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PUD News

Karl Denison Receives NWPPA Lifetime Member Award

June 2017-  

Former PUD commissioner Karl Denison (pictured left) was presented with the Northwest Public Power Administration’s (NWPPA) Lifetime Membership Award. Denison was unable to accept the award in person at NWPPA’s 77th Annual Conference in Oregon last month. It was accepted on his behalf and presented to him at the PUD. Read the entire press release here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BPA Publishes New Integrated Program Review Outlining Expenditures

May 2017-  

Mason PUD 1 submitted comments to BPA regarding the low tolerance of PUD customers and operations for continued rate increases year after year. BPA just published their newest review outlining their proposed expenditures. From BPA: “The 2016 IPR 2 close-out report is posted on the 2016 IPR website. The IPR 2 process included capital spending as well as operations and maintenance expenses for the Bureau of Reclamation and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; operations and maintenance expenses for the Columbia Generating Station; implementation of the Commercial Operations KSI; and workforce expenses. The IPR 2 found $54 million in reduced planned spending from the IPR for the two-year rate period. This report concludes the process and outlines the final spending levels for fiscal years 2018 and 2019, which will be used in the BP-18 Rate Case.”

BPA Overnight Outage- May 10 & 11

May 2017-  

Bonneville Power Administration is taking an overnight outage to perform system maintenance on their Potlatch Substation. This will result in an outage from 11:45 p.m. on Wednesday, May 10th until 8:00 a.m. on Thursday, May 11th for the following areas:

RED areas on the map will experience an outage from 11:45 p.m. on Wednesday, May 10th to 8:00 a.m. on Thursday, May 11th:
* Schoolhouse Hill in Hoodsport to just north of Colony Surf
* Suncrest and Hwy 119
* All of the Alderbrook and Union area with the exception of the green section (Highway 106 up to the Alderbrook Resort)
* PUD 3’s Lake Cushman customers will also be without power during this time.

GREEN areas on the map (Highway 106 to Alderbrook Resort) will experience a short 30 minute outage while we perform switching. Those customers should be back on and fed from another substation. They will also experience a second short outage between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. to put the system back to normal.

During BPA’s maintenance outage the PUD’s crews will replace poles and install new switches in various areas of our system. We will be doing automatic calls to customers that will be impacted by the BPA outage. Click on the map below to view larger image.

PUBLIC HEARING- Union Regional Water System Consolidation Proposal- Click here for details!

 

PUD 1 Commission Formally Opposes Carbon Tax Initiative 

May 2016-  

The board of commissioners passed a resolution opposing I-732 that would initiate the state’s first carbon tax. Read the press release here.

Hood Canal Water System on Temporary Chlorination

January 2016-

HOOD CANAL WATER SYSTEM

IMPORTANT NOTICE ABOUT YOUR WATER SYSTEM

Coliform Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) Exceeded:  Non-Acute MCL

Hood Canal water system, ID# 34050M in Mason County routinely monitors for the presence of total coliform bacteria and in January this type of bacteria was detected. Although this incident was not an emergency, as our customer, you have a right to know what happened and what we did or are doing to correct the situation.

Coliforms are bacteria which are naturally present in the environment and are used as an indicator that other, potentially-harmful, bacteria may be present. Coliforms were found in more samples than allowed and this was a warning of potential problems. The samples that showed the presence of coliform were further tested to see if other bacteria of greater concern, such as fecal coliform or E.coli were present. None of these bacteria were found.

You do not need to boil your water. People with severely compromised immune systems, infants, and some elderly may at be an increased risk and may want to contact their health care provider for additional guidance.

We are currently investigating the reservoir, bladder tanks, and water lines for the possible cause of the problem. We are taking Well A offline and will use just Well B (the end of Sprague).

At this time we will be chlorinating and then flushing water lines throughout the water system in efforts to eliminate any remaining bacteria, and correct the problem. For more information, contact Jocelyne Gray at (360) 877-5249 or at 21971 N. HWY 101.

