The Pacific County Public Utility District Number 2 met for their regular bi-monthly meeting on Tuesday, February 2. General Manager Doug Miller started the meeting with the approval of minutes from the previous meeting as well as the current meeting's agenda. After Miller moved to approve the minutes from the previous meeting, he listed off the organizations he had received letters from in the last two weeks for correspondence. Miller next moved to the manager's report.
Miller reported on the Warm Heart program that the PUD was participating in: "210 families were helped during the year by the program as run by Crisis Support Network. The average distributed for each family was $194.59 cents for a total distribution of $40,863.04. Thanks go out to all of our customers for donating and making this program successful," said Miller. Miller had a second item for the manager's report, commenting on the Station Camp situation. "First, we had a discussion about an issue about the replacement of two poles in Station Camp. Since that meeting I have put some information together. A copy of a pole that we replaced a couple years ago, and then also a copy of the placement of the two poles. I then sent an email explaining how we went about the placement of the pole to the Washington Department of Archaeology and then the three commissioners received an email from Scot Tucker (of the National Parks Service)," said Miller, "we talked about using an Archaeologist from his department, the National Parks Service, to go out and do an assessment where we replaced the poles, and he said he had talked to the Chinook Indian Nation and the Washington State Historical Society, and the Washington Department of Archaeology and they all had agreed that it was fine," Miller explained. Miller then sited that he is hoping that all the involved parties can go out to the site, and assess the damage and put a cost together for the PUD.
Miller then moved the meeting to the next item, a letter that the PUD received that read:
"Dear Sir or Madam, We represent disabled individuals throughout the Unites States that use the internet to facilitate their access to goods and services. Those rights to access those goods and services are protected under the Americans with Disabilities act. These individuals that have disabilities include blindness, deafness, learning disabilities, cognitive limitations, speech disabilities, over sensitivity and combinations of these. We are writing you because your red pages are available to the public but are inaccessible to our clients."
"They threaten a law suit if we don't take action, so we sent a copy of this to our attorney Will Penoyar," said Miller. Penoyar explained the letter further: "This law suit is based under the Americans with Disabilities act and there's a series of 'web standard' that are supposed to have been adopted that the Department of Justice strongly endorses. But apparently the Department of Justice never made these standards actual laws," said Penoyar. The organization that sent the letter sent a settlement agreement with a list of demands to change the website, and the commissioners discussed their options and ended up coming to a conclusion that the issues that the senders of the letter were having were not issues with the UD's website, but rather that the user was not assisting themselves with things on their computer to help the issues that they are having with viewing the PUD's website. After the discussion of the letter the commissioners next moved the meeting to the approval of contracts for service extension; there were three of them.
For the items from the public section, Dick Anderson raised some questions.
"Doug, what do you see as in the future on your line to Tokeland, what's your feeling of what your issues with the new shoreline management plan?" Miller responded by saying that it's tough for him to tell with the factor of public comment coming into play, saying that it's ultimately up to the county commissioners.
Anderson had an additional question: "The second question I have deals with billing. I know it's not too difficult to understand but I wonder why you don't have the real amount we're paying per kilowatt hours on our billing to make it clear for the rate payer? I don't understand the logic behind it."
Miller responded, "I think it's just to let the customers know what adjustments there's been to the bill and I know they have to do some work but you can take your bottom amount and divide it by the number of kilowatt hours you use, and that should give you your rate." A PUD employee further explained that the rate is a commissioned rate, set by commission, and that the allocations of the rate is what is broken up on the bill.
The next PUD meeting will be held on Tuesday, February 16 in Long Beach.