019
There were no changes or corrections.
Public Comment – Non Agenda Items
Member of the public Rick Marshall offered input on how Clark Public Utilities could help support its low income customers.
Consideration of Accounts Payable
The board, by a unanimous vote, approved the following payment amounts as listed on the Letter of Transmittal dated March 14, from the District Auditor (Materials C):
Electric Revenue Fund – $33,296,329.64
Water Revenue Fund – $126,342.42
Generating System Fund – $772,051.68
For a total of $34,194,723.74
Employee Service Award
Director of Water Doug Quinn introduced Dave Neibert, Water System Operator. Dave was recognized for 20 years of service (Materials D).
Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance 2020-2024 Funding Agreement
Senior Manager of Large Industrial/Conservation Planning Larry Blaufus and Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance Executive Director Susan Stratton presented the utility’s 2020-2024 funding agreement with NEEA (Materials E). Following the presentation, Commissioner Malinowski moved to allow CEO/General Manager Wayne Nelson to sign the 2020-2024 Regional Energy Efficiency Initiative Agreement with Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance for a total of $1,996,715 for the five-year funding cycle. Commissioner Van Dyke seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.
Ms. Stratton thanked the utility for the continued support and thanked Mr. Blaufus for leading the planning process for Cycle 6.
Consideration of Bid Award No. 560 – Substation Power Transformers
Materials and Purchasing Manager Cathy Wannamaker reviewed the memo dated March 19, 2019, detailing the bid results (Materials F). Commissioner Van Dyke moved to recommend that Bid No. 560 be awarded to the low evaluated bidder, Virginia Transformer in the amount of $1,498,440 plus applicable taxes. Commissioner Malinowski seconded the motion, and it passed unanimously.
Consideration of Bid Award No. 563 – Distribution Transformers
Materials and Purchasing Manager Cathy Wannamaker reviewed the memo dated March 19, 2019, detailing the bid results (Materials G). Commissioner Malinowski moved to recommend that Bid No. 563 be awarded to the low evaluated bidders ERMCO, Inc. and General Pacific, Inc., unit break down and pricing is contained in the bid packet. The three-year contract amounts awarded will total $3,470,124 (which breaks down to an estimated $1,156,708 annually), plus applicable taxes. Commissioner Van Dyke seconded the motion, and it passed unanimously.
Consideration of Bid Award No. 568 – Steel Poles for Enterprise Transmission Line
Materials and Purchasing Manager Cathy Wannamaker reviewed the memo dated March 19, 2019, detailing the bid results (Materials H). Commissioner Van Dyke moved to recommend that Bid No. 568 be awarded to the low evaluated bidder, Western Utility Telecom, Inc., in the amount of $401,107 plus applicable taxes. Commissioner Malinowski seconded the motion, and it passed unanimously.
Consideration of Uncollectable Debt
Director of Customer Service Lisa Fix addressed the board regarding the uncollectable debt for the second half of 2018 (Materials I). Ms. Fix stated the percentage of net losses from closed accounts to revenue is .29% for the second half of 2018. The year-to-date total is $1.4 million, which is down slightly from 2017. Recoveries on uncollectable accounts are up 32% compared to the five-year average. The utility continues to compare favorably across the industry in regard to account delinquency.
Following the presentation, Commissioner Malinowski moved to transfer $633,498 to uncollectable debt for the second half of 2018. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Van Dyke and it passed unanimously.
Director of Finance Melissa Ankeny addressed the board (Materials I). January had warmer and drier weather resulting in electric revenues coming in above forecast. Ms. Ankeny reported that system sales were below budget and off system sales were above budget for the month. January residential sales were 96.6% of budget, commercial sales were 99.7% and industrial sales were 102.8% of budget. January ended with net income of $7.3 million compared to a budgeted net income of $6.5 million.
The Water System ended January with 88 new customers, which is a growth rate of 2.93%. There was a net income loss of $279,000 for January, compared to a budgeted net income loss of $180,000.
Consideration of 2018 Surplus
Director of Finance Melissa Ankeny provided the board with a review of 2018 surplus, debt service and cash available (Materials J). Following the review Ms. Ankeny supplied the board with potential uses of the surplus funds which included, the covering of March 2019 estimated shortfall, customer refund or addition to the rate stabilization fund. Taking into account the estimated 1st Quarter results, the pros and cons of a customer refund or the addition to our rate stabilization fund staff is recommending $10 million be refunded to customers and $8 million be used to cover the power expenses for March 2019.
Following the presentation Commissioner Malinowski moved to allocate the 2018 surplus to refund customers $10 million and to use $8 million to cover the power expenses for March. Commissioner Van Dyke seconded the motion and it passed unanimously. Commissioner Barnes noted that she would like to consider increasing the Rate Stabilization Fund in the future.
During the discussion, the board acknowledged the funds set aside for the March power expense and the customer refund were to be used in future rate periods and would be recognized as regulatory revenue of the Electric System.
January Wholesale Operations
Manager of Planning and Operations Tom Haymaker addressed the board (Materials K). Mr. Haymaker updated the board on power supply noting that Slice performed below prompt month by 1 aMW and 2 aMW above budget forecasts. Loads were 11 aMW below budget for the month of January. Power and gas prices were fairly normal compared to both prior and future months pricing. Hydro generation is forecasting at budget for the remainder of the year and the run-off forecast is continuing its downward trend.
River Road Generating Plant returned to service on March 13.
Solar Car Challenge Recap
Communications Services Manager Heather Allmain provided the board with a recap of the Solar Car Challenge (Materials L). This activity is funded by our Green Lights in partnership with Bonneville Environmental Foundation’s Clean Energy education program. This was the second year for the Solar Car Challenge and included 680 car kits being distributed to 30 local schools across Clark County, 160 teams competing, 70 utility volunteers and 5 BEF volunteers. The 2019 event saw the addition of WaferTech and Columbia Credit Union as corporate partners. Ms. Allmain said that overall the event was a huge success, some lessons were learned for 2020, and the utility and students are very much looking forward to a 3rd Solar Car Challenge.
Commissioner Reports and Comments
Commissioner Malinowski reported on his attendance at the Washington PUD Association meetings.
Commissioner Van Dyke reported on her attendance at The Energy Authority meetings in Jacksonville, FL.
Commissioner Barnes reported on her attendance at the Columbia Springs Board meeting and the Public Power Council Members’ Forum.
Manager of Planning and Operations Tom Haymaker reported on an opportunity to move Combine Hills balancing authority to Shell.
CEO/General Manager Wayne Nelson provided an update on current legislative items as they relate to Clark Public Utilities.
There were no additional comments.
The board recessed to executive session at 12:30 p.m. in accordance with the Open Public Meeting 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. It was noted that no action would be taken and the session would last until 1:45 p.m.
Commissioner Barnes reconvened the public meeting at 1:50 p.m. stating that no action was taken during executive session.
Other Business before the Board
There being no further business to come before the Board, the meeting adjourned at 1:50 p.m.