PUD 1’s Jocelyne Gray recognized for National Engineering Award

November 2015-

Jocelyne Gray SWE Award2015

The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) awarded Jocelyne Gray, PE, director of operations-water for Mason County Public Utility District No. 1, with their Emerging Leader award for her impact on the Society and the engineering community. Gray accepted the award at SWE’s annual conference in Nashville, Tennessee on October 23, 2015. For the entire press release, click here.

New BPA Rates Could Mean Increase for PUD 1’s Customers

July 2015-  Bonneville Power Administration just released its 2015-16 biennium rates for power and transmission. To read about the impact to PUD 1, click here.

 

Two PUD 1 Commissioners Reelected to Energy Northwest Boards

EnergyNorthwest-logo

July 2015-  Commissioners Jack Janda and Karl Denison both were reelected to serve on oversight board for Energy Northwest. For the entire story, click here.

 

PUD 1 Employees Celebrate Service Milestones for 2015

IMG_1128

June 2015-  Mason County PUD No. 1 celebrated two 10-year service milestones for lineman Barney Bruff (pictured right) and commissioner Karl Denison at the PUD’s annual employee picnic at Potlatch State Park on June 19th.  Bruff began his career at the PUD as a water technician before transferring to the electric crew to start a line apprenticeship, for which he is in his final year. Denison is the commissioner for District 1, representing the Union area. In a brief speech addressing the group, general manager Steven Taylor congratulated Bruff and Denison on reaching 10 years of service and thanked them for their contributions to the District and its customer/owners.

 

Jocelyne Gray, PE tapped as President-Elect for Washington Society of Professional Engineers

April 2015-  In April, Mason County PUD No. 1 director Jocelyne Gray was voted president-elect of the Washington Society of Professional Engineers (WSPE) by her association peers. Her term will run from July 1st of this year through June 30th 2016, when she will then become president of the state society. In addition to WSPE, she has also been very active in the Society of Women Engineers since 1996, encouraging young females to enter the profession. Read more.

 

Planned Emergency Outage for Mason/Jefferson County Line area on Wed., 2/11/15

February-  Washington State Dept. of Transportation (WSDOT) has to make an emergency slide repair on Highway 101 near Fulton Creek. This is on the NORTH END of the system from Robbinswold to Oly Canal Tracts in the Mason/Jefferson county line area. The outage is scheduled to begin at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, 2/11 and continue until approximately 1:00 p.m. Here is a map of the area impacted.

PUD 1 Passes Annual Audit & Sets 2015 Budget

The Washington State Auditor’s Office presented their annual audit report for Mason County PUD No. 1 for the
year 2013. Results showed a clean audit report of the district’s financials with no findings or letters to
management. PUD commissioner Ron Gold attended the State Auditor’s exit conference and reported the
excellent news to the board at the December commissioner meeting. District auditor and director of
finance Greg Kester commended his team for their high level of accountability in financial practices and
reporting. PUD 1 preserves its status of never having received a negative finding from the State Auditor’s
Office in its history. For details on the 2015 budgets for water and electric, click here.

 

Jack Janda on hand to celebrate Energy Northwest Milestone

PUD 1 commissioner and Energy Northwest executive board member Jack Janda was on hand at ENW’s western-themed celebration marking 30 years of operation at the Columbia Generating Station. For more information on the event click here.

NOW RESCHEDULED-Planned BPA Outage for Brinnon Area NOW on 11/15/14

Click here for announcement and map of affected area.

Photography Contest- Have your photo featured in a PUD newsletter!

PUD 1 is looking for some great local photos of our service territory along Hood Canal. They can be images of our electric and water infrastructure, scenic photos of Hood Canal, and of any other PUD-related activities you capture. Photos will be featured in PUD 1 print and online media to help promote the District.

Contest entries are due by December 31, 2014. PUD 1 employees will choose their favorite photo and it will be featured in a newsletter! The photographer will also receive a PUD 1 gift bag. Photos must be high resolution digital photos and the owner of the photograph must sign a waiver allowing the PUD to use the images. The waiver can be downloaded here.

 

September 26th is Customer Appreciation Day- FREE BBQ LUNCH & GIVEAWAYS!

