Okanogan County PUD will open offices daily to the public beginning June 29, 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Mondays through Thursdays (with July 2 closed for the holiday).
The board and staff discussed the schedule changes and other COVID-19 updates at the June 22 board meeting.
Customers are asked to follow state guidelines regarding social distancing and facial coverings. The branch offices in Oroville, Tonasket, Twisp and Brewster will only be able to accommodate one customer at a time with social distancing. Customers are asked to wait outside for their turn. The Okanogan office can accommodate multiple customers at once. Plastic or glass barriers are in place to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 as well.
Offices first opened June 18, after 94 days closed. Although customers have been able to contact staff via phone and email during the closures, some services need in-person meetings. Bill pay and other services are available via phone, email, dropbox or through the SmartHub app or online program. Customers are asked to still use these options when possible.
Customer Service Supervisor Mindy Morris said representatives have been contacting those customers who are behind in bills to help them work on payment arrangements. As of the board meeting, 302 bills were late, representing 155 customers with a total of more than $44,000.
The district began waiving late fees and suspending disconnects due to non-payment in mid-March, before the moratoriums placed by the state in April. Those moratoriums have been extended to July 28.
In other business, the board:
- Authorized the general manager and director of finance, accounting and administration to take all actions needed for the purchase of the Chicken Creek substation property. Chief Engineer Dan Simpson presented a written evaluation of the property, which included less than $5,000 in additional projects to make the substation meet the district’s needs.
- Approved the updated service area agreement between the district and Nespelem Valley Electric Cooperative. The agreement was dated 1970, and the updated agreement affirmed the same boundaries.
- Received a clean audit report from Olga Darlington of Moss Adams, LLP. The annual audit was completed virtually earlier this spring.