Clallam County Public Utility District commissioners David Anderson, left, Jim Waddell and Will Purser listen to a staff report during their meeting in Carlsborg on Monday. (Rob Ollikainen/Peninsula Daily News)

Clallam County Public Utility District commissioners David Anderson, left, Jim Waddell and Will Purser listen to a staff report during their meeting in Carlsborg on Monday. (Rob Ollikainen/Peninsula Daily News)

Clallam County PUD approves pay raises for union employees

CARLSBORG — The Clallam County Public Utility District has approved 3 percent pay raises for union-represented employees in each of the next four years.

District commissioners voted 3-0 Monday to approve a 2019-23 collective bargaining agreement with International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 997.

IBEW Local 997 represents 106 of the PUD’s 145 employees, district spokeswoman Nicole Clark said Wednesday.

The annual pay raises will take effect May 1, Clark said.

“The union has agreed and signed off on it,” PUD General Manager Doug Nass told district commissioners Monday.

“It’s basically wages only. It’s for four years at 3 percent each 2020.”

Commissioner Jim Waddell said management “worked very hard” with union representatives on the agreement.

He added that the PUD should be “very mindful of rate pressure on the customers” with anticipated rate hikes from Bonneville Power Administration, which provides wholesale electricity to the Clallam County PUD and other utilities.

“The analysis done on the 3 percent is based on some pretty solid comparisons around the state, so I think that’s really not an issue,” Waddell said.

“But we’ve got to be mindful of where we are in the future. Things could get a lot worse for Bonneville in the next three or four years, and it’s going to affect us.”

In other PUD action, commissioners approved a $570,000 revenue bond from First Federal to finance the Gales Additional Water Reservoir cover replacement, wastewater lift station replacement and other capital improvements.

Commissioners had previously awarded a $365,760 bid award to Layfield USA Corp. of Kent to replace the existing floating cover and liner for the Gales Addition Reservoir near the intersection of Monroe Road and Round Tree Road southeast of Port Angeles.

The interest rate on the 15-year bond is 3 percent.

Finance Manager-Treasurer Sean Worthington said eight banks responded to a request for proposals for financing.

“The most favorable [bid] to the district actually came from a local bank, First Federal,” Worthington said.

First Federal is based in Port Angeles.

Later in the meeting, district commissioners authorized the $315,997 purchase of a Ditch Witch horizontal directional drill.

The drill will be used to bore holes for cable replacements, PUD assistant Manager John Purvis said.

Local contractors are no longer bidding on drilling projects, Purvis added, resulting in higher costs for the PUD.

By training PUD crews to use the new equipment, the district will increase the amount of cable it can replace for the same cost by 30 to 35 percent, Purvis said.

“If you look at the contract amount that we had in the budget this last year and going forward, this equipment will pay for itself over the next four years,” Purvis said.

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Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56450, or at [email protected].

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