2014 BBQ Flier pic

Mason County PUD No. 1 is hosting their annual Customer Appreciation BBQ on Friday, September 26th, 2014 at the District’s office in Potlatch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. PUD staff and commissioners will serve burgers, soft drinks and Olympic Mountain Ice Cream. PUD prizes and giveaways will also be available (while supplies last).

 

 

 

 

 

 

LIFTED (7/14) Boil Water Advisory and Water Conservation – Alderbrook

July 2014- Alderbrook Water System on boil water advisory beginning July 11, 2014 until further notice. The District is also asking for outdoor water conservation as unusually high demand on Thursday lead to the draining of the reservoirs and the mains losing pressure. Boil water briskly for one minute then let cool before using to kill germs. Boiled tap water should be used for drinking, brushing teeth, preparing food, preparing baby formula, making ice, and washing dishes. The water is safe for bathing. Read the full advisory here! The State Department of Health has issued a news release explaining the boil water advisory and the conservation request.

PUD 1 Employees Reach Service Milestones in 2014

Service Awards

July 2014- Three PUD 1 employees are reaching service milestones this year. Read More!

 

 

 

Jack Janda Re-elected to Energy Northwest Executive Board 

April 2014- PUD 1 commissioner Jack Janda will serve as vice chair of the executive board for ENW for another four years. For the entire press release, click here.

BPA/PUD 1 Power Outage Scheduled Overnight May 22nd and 23rd 

April 2014- BPA has scheduled an 8 hour overnight outage to perform maintenance on their Potlatch substation (the substation that feeds energy to most of PUD 1’s substations and customers). For details on the planned outage, click here.

PUD 1 Line Foreman Provides Disaster Relief

March 2014- PUD 1’s line foreman Mike Ferrier talks about his recent trip to the East Coast to aid in storm relief. Read the entire press release here.

New Phone & Payment Systems and WARNING about Utility Fraud

January 2014- PUD 1’s just updated our phone system and implemented an even MORE secure payment system with touch tone options and offsite security. Read more here.

PUD 1 Director Wins WPUDA Lifetime Achievement Award

December 2013- PUD 1’s recently-retired Director of Operations Tracy Colard was awarded the Washington PUD Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award at the WPUDA annual conference in Spokane. Read more here.

 

PUD 1 Has Clean Audit & Passes 2014 Budget

November 2013- PUD 1 has earned another consecutive year of clean audits for 2012 and still has never had a single audit finding by the State Auditor’s Office. To read more about the audit and the 2014 budget, click here.

 

Ribbon Cutting for t3ba’das Substation

ribboncutting

October 2013- Recently retired operations director Tracy Colard cuts the ribbon on the new substation, for which he served as the project manager. Visit the PUD Facebook page to view the complete album of photos: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.657420680946377.1073741833.347538771934571&type=1

 

PUD 1 Receives FIVE Communications Awards from NWPPA

September 2013- Kristin Masteller, Director of Employee & Public Relations accepted five communications awards on the District’s behalf at the NWPPA annual Energy & Innovations Conference in Oregon. Read the entire press release here.

PUD 1 Director of Electric Operations Set to Retire

July 2013- Tracy Colard, PUD 1’s Director of Operations for the electric department has announced his retirement this October. For more information on Tracy’s career and his successor, read the entire press release here.

 

PUD 1 Commissioner Jack Janda Reelected to Energy Northwest Executive Board

July 2013- Energy Northwest (ENW) has announced their election results for their 2013-2014 executive board. PUD 1 Commissioner Jack Janda was reelected to serve as vice chairman of the board. Janda has served on the ENW board since 2003, and as an executive board member since 2005. In addition to being PUD 1’s District 3 commissioner for the last 12 years, and an ENW board member, Janda has also served on the Washington PUDs Association board since 2001 in several capacities including secretary, treasurer, vice president and president.

“It is such an honor to serve on the executive board of Energy Northwest and I am grateful to those that have entrusted me with this position” stated Janda. “The value that our PUD 1 customers and other ratepayers across the state receive from Energy Northwest is low cost, carbon free energy 24/7.”

