PUD discusses ending conservation loan program

OKANOGAN – Citing recent low participation numbers the Okanogan PUD proposed to discontinue its decade-long customer conservation loan program at its August 26 board meeting.
The 55 loans still outstanding and any other applications in process would continue, but the proposal would terminate new loans after Sept. 30, 2019.
Director of Finance and Accounting Don Coppock said that while the program served PUD customers well it would need revision and partnering with a financial institution if the program was revived.
The board will revisit the proposed resolution before possible approval at the Sept. 9 meeting.
In other business:
The board congratulated foreman Micah Somes on 15 years of service with the district. Somes completed line construction school in April 2000 and worked for Avista in Spokane while attending Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee (JATC) school. He joined the PUD in 2004 as a lineman apprentice in Okanogan and passed his journeyman lineman exam in September 2005. Somes worked as a journeyman on the crew until July 2018 when he was promoted to 300 crew foreman.
Operations manager Randy Bird reported that Osmose Utilities crews started pole testing this week. Underground utility work is proceeding in the Crumbacher area. Crews are working on a new circuit feed out of the Nespelem Valley Electric Chicken Creek substation, taking load off the Brewster circuits.
The district sold a surplus vehicle to Fire District 9.
The board approved Change Order No. 6, not to exceed $20,000 for the Max J. Kuney Company to continue advancing the permitting of the Enloe Dam right bank dewatering.  PUD staff expects to bring a not to exceed price for the full dewatering project to the Sept. 9 meeting.

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