Commission Meeting Recap for June 12, 2018


– Heard from the Port of Royal Slope. A presentation recounting communications between the port and Grant PUD dating back to 2003, was given on behalf of the port by Kevin Richards who is President of Western Pacific Engineering and Survey.  During the presentation Richards focused on previous discussions between both groups regarding the potential addition of new electrical infrastructure, including a substation, within the port’s industrial park.

To date, any growth and the need for power to the port’s property has been met through existing substations and other infrastructure within the greater Royal Slope area.  Presently an agricultural based company, that could provide up to 400 local jobs,  is looking to build a new facility at the port and open for business as soon as next fall.  Although, adding supplementary distribution capabilities from an existing substation could meet the customer’s initial power needs, there may be limits on this approach if the company were to expand without the construction of additional electrical infrastructure.

This scenario, combined with the potential for other companies expressing “real” interest of locating at the port led to their request for building the new “Red Rock” substation.  Something that has been discussed since those early conversations between the utility and the port.

Richards said the struggle is that the Port of Royal slope has the land, the water system, water rights and roads to help facilitate growth but they don’t have the electrical infrastructure in place to allow for immediate construction.

Commissioner Terry Brewer assured the port that our policies are “pretty fair and liberal” to allow for growth. However, he pointed to the potential risk of increased rates from building out infrastructure that may not be immediately used or needed.

For a number of years, Grant PUD has required larger customers provide a financial contribution in new infrastructure costs as projects are developed.  The situation facing future companies looking to build at the port would be the same.  Also, timing for building new infrastructure takes time and can depend on a variety of issues, such as land use rights, equipment availability from vendors and more.

The port and Grant PUD staff agreed to make a goal to meet regularly to ensure needs of future customers can be met in a timely manner and the best approach can be utilized for all. (1:57:55)

During Tuesday’s business meeting commissioners:

Approved a motion for a change order to a contract with Jacobs Engineering Group, Inc., increasing the not-to-exceed price of the contract by $100,000 to a new total of $2,050,000 for their work in assisting with various engineering projects. To date, the group has supported 23 engineering projects for Grant PUD.  Some of these projects include repairs on the Wanapum Dam spillway apron and replacements of Priest Rapids Dam turbines.  The increased funding will provide for current and future project work throughout the three year contract extension period.  (3:08:30)

Approved a motion for a change order to a contract with Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WFDW) increasing the not-to-exceed price of the contract by $995,192 to a new contract total of $7,434,379.67.  As part of its operating license Grant PUD is required to produce and release 5.6 million fall Chinook salmon. The contract allows WFDW to perform all aspects of this requirement while allowing Grant PUD to achieve its federal requirements for the species. (3:12:00)

Approved a motion for change order to a contract with Nicholson Construction Company, increasing the not-to-exceed price of the contract by $579,580 to a new total of $1,250,000 and extending the contract completion to July 31, 2018.  The contract was originally awarded to Nicholson in February to perform field investigation within the Priest Rapids Grout Gallery. The change order increases the contract value needed to perform the additional portions of the FERC mandated drilling when the disbonded lift joint was discovered. (3:14:45)

Approved a motion to settle a liability claim for property damages and personal injury stemming from an October incident where a Grant PUD employee was responsible for an auto accident.

The final payment will close the claim, which totals $15,592, for property damages, medical expenses and lost wages. (3:22:55)

The commission also:

-Heard from Brett Lenz as he provided the quarterly update from Cultural Resources. Lenz reported that one of their tasks has been to identify potential effects district projects may have on local environmental resources. During preparation work for the upcoming Priest Rapids right bank rebuild, they discovered a large archeological finding. As a result of the finding, the project plan has been modified so that any work will not impact this culturally sensitive area.  (1:22:20 and pages 13-22 staff reports)

Received reports regarding the following topics:

  • Fish and Wildlife Quarterly Business report by Tom Dresser (55:55 and pages 3-12 staff reports)
  • A review of Grant PUD’s strategic plan dashboard for 2017 and an update of 2018’s current status by Baxter Gillette (1:41:45 and pages 23-24 staff reports)
  • Grant PUD’s Community Engagement Activity report (03:29:15 and pages 25-44 staff reports)

Next commission meeting: June 26, Ephrata Headquarters

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