Okanogan County PUD commissioners discussed plans for slowly reopening facilities to the public among other business at a May 26 board meeting.
Staff members have adjusted schedules, added sanitation measures, implemented social distancing and in some cases began telecommuting since mid-March to prevent the spread of COVID-19. As the state and counties begin to reopen, the district is now considering what its next steps will be.
Although the district will continue to work a four-day workweek through June, staff are considering opening offices to the public one day each week, starting mid-June. Those who need in-person services could do so, while most customers could still pay bills or make other transactions remotely. At each branch office, plastic or glass barriers are being installed at reception areas to protect staff and customers.
Customer Service Supervisor Mindy Morris said they have 259 accounts currently delinquent, representing a little more than $47,000. Customer service representatives are calling customers weekly to help them chip away at past-due accounts, in whatever amounts they can.
Mail is no longer being held for 72 hours, which had been a measure to reduce the risk of contamination.
Staff and commissioners will continue to work out details for reopening and any other changes needed as pandemic guidelines change. More decisions will be made at the June 8 commissioner meeting.