Meeting of Commissioners of
Public Utility District No. 1 of Clark County, Washington
November 21, 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, November 21, 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 Employee Resources Nichole Reitzenstein, Director of Information Services Jeff Groff, Director of Communications Erica Erland, Director of Engineering Cal Morris, Director of Operations/Interim Director of Water Gene Morris, General Counsel John Eldridge, Director of Customer Service Lisa Fix, Community Engagement Specialist Morgan Van Fleet, Manager of Energy Services Debbie DePetris, Engineering Manager – Water Russ Knutson, Right of Way Agent Anna Burris, Materials and Purchasing Manager Cathy Wannamaker, Customer Service Workgroup Leader Julie Gosselin, and Assistant to the CEO/General Manager Margaret Anderson.
Staff via digital conference (phone or video): PIO/Media Specialist Dameon Pesanti
Others present via digital conference (phone or video) or in person: Gordon Matthews, Don Steinke, Rick Marshall, Tom Gordon, Monica Zazueta and Sherry Erickson.
At 9:00 a.m., President Van Dyke called the meeting to order for the transaction of formal business and the meeting agenda was approved as presented (Materials B).
The following represents a brief summary of comments made by members of the public in attendance:
Monica Zazueta read a passage from the book titled Doughnut Economics and supports more solar and storage.
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 November 7, 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 November 21, 2023 from the District Auditor (Materials C):
Electric Revenue Fund – $14,177,115.26
Water Revenue Fund – $298,854.30
Generating System Fund – $71,668.28
For a total of $14,547,637.84
Consideration of Bid Award No. 663 – UG Cable Replacement – NE 29th Ave & NE 160th St.
Materials and Purchasing Manager Cathy Wannamaker reviewed the memo dated November 21, 2023 detailing the bid results (Materials D). Commissioner Malinowski moved to recommend that Bid No. 663 be awarded to the low evaluated bidder DJ’s Electrical, Inc. in the amount of $382,000 plus applicable taxes. Commissioner Barnes seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.
Consideration of Bid Award No. 664 – Utility Tree Trimming
Materials and Purchasing Manager Cathy Wannamaker reviewed the memo dated November 21, 2023 detailing the bid results (Materials E). Commissioner Barnes moved to recommend that Bid No. 664 be awarded to the low evaluated bidder Asplundh Tree Expert, LLC for the estimated 3-year contract amount totaling $5,934,788.40 based on the estimated total hourly contract charges for the crews and equipment required per year under the contract. Commissioner Malinowski seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.
Consideration of Declaration of Surplus Property – Bridge Sub Parcels
Right of Way Agent Anna Burris reviewed the memo dated November 21, 2023 detailing the background of the property, its use over the years and the current status of the property (Materials F). There are four lots on the property totaling 0.47 acres and it currently sits vacant. Staff is requesting the property be declared surplus and the board authorize the future sale of all four lots as a single transaction.
Commissioner Barnes moved to declare the Bridge Substation and the surrounding land as surplus and authorize the sale of the property. Commissioner Malinowski seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.
Presentation and Public Hearing on the Proposed 2024 Electric, Generating and Water System Budgets
Director of Finance Melissa Ankeny provided the board with an overview of the proposed 2024 budgets for the Electric, Generating and Water Systems (Materials G). Ms. Ankeny noted that the budget principles continue to be customer service, reliability and cost control while staff remains committed to balancing revenue requirements and bond covenants.
Ms. Ankeny reviewed with the board the staff recommended use of the low income tax credit and the unallocated surplus credits in 2023. Due to an Electric System budget shortfall in 2024 created by power supply cost increases, staff also provided the board with funding options for their consideration. There were no budget shortfalls in the Water and Generating System budgets.
Commissioner Van Dyke opened the public hearing for comments:
Rick Marshall would like the Utility to reduce its dependence on unbundled Renewable Energy Credits and an over reliance on market purchases for short term capacity. Mr. Marshall would like the Utility to be more aggressive with renewables.
Gordon Matthews shared his concerns regarding the Utility’s reliance on the market for energy shortfalls and would like more community solar, not only locally but with statewide collaboration.
Don Steinke agree with Mr. Marshall and Mr. Matthews and would like to see more community solar as well.
With no further comments, Commissioner Van Dyke closed the public hearing at 10:28 a.m.
ESource Small and Midsize Business Study Results
Energy Services Manager Debbie DePetris reviewed the results of the most recent study as well as the historical results of the study (Materials H). Clark Public Utilities placed first in overall satisfaction and value in account or business customer representative satisfaction. The board congratulated staff on the first place designation.
American Public Power Association Smart Energy Provider Designation
Energy Services Manager Debbie DePetris reviewed with the board what the Smart Energy Provider Designation entails and how the criteria are evaluated (Materials I). Clark Public Utilities applied for the SEP designation in 2023 for 2021-2022 activities. Staff accepted the designation at a conference in San Antonio earlier in November.
Commission Reports and Comments
Commissioners Barnes, Malinowski and Van Dyke all attended the Washington PUD Association meetings in Olympia.
Commissioner Malinowski reported on his meeting with the Mayor of Vancouver.
Commissioners wished staff a Happy Thanksgiving.
There were no staff reports.
Other Business before the Board
There being no further business to come before the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 11:23 a.m.