Commissioners hear updates at March 25 meeting

Submitted by sheilac on Tue, 03/26/2019 - 16:11

The Okanogan County PUD board heard an update on Enloe Dam from staff, and approved contracts to move toward the process of dewatering and inspecting the structure.

At the March 25 regular meeting, Director of Regulatory and Environmental Affairs Jeri Timm said staff members have been meeting with multiple agencies over the last few months, including FERC, the state Department of Ecology, Department of Natural Resources, Department of Fish and Wildlife, Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, Bureau of Land Management and others.

The PUD knows that FERC will terminate the license for Enloe after July 9, 2019, at which point the state Department of Ecology will take over jurisdiction for dam safety. One of the Department of Ecology’s high priorities is dewatering and inspection, Timm said. If engineering and permitting can be done in time, the inspection could occur this fall, but if not, then Fall 2020 will be the next option.

As for the BLM right-of-way agreement with the PUD, the district and BLM staff are in discussions on how to proceed. Timm said it could take months to years to determine how the right-of-way process will resolve with BLM regarding the dam. Therefore, staff recommended the Board refrain from committing to a course of action with regards to the future of the dam until the District understands all the regulatory parameters it must abide by.

The board approved a change order with Max J. Kuney in the amount not to exceed $200,000 for Enloe Dam safety inspection planning task 1, associated with dam inspection work. They also passed a motion for a budget amendment to authorize a contract with McMillen Jacobs Associates for Owner’s Advisor Services for 2019, not to exceed $238,900, overseeing the dam safety work.

In other business, the board:

  • Recognized Steve Luchte for 25 years of service to the district. He began as a lineman in Brewster, then became serviceman for the south county in 1998, the position he holds today. He was originally from the Northwest, and came to Okanogan PUD after working in Arizona on the Salt River Project.
  • Heard an update to the high-density load moratorium, that staff needs more time to update software and do some studies before ready to proceed. About 60-90 days are expected before implementation.
  • Heard from Construction Design Manager Allen Allie that several projects have been bid and awarded, some scheduled to begin in April. A scheduled outage is planned for April 11-12 (overnight) for the Winthrop tap to the Twisp substation. Notice will go out soon with additional details.