Commission recap, 9/26/2023 — Commissioners welcome Education-Reimbursement policy updates. More...
Changes to a policy on education reimbursement for employees will help ensure more consistency in the administration of the program and help ensure the utility continues to reap the benefits of that investment.
Senior Manager of Employee Experience Tom Stredwick said the changes better define limits on what the utility will spend, how much on-the-job time the recipient employees can spend studying, the number and type of academic degrees it will fund per employee, the type of employee who can qualify for the reimbursement and the number of years a recipient must remain on staff after completing his/her studies without having to pay the tuition back.
This program aligns with Grant PUD Commission desire to have an industry leading education reimbursement program as outlined in Strategic Plan Objective 2. Programs like this were created to ensure that Grant PUD is able to grow local talent. In Grant County, only 13% of residents have a 4-year degree which precludes many from having access to many positions within the organization.
“I’m glad to see you tightening up some of the requirements,” Commission Judy Wilson said. “They need to be going for a program that will benefit the PUD, too.”
“I definitely agree with the grow-our-own program,” Commission President Nelson Cox said. “But I do like the tightening up.”
“We’re creating more valuable employees that have more value in the marketplace,” Commissioners Terry Pyle said, adding that any salary increases for academic achievement need be competitive with the marketplace.
The tuition-reimbursement program is one of a series of measures Grant PUD has taken to promote from within, improve job satisfaction and create a stronger, more resilient workforce.
View the full Employee Experience presentation on pages 51-74 in the presentation materials. This meeting wasn’t recorded, as commissioners met at the Hydro Office Building near Wanapum Dam.
— Heard a short update on the process take public comment and finalize Grant PUD’s $347.2 million budget for 2024. Public budget hearings are scheduled for:
Oct. 10, 2023 — Ephrata Headquarters Commission Room — 2 p.m.
30 C Street SW, Ephrata, WA 98823
Oct. 10, 2023 — Virtual budget hearing via Microsoft Teams — 6 p.m.
Click here to join the meeting
Call in/Audio only – (509) 703-5291
Phone Conference ID: 680 513 972#
Oct. 12, 2023 — Moses Lake Local Office Auditorium — 6 p.m.
312 W Third Avenue, Moses Lake, WA 98837
Commissioners continue to study a staff proposal to increase rates starting in 2024 but have yet to determine the size or scope.
Total expenditures (before offsets) in the 2024 budget are a nearly 7% increase over 2023 budget. Staff will give a detailed presentation at the budget hearings. The review will include a look at major capital projects, operating and maintenance budgets and budgetary offsets.
Get a sneak peak of the draft 2024 budget presentation on pages 75-131 in the presentation materials. This meeting wasn’t recorded, as commissioners met at the Hydro Office Building near Wanapum Dam.
— Heard from Manager of Emergency Preparedness Dave Ponozzo about a 5-year strategic security plan to enhance Grant PUD’s resilience to emergencies via effective preparedness, conducting drills and exercises, identifying threats, planning and training, communication and strengthening community and stakeholder relationships.
View the presentation on pages 141-151 in the presentation materials. This meeting wasn’t recorded, as commissioners met at the Hydro Office Building near Wanapum Dam.
— Heard Chuck Sutton, president of the Grant County Industrial Alliance, and Dan Miller, past president of the AgPower Users Group, urge the commission to be more transparent in their discussions about the proposed electric-rate increase in 2024 and take more time to deliberate for rates that are “fair, reasonable and predictable for all.”
— Heard a staff recommendation not to adopt two standards created by the Public Utility Regulatory Policy Act (PURPA) to promote greater electrification of the transportation sector and a “demand-response” style of billing, which creates various electric rates or incentives, based on energy use during times of peak consumption.
Senior Manager of Wholesale Marketing Rich Flanigan said adoption of the PURPA standards would limit Grant PUD’s options to continue developing its own strategies for both electrified transportation and demand response.
Commissioners recently approved Rate Schedule 19 for commercial electric-vehicle charging. Staff is working with local businesses on installing charging stations. Work is also underway to adopt demand-response incentives for irrigators. No penalty or disadvantage comes with refusal to adopt the two PURPA standards, Flanigan said.
View the presentation on pages 124-130 in the presentation materials. This meeting wasn’t recorded, as commissioners met at the Hydro Office Building near Wanapum Dam.
— Heard the highlights of the many public power organizations Grant PUD interacts with on a regional and national scale. These relationships are key in bringing a united hydropower mission and voice to our area. Presented to the Commission during this report were 4 awards recently won at the NWPPA Northwest Innovations in Communications conference. Grant received 2 first place awards for photograph and internal communications plus a second in the wildcard category with the “Fiber Dog” video and a third in the social media category.
View the presentation on pages 153-167 in the presentation materials. This meeting wasn’t recorded, as commissioners met at the Hydro Office Building near Wanapum Dam.
Commissioners unanimously approved:
— Resolution 9030, which amends Rate Schedule 19 for fast, commercial vehicle charging service to account for situations when it is cost prohibitive to separately meter some Level 3 (fastest level) charging.
For more information on this resolution, see pages 9-14 of the Commission Packet. This meeting wasn’t recorded, as commissioners met at the Hydro Office Building near Wanapum Dam.
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