Formed in 1964, Energy Northwest develops, owns and operates a diverse mix of electricity generating resources, including hydro, solar and wind projects – and the Northwest’s only nuclear power plant. These projects provide enough reliable, affordable and carbon-free energy to power more than a million homes each year, and that electricity is provided at the cost of generation. Energy Northwest is comprised of 28 public power member utilities across the state, including Mason County PUD No. 1, serving more than 1.5 million ratepayers.

Janda’s term has been renewed for one year beginning July 1, 2013.  Additionally, PUD 1’s District 1 Commissioner Karl Denison was elected to serve as president of Energy Northwest’s Participants Review Board for the 2013-2014 term.

PUD 1 Receives Top Communication Honor

2013-PNWS

Mason County PUD No. 1 has received a top honor for their electronic communications from the Pacific Northwest chapter of the American Water Works Association (PNW-AWWA). The utility’s new website and social media campaign were recognized as the best example from a small utility. According to PNW-AWWA, their Excellence in Communication Awards were established in the year 2000 to recognize outstanding communication efforts by water utilities in Oregon, Washington and Idaho.

Read the entire press release.

 

Site Prep Begins for New ‘Skokomish’ Substation

Feburary kicked off the site prep for the new substation, tentatively called the “Skokomish Substation”. This will allow the District to decommission the current substation that’s located in the Skokomish Valley flood plain. It also will increase reliability to the entire electric system. Customers should experience fewer power disruptions and customers in the Skokomish Valley should no longer experience the numerous flood and storm related outages that plague that area. Construction will continue throughout the summer and is scheduled to be energized in October of this year.

Skok clearing 1
skok clearing 2

 

PUD 1 Has Another Clean Audit & Adopts 2013 Budget

This month the Washington State Auditor’s Office presented their annual audit findings for Mason County PUD No. 1 for the year 2011. Results showed a clean audit report of the district’s financials with no findings or letters to management. PUD Commissioner Ron Gold attended the Auditor’s exit conference and reported the excellent news to the board at the November 13, 2012 commissioner meeting. Gold commended District Auditor and Director of Finance Greg Kester and his team for their high level of accountability in financial practices and reporting. Since its inception in 1935, PUD No. 1 has not had a single audit finding.

At their November 27, 2012 meeting, the board adopted the 2013 budget for both the electric and water departments. “Like last year, we worked on a high, medium and low budget scenario so we could see what line items we absolutely needed this year and what could wait. Given our utility’s small size and large seasonal customer base, we have to be very strategic and prudent with our expenditures.” stated Kester.  “We presented a budget that we felt was appropriate to maintain our reliability and sustain our operations.”

The 2013 budget passed with no additional rate increases, despite the 15.3% increase in Bonneville Power Administration’s wholesale power cost to the District in 2012.   The 2013 budget calls for electrical revenues of $7,059,000 and cost of electric service of $6,798,549.

The PUD water budget calls for revenues of $1,295,000 and cost of water service of $1,127,779.

Canal Mutual Water System

 As part of the Canal Mutual Water System Improvement Project crews from Pacific Northwest Archaeological Services will be digging test holes along the project route within the Starr White development and along US Highway 101. The archaeological survey is required by the Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation as part of the grant funding. The survey is scheduled for November 16.

Read the entire notice here.

Director of Operations-Water Named to 2012 List of ‘Top Female Executives’

Mason County PUD No. 1 director Jocelyne Gray was named one of 2012’s Top Female Executives, by the online publisher of the same name. According to their website, the organization is a “premier online publisher that recognizes outstanding female executives in their specific field” and the honor is “limited to individuals who have demonstrated leadership and achievement in their industry and occupation.” Gray is a licensed professional engineer who has worked for the public utility district since 2009 and now directs the district’s water and wastewater operations, which includes 35 water systems throughout Mason County.

