Via teleconference, the Okanogan County PUD board met March 30 for updates regarding COVID-19 impacts, community solar and preparation for the retirement of Director of Finance and Accounting Don Coppock.
Finance Manager Janet Crossland has been named the new Director of Finance and Accounting. Coppock and Crossland had several other appointments by the board that needed to be reassigned effective April 1:
- Resolution 1710 - Retirement plan trustee: Crossland, with Human Resources Manager Katie Pfitzer
- Resolution 1714 – Auditor: Crossland
- Resolution 1715 – Treasurer: Changed from Crossland to Rob Gillespie, accountant
- Resolution 1716 – Deputy Treasurer: Changed from Gillespie to Janet Funston, financial analyst
- Resolution 1711 also amended the succession plan for authority in the event the general manager is unavailable. Those who could be called on to serve as acting general manager are (in no particular order) director of accounting, finance and administration; director of power resources and broadband services; engineering manager; chief engineer; director of regulatory and environmental affairs; and operations manager.
Commissioner Jerry Asmussen commended Coppock for his service to the district after all the above resolutions were approved.
In other business, the board:
- Heard from General Manager Steve Taylor that the Sunny Okanogan Community Solar project was falling significantly short of the total needed to build it. Payments have been held for 72 hours in quarantine, so the number could rise still, but was around $80,000 out of $212,000 needed as of March 25. The solar installer can only wait a couple extra days before being in a bind for ordering supplies. Taylor said that if this project cannot go through at this time, there may be a chance for a future project.
- Heard that Taylor signed Change Order No. 11 with the Max J. Kuney Company for a no-cost time extension, extending the contract through May 31, 2020.
- Learned that the district is closely following the impacts of COVID-19 on bill payments, as there will be no disconnections for non-payment and staff are working with customers regarding waiving late fees and making payment arrangements at this time. The district has also adjusted many staff work schedules, including 23 working from home, and others changing shift times or adding social distancing and sanitation measures while in the office.
- Heard Crossland’s final treasurer’s report, which included a reduction in funds of about $250,000 for February, but looking better so far for March, with a $696,000 check from BPA. The district also anticipates any day to receive $624,000 from FEMA for the final payment for the Okanogan Complex wildfires of 2015.