Special Meeting of Commissioners of
Public Utility District No. 1 of Clark County, Washington
March 22, 2022
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, March 22, 2022.
Present: Assistant to CEO/General Manager Margaret Anderson
Present via digital conference (phone or video): President Nancy Barnes, Vice President Jane Van Dyke and Secretary Jim Malinowski Commissioners, CEO/General Manager Lena Wittler, Director of Finance Melissa Ankeny, Director of Energy Resources Dan Bedbury, Director of Communications Erica Erland, Director of Customer Service Lisa Fix, Director of Employee Resources Nichole Reitzenstein, Director of Engineering Cal Morris, Director of Operations Gene Morris, Director of Information Services Jeff Groff, Director of Water Doug Quinn, General Counsel John Eldridge, Customer Experience Manager Cameron Daline, Customer Service Manager Robert Hill, Accounting Manager Jackie Maddux, Materials and Purchasing Manager Cathy Wannamaker and Media Specialist Dameon Pesanti.
Press representatives: None
Others present via digital conference (phone or video): Heidi Cody, Dianna Gordon, Monica Zazueta, Randal Freidman, Tracy Ceravolo, Rick Marshall, Cathryn Chudy, Don Steinke, Tim Emineth, Sharon Sollenberger, Marc Berg, Steven Campana and Gino Ceravolo.
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 was approved as presented (Materials A).
The following represents a summary of comments made by members of the public in attendance:
Heidi Cody shared her support for the use of the 2021 Electric System Surplus for Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI).
Diana Gordon supports the use of renewable energy, would like the Utility to stop purchasing fossil fuel and would like River Road Generating Plant shut down as soon as possible. Ms. Gordon supports AMI.
Monica Zazueta supports AMI.
Randal Freidman supports AMI and the benefits of integrated renewable resources along with the ability for customers to manage personal usage.
Rick Marshall thanked the CEO/General Manager Lena Wittler for the AMI discussion last week and thinks it is important to share the benefits of the technology with customers, he supports AMI.
Cathryn Chudy shared her support of AMI.
Don Steinke reported on his attendance at the Washington State University at Vancouver Electric Transportation Event.
Tim Emineth thanked the Utility for the service provided and is also in support of AMI and would like to see more charging stations in Clark County.
The following members of the public provided comments in writing in support of AMI. Michel Maupoux, Joann Derie, Gino Ceravolo, Tina Brakefield, Mike Ellison, Arthur Ungar and Mona McNeil. 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 March 8, 2022
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 March 22, 2022 from the District Auditor (Materials B):
Electric Revenue Fund – $8,244,076.93
Water Revenue Fund – $499,133.53
Generating System Fund – $41,241.95
For a total of $8,784,452.41
Consideration of Use of 2021 Surplus Funds
CEO/General Manager Lena Wittler reviewed the presentation outlining utility goals and the impact Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) will have on those goals (Materials C). Ms. Wittler asked the board to move $30 million of 2021 electric surplus to discretionary electric capital to be used for AMI. Commissioner Barnes asked about the transfer from the revolving fund, Director of Finance Melissa Ankeny explained the accounting details surrounding the fund transfer. Commissioner Malinowski is anxious to hear about the technology options. Ms. Wittler assured the board that they would be included as this process evolves.
Member of the public Don Steinke shared that he supports the proposal and looks forward to the impacts of AMI for customers as he has seen in Burbank, CA.
Commissioner Van Dyke moved to transfer $30 million from the Electric Revolving Fund to the Electric Capital Discretionary fund to be used for Advanced Metering Infrastructure. Commissioner Malinowski seconded the motion and is passed unanimously.
Commissioner Van Dyke appreciated staff’s work to get us to this point. Commissioner Malinowski commented he is impressed with the public’s knowledge on the topic, Commissioner Barnes shared that staff has worked very hard over the last year to get to this point and is confident in staff’s ability to implement AMI.
Ms. Wittler asked that the $4 million in Water surplus funds from 2021 be used by transferring $2 million to the Water Rate Stabilization fund and $2 million for Discretionary Water Capital improvements.
Commissioner Van Dyke moved to transfer $2 million from the Water Revolving Fund to the Water Capital Discretionary Fund and in 2021 increase regulatory revenue to $2 million by reducing Water sales to be used as board directs. Commissioner Malinowski seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.
Review of 2021 Second Half Customer Survey Data
Customer Experience Manager Cameron Daline reviewed his presentation of customer research results with the board (Materials D). Mr. Daline shared transactional and sentiment survey results for the second half of 2021. Key takeaways included the continuing impacts of COVID-19, improving employment but ongoing financial struggles in the community, nearly half of customers believe electric service is the best value of utilities and almost all customers are familiar with the utility. Overall, customers are still overwhelmingly satisfied with the utility and the service they receive.
Consideration of Bid Award No. 629 – Residential Water Meters
Materials and Purchasing Manager Cathy Wannamaker reviewed the memo dated March 22, 2022 detailing the bid results (Materials E). Commissioner Van Dyke moved to recommend that Bid No. 629 be awarded to the low evaluated bidder Wester Water Works, in the three-year contract amount of $874,800 plus applicable taxes. Commissioner Malinowski seconded the motion, and it passed unanimously.
Consideration of Bid Award No. 627 – Substation Outdoor Control Room Enclosure
Materials and Purchasing Manager Cathy Wannamaker reviewed the memo dated March 22, 2021 detailing the bid results (Materials F). Commissioner Malinowski moved to recommend that Bid No. 627 be awarded to the low evaluated bidder AZZ Enclosure Systems, Inc., in the amount of $342,114 plus applicable taxes. Commissioner Van Dyke seconded the motion, and it passed unanimously.
Consideration of Second Half of 2021 Uncollectable Debt
Customer Service Manager Robert Hill presented an overview of uncollectable debt for the second half of 2021 (Materials G). Mr. Hill stated the percentage of net losses from closed accounts to revenue is .18% for the second half of 2021. Net losses to revenue are lower from last year’s historic low. The utility continues to compare favorably across the industry in regard to account delinquency.
Following the presentation, Commissioner Van Dyke moved to transfer $461,245 to uncollectable debt for the second half of 2021. Commissioner Barnes seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.
Commissioner Reports and Comments
Commissioner Malinowski reported on his attendance at the Washington PUD Association meetings, and he let the board know he is running again for the Executive Board of Energy Northwest.
Commissioner Van Dyke reported on her attendance at the Washington PUD Association meetings and the Columbia River Economic Development Council event. She also reported she is running for Secretary of the Washington PUD Association.
Commissioner Barnes had no reports.
CEO/General Manager Lena Wittler reported on her attendance at the Large Public Power Council CEO meeting held in Sacramento. The invitation-only meeting included a tour of Sacramento Municipal Utility District’s remodeled building and participation in the California Mobility Center Anniversary Event.
There were no additional public comments.
Other Business before the Board
There being no further business to come before the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 11:10 a.m.