Citing her accomplishments, the honor was bestowed to her in part due to the Grace Under Pressure award from the Washington State Department of Health Office of Drinking Water that Gray and her department received in 2011. She also has received several nominations for the South Puget Sound Section of the Society of Woman Engineers and is featured in the book, “STUCK: Overcoming the 12 Biggest Obstacles that Hold Women Back in the Workplace”, by bestselling author Sandra Ford Walston.

Gray’s career highlights include the successful completion of PUD 1’s Water System Plan-Part A in 2012, which took two years to develop and is the first comprehensive water system plan the District has ever created. This summer, her department also secured a $650,000 ‘Jobs Now’ Bill grant from the State Legislature for the Canal Mutual Water System Improvement Project. This is the third major project grant Gray has procured in her career.

“We are very excited that Jocelyne has been recognized by her executive peers for her outstanding work and accomplishments.” stated Steven Taylor, PUD 1 general manager. “Jocelyne’s education and experience has been a great asset to our utility and has saved our ratepayers a tremendous amount of money in project consultant fees, because she possesses the skills and knowledge to perform the work herself. We are very proud of her and her contributions.”

Gray received a plaque commemorating her inclusion into the Who’s Who Publisher’s roster of Top Female Executives and will also be recognized at the October 9, 2012 PUD 1 Board of Commissioners meeting.

 

PUD 1 Wins Top Honor from Northwest Public Power Association!

Read the Press Release.

October 5th is Customer Appreciation Day- FREE BBQ LUNCH & GIVEAWAYS!

Mason County PUD No. 1 is hosting their annual Customer Appreciation BBQ on Friday, October 5, 2012 at the District’s office in Potlatch. From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. PUD staff and commissioners will serve burgers, soft drinks and Olympic Mountain Ice Cream. PUD prizes and giveaways will also be available, while supplies last.

Support Public Power! Watch Energy Northwest’s latest public service announcements here on YouTube. Both Mason PUD 1 and Mason PUD 3 participated in the filming of the PSAs.


PUD 1 Commissioners send letter to BPA Administrator regarding Public Preference 06/20/2012


Read Energy Northwest’s Keeping Current June 2012 Newsletter HERE

 

PUD 1 Recognized by Northwest Public Power Association for Safety Efforts

Potlatch, WA- Friday, April 27, 2012– Mason County PUD No. 1 was presented with a 2012 NWPPA Safety Award at Northwest Public Power Association’s 2012 Engineering & Operations Conference in Spokane. Safety awards are based upon a utility’s entry form which includes the 2011 OSHA data that details the incidence rate of recordable injuries/illnesses and the severity rate, or time loss factor. The hours of exposure (physically worked hours) that a utility’s employees work are the basis for determining the rate for which the utilities are judged.

PUD 1 employees Roy Munch and Darin Hall (two in center front row) and line foreman Michael Ferrier (center second row) attended the conference and accepted the award on behalf of their co-workers and the District. PUD 1 commissioners praised the employee’s performance and dedication to a safety culture at the April board meeting.

Questions or comments regarding the safety award and contest can be directed to the Kristin Masteller at (360) 877-5249.

 

PUD 1 Approves 2012 Budget with No Additional BPA Rate Increase for Customers

Potlatch, WA- Wednesday, December 14, 2011– Customers in Mason County Public Utility District No. 1 can breathe a sigh of relief in 2012. Despite the 15% increase in power costs that the utility will incur from Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) in 2012, the PUD 1 Board of Commissioners has decided not to pass those additional costs onto ratepayers next year.

Over the last year, BPA has communicated upcoming changes in how public utility districts and other electric utilities will be charged for the electrical energy they provide on their systems. Moving away from a melded rate structure, BPA is now itemizing their fees which include a new customer service fee based on PUD 1’s portion of BPA’s system; a monthly load shaping fee based on PUD 1’s forecasted energy needs compared against BPA’s actual production; and a demand fee to ensure that BPA’s electricity, equipment and facilities are available to provide power during high peak demand hours.

