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Commission Summary 2-22-2022: Land acquisitions needed for substation work

Commissioners heard about plans to acquire an additional 1.13 acres adjacent to the future home of the Red Rock Substation east of Royal City. The district had previously obtained 1.26 acres for the construction of the new substation but has since determined it will now need to acquire the additional land west of the existing property from the Port of Royal Slope.

Interim Chief Operations Officer, Jeff Grizzel, said the subsurface within the existing area is extremely rocky and the acquisition of the additional property will help to expedite construction of the substation by allowing the necessary groundwork to be completed in a more efficient manner.

An additional 20 feet of property located adjacent to Grant PUD's northern property line at the South Ephrata Substation will also be acquired from the City of Ephrata.

Project Manager Dave Klinkenberg said the acquisition of the additional space at the South Ephrata Substation is required to meet the district's clearance standards for a "ring bus" configuration for the transmission system.

A ring bus configuration allows crews the ability to isolate outages when they occur, keeping the power on to more customers.

Both projects are a part of Grant PUD's second round of "Design-Build" projects, a multi-year effort that provides several new facilities and upgrades to Grant PUD's electric system to increase load capacity and improve resiliency for customers.

Senior Manager of Environmental Affairs, Ross Hendrick, said that due to the aggressive acquisition timeline the district plans to obtain temporary construction easements for both projects.

View the presentation on pages 56-61 of the presentation materials and hear the discussion beginning at 2:10:03 of the commission audio.

Project Management Office shepherds some 42 projects in 2021

Commissioners Tuesday heard that the Enterprise Project Management Office has 42 projects underway through the end of 2021, with the largest projects including the upgrade of the turbines at Priest Rapids Dam, fiber-optic network expansion throughout the county, and a package of projects to expand and improve the Grant PUD electric grid for a more reliable power supply.

Julie Pyper, senior manager of project management, organizational change, and operations budget analytics, said her combined departments include 36 employees and some outside contractors who collaborate with all departments across Grant PUD to reduce risk and produce safe, high quality, and efficient outcomes and complete data analysis.

The departments slightly underspent their $6.3 million annual budget for 2021. Commissioners were happy to hear the highest priority is getting all departments more involved in and informed about the tasks and projects handled by Pyper's teams.

"This'll be something that will help us not be surprised," Commission President Judy Wilson said. "The commission would like to be better informed, and you're certainly doing a good job making that happen. Thank you and your group."

View the full presentation on pages 19-54 of the presentation materials. Hear the discussion at 1:28:18 on the commission audio.

Commissioners also:

-- Received one of their periodic reviews of a resolution that currently limits to $1 million the contracts for services on behalf of the Grant PUD that the general manager can enter into without commission approval. Commissioners proposed no changes to the resolution Tuesday.

View the delegation of purchasing authority resolution on pages 62-63 of the presentation materials. Hear the discussion at 2:22:50 on the commission audio.

--Unanimously approved a resolution amending the existing Governance Policy. The policy along with the updates are outlined on pages 9-49 of the commission packet which consists of changes to the commission's relationship with the newly created chief resource officer position and reporting structures for the auditor and treasurer. Hear the discussion beginning at 2:53:00 of the commission audio.

--Unanimously approved a contract with Basin Tree Service & Pest Control to address tree trimming and removal of vegetation encroachments on the utility's electric distribution and fiber systems. See the details of the contract on pages 50-120 of the commission packet and hear the discussion beginning at 2:57:14 of the commission audio.

--Unanimously approved a contract with Potelco Inc. to provide temporary line "dock crews" for 2022-2023. The contract, which is similar to past dock crew contracts, provides the district support on a variety of line work projects. See the details of the contract on pages 121-204 of the commission packet and hear the discussion beginning at 3:00:10 of the commission audio.

--Unanimously approved a change order on an existing contract with ADT Commercial LLC to increase the not-to-exceed contract by $218,103. The price adjustment is a result of the need to meet the evolving business security and compliance requirements. See the details of the contract on pages 205-213 of the commission packet and hear the discussion beginning at 3:01:18 of the commission audio.