These are the facts as I see them:
· There is no demonstrated need for this project
· There is no credible cost estimate that has been developed for the project
· Engineering has not been accomplished
· Alternatives have not been considered
· Grays Harbor PUD property to be purchased by PUD#2 has not been appraised
· How to separate PUD#2 lines from Grays Harbor lines not evaluated
· Permits have not been obtained for the entire project which are required
Which begs the question, why are Commissioners Thompson and Hatfield promoting this project, they say well… for the good of the Pacific County people.
Okay, let’s see if I can quantify that “good”. Ratepayers have already spent $1.8 million, and thousands of $ in interest payments on bonds. We have an 115KV three phase power line which dead ends at the north Pacific County transfer station on SR 105, and an Oysterville 115KV power substation that is providing service for about 6 meters.
No new services capability has or will be added when the proposed system is completed, but we all will be paying more for the same service we have today. Your electric bill will increase in the range of $30-$40/month. There will be no measurable increase in reliability (availability of power) for customers. Yes that’s right you will pay more for the same service.
Negative impact: The oyster beds in Willapa Bay will be damaged; maintenance on the power line crossing the bay will be very expensive, if not impossible. Many of our fellow ratepayers and senior citizens have income below the poverty level this will be devastating to them. Pacific County is losing population; these unnecessary high rates will accelerate that exit. This will place a huge unnecessary financial burden on the PUD #2 ratepayers for the next 20-plus years. High-energy usage (job creating) business will not locate here.
What next? Commissioners should halt all work on this ill-conceived project immediately; examine the alternative of Grays Harbor PUD annexing Tokeland area.
South Bend, Wash.