Citing an unclear rule making procedure, loss of local control and the desire for a legislative answer to carbon emissions, the Grays Harbor PUD Board of Commissioners have passed a resolution opposing Initiative 1631. The initiative, which will appear on the November ballot, would attach a fee to carbon emissions if approved by a simple majority of Washington voters.
“We recognize that carbon emissions have a damaging impact on our environment and take pride in our environmental leadership through the PUD’s reliance on emission free hydro-electric and nuclear power,” said Commission President Arie Callaghan. “However, this initiative paints an unclear picture of our future. It wrests local control away from public utilities and places it in the hands of an appointed board without any assurance of utility input. That goes against the the core principal of a PUD.”
“We want to work with the environmental community to find a solution to carbon emissions, but the best solution would come through a joint effort with the Washington State legislature, not an initiative that was written without input from all the parties involved,” said Commission Vice President Russ Skolrood.
“While there are some positive points to a fee on carbon emissions, there are too many unknowns in I-1631 for the utility to support it,” said Commission Secretary Dave Timmons. “Let legislators work with utilities, industries and the environmental community in 2019 to come up with a solution to carbon emissions that the entire state can rally behind and continue Washington’s positive role in environmentally friendly energy production.”
A review of the Grays Harbor Public Utility District’s accountability and financial statements resulted in no significant findings and a clean report from the Washington State Auditor’s office.
At the audit exit conference on Tuesday, the state reported to the utility that no significant issues were found in the area of accountability following a review of utility insurance, procurement, net metering credits, review and testing of surplus property procedures, open public meeting minutes, fuel mix disclosure, financial condition and fiscal sustainability.
The audit of the utility financial statements also resulted in a clean report as the PUD was found to have “no instances of non-compliance or other matters that are required to be reported.”
“This report makes me very proud of the work put in by our PUD staff,” said Commissioner Dave Timmons, who attended the exit conference. “The public puts its faith in the utility to responsibly manage their PUD and this report shows that their faith and trust is justified.”
Effective Monday, September 24, 2018, your Grays Harbor PUD Energy Services Department will be housed in the PUD Dennis Nichols Building located at 220 Myrtle Street, Hoquiam. The Energy Services Department addresses questions regarding energy conservation, residential and commercial energy efficiency rebates, appliance rebates, home weatherization, heat pumps, energy audits, and more, and is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, closed from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. daily for lunch.
As a part of this relocation, your PUD Board of Commissioners’ offices will be moving into the Administration Department in the main building located at 2720 Sumner Ave, Aberdeen. Regular meetings of the Board of Commissioners will continue to be held in the Nichols Building Meeting Room.
The persistence and compassion of Grays Harbor PUD Customer Service Collector Helen Berglund may have been the difference between life and death for a woman in distress this summer. On Monday, the PUD Board of Commissioners commended Berglund’s actions on a hot July day that saw her come to the aid on a woman whom Berglund found on the floor of her home.
“Helen went the extra mile for this woman and it may have saved her life,” said Board President Arie Callaghan. “As soon as she heard a call for help, she jumped into action. That’s heroic.”
Berglund had arrived at the East Grays Harbor County home on the hot afternoon of July 26th but after knocking on the door and receiving no response was preparing to return to her vehicle when she heard the sounds of a woman calling for help from inside. Looking through the glass door, she saw the elderly resident of the home laying on the ground. Finding the door unlocked, Helen was able to enter the home and speak to the woman, who had been laying on the ground for several hours, unable to move. Helen immediately called 911 for emergency assistance and stayed with the woman for over 30 minutes until the ambulance arrived. During that time, Helen provided comfort to the woman, speaking to her, locating her cell phone and attempting to contact family who lived in the area.
“I truly believe Helen saved a life that day,” said General Manager Dave Ward. “Given the remote location of the home, the woman’s weakened state and the extreme heat that occurred over the following days; it is possible that without Helen’s actions this story may have had a tragic end.”
September is Preparedness Month and your Grays Harbor PUD is reminding customers to be ready should the lights go out. PUD customers should have an outage preparedness kit ready in the event of an extended power outage. These kits should include:
- A flashlight and batteries
- A battery operated radio
- Candles and matches
- Non-perishable food
- A manual can opener
Should the storm knock your power out, the PUD has several methods of tracking power outages and following the efforts taking place to bring the lights back on. In addition to local radio and news coverage, outage updates are available on the GHPUD.ORG website, where you can also sign up for outage alerts, sent by both text and email. The PUD also provides outage updates and PUD information on the utility Twitter account at twitter@GHPUD and Facebook under the name Grays Harbor Public Utility District. If your power is still off once restoration efforts are complete, you are encouraged to call the outage reporting hotline at 360-537-3721 or 888-541-5923 to inform dispatchers that your home is still without power