The Grays Harbor PUD Board of Commissioners have approved the utility budget for 2022.  The $123.4-million spending plan includes $65.9-million in power purchases and $11-million in capital expenses to maintain and improve the utility system.

“Hats off to PUD staff for putting together a very solid budget for the coming year,” said Board Vice President Jon Martin.  “I think this positions the PUD well to ride out the pandemic and come out on a solid foundation.”

While the 2022 budget projects a 2% rate increase for planning purposes, the utility will wait to implement the increase until April.  The delay will allow the utility to factor in elements like winter revenue and river flow, both of which are important factors in determining revenue needs.

“This is a case of ‘plan for the worst and hope for the best.’  I hope that we will be able to avoid a rate increase, but we have to wait and see how the outside factors play out before we make that decision,” said Board President Arie Callaghan.

The 2022 capital expenses of $11-million represent an increase of $500-thousand over 2021 totals.  The budget is divided between five areas that allow the PUD to maintain services to customers: $4.4-million for the distribution system, $2.2-million for the transmission system, $2.1-million for work on utility substations, $1.3-million for telecom, facilities, and I.T. systems and $800-thousand for the PUD fleet.  71% of the budget will be spent on equipment replacement, 22% on work requested by customers, and 7% on new construction and equipment.

“When you live on the Washington coast, you have to have a system that can stand up to the elements,” said Board Secretary Dave Timmons.  “This includes being committed to the vegetation management cycle that keeps undergrowth and dangerous trees away from the power lines and maintenance that strengthens the system.  This budget has been put together with that in mind.”

The Grays Harbor Public Utility District is notifying customers of a planned power outage on the Lund Rd, south of Cosmopolis.  The outage will begin at 9:00 AM on Wednesday, November 10 and is expected to last until noon.  The impacted areas will be roughly 40 homes on the Lund Rd, Old Lund Rd and the far end of Hilliard Lane.  All impacted customers will receive notification phone calls from the PUD.

The outage will allow crews to continue pole replacement work on the lines that provide power to the area.

In preparation for this outage, customers are advised to take precautions with any electronic equipment such as computers, televisions, and microwaves by unplugging those items.  You should leave them disconnected until after the power has been fully restored. 

The outage duration of three hours is only an estimate and power could be restored at any time as work is completed.  Therefore, it is not safe to do electrical work or repairs during that period.

The Grays Harbor PUD has received a clean report from the Washington State Auditor’s Office (SAO).  In a report delivered to the Board of Commissioners and PUD staff, the SAO reported that the PUD accountability and financial audits for the period of January 1 to December 31, 2020, resulted in no findings and found that the utility was in compliance with state law and its own policies.

“This is exactly how you want an examination of a utility’s financials to go,” said PUD Board of Commissioners Vice President Jon Martin. “As a public entity, the first responsibility is to the customers. They have to know they can trust that their PUD is being operated correctly. This report delivers that message.”

The accountability portion of the audit examined the PUD’s procurement, cash receipting, accounts receivable, customer assistance programs and compliance with the Open Public Meetings Act.  The financial audit looked into the internal financial controls of the utility and compliance with state law and contract agreements. The SAO reports on the examinations found “...no concerns or material weaknesses and zero areas of noncompliance.”

“I’m not surprised by this result,” said Board Secretary Dave Timmons. “This is what the board has come to expect from our accounting department and what our customers expect and deserve.”

The Grays Harbor Public Utility District is notifying customers in Ocean Shores of a planned power outage which will impact 146 customers on nearly a dozen residential streets.  The outage will begin at 10:00 AM on Thursday, September 9th and is expected to last until noon.  The impacted areas will be homes on Olympic View Avenue, north of the Hutton Street intersection and Duck Lake Drive, north of the Overlake Street intersection to (but not including) Albatross Street NE.  Also impacted will be customers on the north sides of Hutton and Overlake Streets, Lake Drive NE, Lake View Loop, Lake View Court, Lake View Way, Hyde Court, Corning Court, Powell Street NE and Fisher Ave.  All impacted customers will receive notification phone calls from the PUD.

The outage is necessary to allow crews to continue a system maintenance and equipment replacement project in the impacted area.

In preparation for this outage, customers are advised to take precautions with any electronic equipment such as computers, televisions, and microwaves by unplugging those items.  You should leave them disconnected until after the power has been fully restored. 

The outage duration of two hours is only an estimate and power could be restored at any time as work is completed.  Therefore, it is not safe to do electrical work or repairs during that period.

The Grays Harbor Public Utility District is notifying customers on four East County roads of a planned power outage which will impact 73 customers.  The outage will begin at 8:00 AM on Wednesday, August 25 and is expected to last until 4:00 PM.  The impacted areas will be homes on the Sund Rd, Delezenne Rd, Raspberry Rd and Raspberry Ln.  All impacted customers will receive notification phone calls from the PUD.

The outage will allow crews to continue a pole replacement project between Elma and Oakville, by moving distribution lines to new poles.

In preparation for this outage, customers are advised to take precautions with any electronic equipment such as computers, televisions, and microwaves by unplugging those items.  You should leave them disconnected until after the power has been fully restored. 

The outage duration of eight hours is only an estimate and power could be restored at any time as work is completed.  Therefore, it is not safe to do electrical work or repairs during that period.