Board members wrap up year with officer elections & review of major hydro project

Commissioner Garry Arseneault.


WENATCHEE, WA – Commissioner Garry Arseneault will lead Chelan County PUD’s Board of Commissioners as president for 2019. Arsenault, from Wenatchee, is now commission vice president. A retired financial professional, he has served on the PUD board since 2015. He represents customer-owners in District 1 including part of Wenatchee and west and south to the county line. (at 00:15 on the board meeting audio recording)


“It’s an honor to serve, and I look forward to being responsive to our customer-owners, my fellow commissioners and PUD staff,” Arseneault said, following the meeting. “It will be a busy year with much important work ahead of us.”


Commissioner Steve McKenna, now board secretary, will serve as vice president next year. McKenna, a retired educator, lives in Leavenworth. He joined the PUD board in 2017 for a four-year, at-large term.


Commissioner Ann Congdon, Manson, will be secretary in 2019. Congdon, an educator and community volunteer, has served on the PUD commission since 2005.


They will take the new offices at the Jan. 7 commission meeting.


Board members thanked out-going President Dennis Bolz for his, “extreme effort, doggedness and determination,” in leading the commission this year.


In other business, commissioners:

·         Thanked Auditor Stacey Jagla for the good news that Chelan PUD received a clean accountability audit from the state. There were no verbal or written recommendations for any change in procedure, Jagla said. She added that the lead auditor said, “This was the cleanest audit he’d ever been on in his tenure.” (01:18)     

  • Heard the positive report that repairs are complete on one of four large units at Rocky Reach Dam. “This is a major milestone and accomplishment,” said Kirk Hudson, Generation and Transmission managing director. Lessons learned will speed long-term repairs of the same design flaw on the other three, said Scott Tidd, project manager. The discovery of a crack in a “servo rod” of one of the large units in 2013 launched the project. Long-term repairs on C8, now back in service, started in June 2015. Many people helped the project team solve unforeseen issues and overcome challenges, Tidd said. The results are that repairs on the remaining units are estimated to take 14 months and C8 is expected to run reliably for its 30-year design life. (00:20)

·         Thanked Rich Colson, materials specialist, for taking personal ownership to strengthen the PUD’s clean-up response when storms or other events damage distribution transformers and oil spills. Commissioners noted Colson’s “ability to see a need, grab onto the issue, pursue solutions that enhance the work of others and make the District more responsive.” (00:10)

·         Heard that work to determine the extent of erosion at the base of the fish ladder in Tumwater Canyon will close public access to the overlook starting Dec. 26. Alene Underwood, Fish and Wildlife manager, said a crew doing field work in the area reported the condition that needs a closer look. Contractors will drill core samples next week to help determine what repairs are needed over the winter before high spring flows and adult salmon and steelhead start moving up the Wenatchee River.

·         Learned that protection of customer information remains strong. Erik Wahlquist, general counsel, said there were no “red flag” incidents and no fraudulent payments for the year. Even stronger protection for customers from identity theft are coming next year with installation of the new customer information system, he said.  (00:17)

·         Approved moving ahead with rehabbing a fifth unit in Rock Island Powerhouse 1 under the contract for units B5-10. Contractors expect to return B-7 to service in July. B5 is likely the next unit to be rehabbed. (01:27)


Upcoming events:

·         Dec. 24 – PUD lobbies will close at 1 p.m. on Christmas Eve

·         Dec. 25 – Christmas, offices closed

·         Jan. 1 – New Year’s Day, offices closed

·         Jan. 7 – Commission meeting, 10 a.m., boardroom

·         Jan. 19 – Multicultural Festival, 10 a.m. Wenatchee Valley Museum & Cultural Center

·         Jan. 21 – Commission meeting, 10 a.m., boardroom

·         Jan. 25 – PUD Night at the Wild, 7 p.m., Town Toyota Center

·         Feb. 4 – Commission meeting, 10 a.m., boardroom



The next regular PUD commission meeting is at 10 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 7, in the boardroom at 327 N. Wenatchee Ave.


Chelan PUD records most commission meetings, and a link to the audio is available on the PUD’s home page at Find us at and follow us on Twitter @ChelanPUD.

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