Recap of the Jan. 9 commission meeting

Grant PUD to hire manager for fiber network

Grant PUD Commissioners learned at their first board meeting of the year Tuesday of plans in the works to hire a manager to oversee operation, enhancement and expansion of Grant PUD’s soon-High Speed Network.

General Manger Kevin Nordt told the board he plans to put someone into the position of network business manager soon. (At 03:11 on the commission meeting audio recording)

“We’re going to continue to operate the current fiber network and enhance its utilization. We’re also looking to expand,” Nordt said. “As part of trying to make that as effective as possible… I’m going to look to put someone who’s got clear accountability and responsibility who will report to me going forward. We’ll figure out who that is and get that in place shortly.”

The manager would pursue opportunities for grants to expand the network and funding from other potential partners, as well as conduct outreach to determine areas for fiber expansion and increase utilization in existing fiber areas, he said.

Network expansion will happen under a detailed plan that becomes part of a 10-year network business plan with goals, milestones, and commission support, Nordt said.

“I want to get a really solid plan of attack,” Nordt said. “That will essentially become a business plan that myself and the manager will be held accountable to.”

Assistant General Manager Tony Webb will support the network manager and help implement the network business plan.

“He’s a great resource to have and so we’ll be using his capabilities,” Nordt said of Webb.

The FCC’s recent ruling on net neutrality shouldn’t have any impact on how Grant PUD will operate its wholesale network since the changes primarily effect retail service providers, he said.

Power Production keeps within 2017 budget

Power Production stayed within its 2017 Capital, O&M and Labor budgets, according to a report from Rich Wallen, managing director of Power Production, given to commissioners. (01:14 on the commission meeting recording)

Power Production spent 78.6 percent of its capital budget of $102.4 million with $80.4 million in actuals. It spent 97.7 percent of its O&M budget of $22.5 million and 99.1 percent of its 25.7 million labor budget. The figures also include estimated unpaid invoices.

The 2018 Power Production capital budget is $66.8 million. The 2018 O&M budget of $21 million is down 4.5 percent from last year, and the labor budget of $25.1 million is a decrease of 2.5 percent from 2017.

Also, Priest Rapids Dam had an availability rate of 82.58 percent and Wanapum Dam had an availability rate of 85.39 percent.

In 2018, rehab work is planned for unit W07 at Wanapum Dam and P02 at Priest Rapids, Wallen added.

Crescent Bar proves profitable in 2017

Crescent Bar’s revenues offset expenses in 2017, according to a Lands and Recreation Program Report given by Lands and Recreation Manager Shannon Lowry.

Total revenues for 2017 were $1.597 million and expenses were $1.123 million. (01:46 on the commission meeting recording)

Crescent Bar revenues include:

  • Campground = $70,064 (For partial year, that didn’t include Memorial Weekend.)
  • Golf Course = $84,610
  • Fuel Sales = $92,916
  • Lease revenue and vendors’ fees = $1.349 million

Total expenses include:

  • Campground = $72,306
  • Golf Course = $336,943
  • Fuel Sales = $113,171 (Corrected number from presentation)
  • Other = $601,224

The Lands and Recreation Program came in under budget in capital, O&M and labor. It spent 94 percent of the $18.4 million capital budget, 89 percent of the $1.347 million O&M budget, and 97 percent of the $1.217 million labor budget.

Next commission meeting: Jan 23, 2018. Discussion of proposed electric rate increases.

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