Meeting of Commissioners of
Public Utility District No. 1 of Clark County, Washington
October 3, 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, October 3, 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, General Counsel John Eldridge, Director of Customer Service Lisa Fix, Power Manager Steve Andersen, Engineering Manager – Water Russ Knutson, Community Engagement Specialist Morgan Van Fleet, Customer Service Manager Robert Hill, Fleet Manager Jeff Carter, Manager of Engineering and System Planning Ryan Kerr, Senior Customer Service Representative – Remote Michelle Drake, Senior Customer Service Representative – Remote Cynthia Eldridge, ComCare Representative Erica Waite, ComCare Representative Lisa George and Assistant to the CEO/General Manager Margaret Anderson.
Staff via digital conference (phone or video): PIO/Media Specialist Dameon Pesanti and Marketing Communications Specialist Martha Foley
Others present via digital conference (phone or video) or in person: Gordon Matthews, Don Steinke, Rick Marshall, Tom Gordon, Monica Zazueta and Inland Auditing Media.
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:
Monica Zazueta shared her thoughts on the book Doughnut Economics by Kate Radworth; she encouraged the board to read it.
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 September 19, 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 September 5, 2023 from the District Auditor (Materials C):
Electric Revenue Fund – $34,872,260.07
Water Revenue Fund – $530,370.82
Generating System Fund – $641,833.49
For a total of $36,044,464.38
Employee Service Awards
Director of Customer Service Lisa Fix (Materials D).
• Senior Customer Service Representatives – Remote – Cynthia Eldridge and Michelle Drake were recognized for 20 years of service
• ComCare Representatives Erica Waite and Lisa George were recognized for 20 years of service
Consideration of Disposal of Surplus Vehicles
Fleet Manager Jeff Carter review the memo dated October 3, 2023 (Materials E) outlining the vehicles to be auctioned through J Stout Auctions. Commissioner Barnes moved to declare the vehicles identified in the memo as surplus and to be auctioned off by J Stout Auctions on October 24, 2023. Commissioner Malinowski seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.
Consideration of Bid Award No. 661 – Lead Service Line Inventory
Engineering Manager – Water Russ Knutson reviewed the memo dated October 3, 2023 detailing the bid results (Materials F). Commissioner Malinowski moved to recommend that Bid No. 661 be awarded to the low evaluated bidder Jeffries Construction, LLC in the amount of $829,739.00 plus applicable taxes. Commissioner Barnes seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.
Consideration of Sole Source Resolution – Sensus Omni Water Meters
Engineering Manager – Water Russ Knutson reviewed the memo dated October 3, 2023 (Materials G). The Sensus Omni Water Meter is the only meter currently compatible with the utility’s large meter specifications. Staff is recommending the approval of this resolution to increase safety and efficiency during replacement.
Commissioner Barnes moved to waive the competitive bidding requirements for the purchase of Omni Water Meters pursuant to RCW 39.04.280. Commissioner Malinowski seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.
Consideration of Uncollectable Debt First Half 2023
Customer Service Manager Robert Hill provided the board with an overview of the uncollectable accounts for the first half of 2023 (Materials G). Net losses to revenue are up slightly from last year and are expected to rise as recoveries increase back to normal levels. Mr. Hill requested approval to charge $675,701.00 to uncollectable accounts for the first half of 2023.
Commissioner Malinowski moved to charge $675,701.00 to uncollectable accounts for the first half of 2023, Commissioner Barnes seconded the motion and it passed unanimously
Consideration of the Community Grant Program – Phase One
Director of Communications Erica Erland addressed board (Materials H). Ms. Erland reviewed the utility’s pilot program with the City of Vancouver and their Housing Support Safe Stay initiative and proposed a phase one Community Grant Program design. Program purpose, grant categories, eligibility requirements and funding sources were outlined. Staff requested board approval to move forward with the proposed Community Grant Program.
Commissioner Barnes moved to approve the Community Grant Program design for phase one as presented. Commissioner Malinowski seconded the motion and it passed unanimously. Ms. Erland shared that processes and requirements for documentation, review and reporting will be developed with Energy Services, Legal and Finance to ensure proposed grant-funded projects comply with the approved program design.
Director of Finance Melissa Ankeny addressed the board (Materials I). Weather was warmer and wetter than normal, which resulted in electric revenues and off system sales above budget. August residential sales were 121.7% of budget, commercial sales were 96.9% and industrial sales were 96.94% of budget. August ended with a net income loss of $8.0 million compared to a budgeted net income of $645,000. Year-to-date net income loss is $16.4 million compared to a budgeted net income of $14.7 million.
The Water System ended August with 692 new customers, which is a growth rate of 2.57% year-to-date. August ended with a net income of $1.5 million compared to a budgeted net income of $1.0 million. Year-to-date net income is $3.7 million compared to a budgeted net income of $740,000.
August Wholesale Operations
Power Manager Steve Andersen addressed the board (Materials J). Mr. Andersen provided an update on power supply noting that August Slice generation was 18 average MW above budget and loads in August were 46 average MW above budget. Slice generation was 11% greater than the budget of 149 aMW and 2% greater than The Energy Authority forecast of 163 aMW.
Mr. Andersen reported that the projected annual Slice generation is 159 aMW, which is below the conservative budget number of 175 aMW.
Clark Public Utilities’ gas hedging program has netted at year-to-date savings of $22.4 million.
Consideration of Use of Resource Adequacy Funds
Director of Finance Melissa Ankeny and Power Manager Steve Andersen provided the board with a year-to-date summary of issues that affected the 2023 financials (Materials K). Citing extreme weather, low hydro generation and high wholesale market prices staff is recommending a transfer of $16.5 million from the resource adequacy fund to the revolving fund to cover costs.
Following discussion regarding use of rate stabilization funds or resource adequacy funds, Commissioner Malinowski moved to transfer $16.5 million from the resource adequacy fund to cover unexpected power supply expense to increase sales of electric energy and decrease regulatory revenue. Commissioner Barnes seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.
Commission Reports and Comments
Commissioner Malinowski reported on his attendance at the ComCare Roundtable.
Commissioner Van Dyke reported on her attendance at the Washington PUD Association Water Workshop.
Additional Public Comment
I.AM.Free with Inland Auditing Media LLC. addressed the board, asking if they were aware of interactions he had at a utility facility on September 21, 2023 and September 22, 2023. The board and CEO/General Manager confirmed awareness and referred the matter to General Counsel John Eldridge.
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 11:19 a.m.