In 2009, the staff and commissioners of PUD 1 anticipated a substantial impending increase in power supply costs and instituted a preemptive 16% rate increase to span four consecutive years in an effort to help pay for major capital improvements. This scheduled increase is in its third year of deployment, with the last scheduled four percent to be implemented in January of 2013. Commissioner Karl Denison stated, “In this economy people are having a really hard time making ends meet. We wanted to avoid compounding these financial problems for our customers and this budget proposal has allowed us to do just that”. After reviewing the 2012 budget proposal and strategic plan, the staff recommended that the commission accept a moderate budget that included capital improvement and maintenance projects but allowed the district’s budget to absorb the increases from BPA. During the budget presentation, Greg Kester, the district’s Auditor and Director of Finance reported to the board, “I am confident, given our conservative financial stance over the last few years, that we are in a good position financially to incur these additional costs next year without dramatically affecting cash flow”.

2012 budget was adopted by resolution at the December 13, 2011 Board of Commissioners meeting. The next four percent rate increase is scheduled to take effect January 1, 2012.

Questions or comments regarding the new fees or the 2012 budget can be directed to the PUD 1 district office at (360) 877-5249.

PUD 1 Has Another Clean Audit

Potlatch, WA- Thursday, December 15, 2011– The Washington State Auditor’s Office concluded their annual audit of Mason County PUD No. 1 for the year 2010. Results show a clean audit report of the district’s financial reports and practices with no findings or letters to management. Greg Kester, the district’s Auditor and Director of Finance, commended his department and the organization for “maintaining a high standard of excellence and accountability in our practices and financial reporting” and was very pleased with the state auditor’s report, as was Commissioner Jack Janda, who attended the exit conference and reported the excellent news to the board at the December 13, 2011 commissioner meeting.

“We have several different agencies besides Washington State that we are accountable to and report annually to.”, stated Kester. “If the state auditors offer us any informal recommendations on how to improve processes and facilitate transparency, we appreciate those and do our best to implement them.” This latest audit augments a long history of fiscal responsibility for the district. Since its inception, PUD No. 1 has not had a single audit finding.

Questions or comments regarding the 2010 audit can be directed to Greg Kester, district Auditor and Director of Finance at (360) 877-5249.

PUD 1 Approves 2012 Budget with No Additional BPA Rate Increase for Customers

Potlatch, WA- Wednesday, December 14, 2011– Customers in Mason County Public Utility District No. 1 can breathe a sigh of relief in 2012. Despite the 15% increase in power costs that the utility will incur from Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) in 2012, the PUD 1 Board of Commissioners has decided not to pass those additional costs onto ratepayers next year.

Over the last year, BPA has communicated upcoming changes in how public utility districts and other electric utilities will be charged for the electrical energy they provide on their systems. Moving away from a melded rate structure, BPA is now itemizing their fees which include a new customer service fee based on PUD 1’s portion of BPA’s system; a monthly load shaping fee based on PUD 1’s forecasted energy needs compared against BPA’s actual production; and a demand fee to ensure that BPA’s electricity, equipment and facilities are available to provide power during high peak demand hours.

In 2009, the staff and commissioners of PUD 1 anticipated a substantial impending increase in power supply costs and instituted a preemptive 16% rate increase to span four consecutive years in an effort to help pay for major capital improvements. This scheduled increase is in its third year of deployment, with the last scheduled four percent to be implemented in January of 2013. Commissioner Karl Denison stated, “In this economy people are having a really hard time making ends meet. We wanted to avoid compounding these financial problems for our customers and this budget proposal has allowed us to do just that”. After reviewing the 2012 budget proposal and strategic plan, the staff recommended that the commission accept a moderate budget that included capital improvement and maintenance projects but allowed the district’s budget to absorb the increases from BPA. During the budget presentation, Greg Kester, the district’s Auditor and Director of Finance reported to the board, “I am confident, given our conservative financial stance over the last few years, that we are in a good position financially to incur these additional costs next year without dramatically affecting cash flow”.

2012 budget was adopted by resolution at the December 13, 2011 Board of Commissioners meeting. The next four percent rate increase is scheduled to take effect January 1, 2012.

Questions or comments regarding the new fees or the 2012 budget can be directed to the PUD 1 district office at (360) 877-5249.