Chelan County PUD commissioners on Monday reviewed actions being taken to respond to the risk of coronavirus spreading in the community.
General Manager Steve Wright gave a detailed update on the steps being taken to protect customers and employees during the coronavirus pandemic. Following last week’s decision to close office lobbies and public meeting rooms, Wright outlined this week’s focus including: (At 01:13 on the board meeting audio recording.)
Reaching out to customers who may have concerns about being able to pay their PUD bill as financial impacts mount. “We’re encouraging them to call us, and we will work with them to address any payment issues,” Wright said. Customers can call during business hours at (509) 661-8002 or email firstname.lastname@example.org;
- Customers wanting to pay a bill can use drop boxes at PUD offices in Chelan, Leavenworth and Wenatchee; pay by phone at (509) 661-8729; or online at chelanpud.org under “Pay My Bill;”
- Tracking use and capacity of the PUD’s broadband network in order to address congestion issues as more people are working from home;
- Reminding customers of conservation help available for families who may see power use go up with more time spent at home. There are resources online or customers can talk with energy efficiency staff at (509) 661-8008;
- Keeping PUD parks and trails open while protecting visitors and Parks employees. For example, access to play equipment in all PUD-managed parks will be blocked off;
- Analyzing pending federal legislation that could impact PUD pay and leave policies;
- Requiring social distancing whenever possible to protect the PUD’s ability to deliver vital power, water, sewer and fiber network service.
In other business, commissioners:·
Heard from Parks Manager Ryan Baker that boat launches and docks are going through a period of significant refurbishment in the next few years in order to provide value for the next 30+ years. Shoreline erosion projects are expected to modestly increase over the next few year and then plateau.
- Continued review of plans to issue up to $170 million in bonds with a neutral impact on outstanding debt balances by paying off some older, higher-interest rate bonds and issuing new bonds to provide cash for investing in assets that will serve the District’s customers. Estimates are the actions would save the District about $1 million a year over 10-15 years due to lower interest rates. Commissioners will be asked for a “go/no go” decision on issuing new debt on March 30. (00:38)
- Approved updates to the resolution that guides surplus energy sales to return more value for PUD customer-owners.(01:51 & 02:11 )
- Recognized the ownership taken by payroll staff Jennifer Dixon, manager, and specialist Kathy Cowin in making sure PUD employees are paid on time and checks are accurate. Both were recognized for their skill and dedication to researching, understanding and resolving issues that arise in the many-step process from reporting time to checks being issued. (00:05)
March 30 – Commission meeting, 10 a.m., PUD boardroom
- April 13 – Commission meeting, 10 a.m., PUD boardroom