Citizen Journalist Report: WC Public Utilities District Meeting 3/27/2018

In Cherry Point Industrial Area, Local Government, News by commonnw

Date: Sat, Mar 31, 2018 at 9:33 AM
Subject: 3/27 Whatcom County Public Utilities Dept. (PUD) Meeting

In comment period, WC PUD was asked why they have not supported their customers, Cherry Point Industries, who they serve with process water and one Refinery with electricity, also? This is their business and income and the WC PUD has been absent from the discussion on Whatcom County Council moratoriums placed on Cherry Point improvements.  PUD President and Commissioner, Jeff McClure stated that PUD Manager Steve Jilk would address this.  WC PUD Manager Jilk commented that he had asked the Industries and that they had declined PUD help, and that he had worked with Whatcom Executive Jack Lowes on the issue.

It was raining very steady Tuesday morning and WC PUD was reminded that the Hirst issue was not about well water use ( less than 1% of county water use) but about limiting growth in the county. ( Attorney Stiken had previously made this observation to the commissioners many months before)

Dave Olson (working on a grant to help small water systems in the county, from the WC Health Department through Resource Management for the WC PUD) gave a report on how many hundreds of small water systems there are throughout the county, and used a ‘Google Earth’ system which showed all the water systems in the county, and how they could list out all the pipes, with sizes and valve locations, for continued use as many systems operators were getting elderly. Once this valuable asset leaves, their knowledge and information is often lost.  Dave mentioned that small systems were independent and do not want entanglement with regulations and the loss of their freedom.  Two of the systems had ‘ecoli’ problems in the past.

WC PUD Manager Steve Jilk gave an update on ESSB-6091. He addressed those attending today’s meeting that the WC PUD is represented on all the boards and groups in the county, including the Planning Unit.