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January February 2008 Wells Res, Rural Development

January February 2008

Wells Reservoir

In December your Douglas County PUD Commission adopted changes to the Administrative Rules Governing Docks and Piers. The revised policy will limit new boat docks or piers on District-owned land around the Wells reservoir to inside the city limits of Pateros, Brewster and Bridgeport.

Concern about the recent increased number of boat dock applications on the Wells reservoir prompted the proposed amendment to the boat dock policy. In the last 18 months, the District received more boat dock applications than the number of boat docks placed in rural areas of the reservoir over the last 40 years. Summer/fall Chinook rear in the reservoir and slowly migrate to the ocean. Studies show that predator fish, such as smallmouth bass, congregate around docks and piers. Docks and piers also provide velocity refuge for pikeminnow. With the proliferation of boat docks and because of the increased opportunity for predation, Douglas PUD biologists became concerned that the District might not be able to meet the no-net-impact (NNI) standards in the Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP).

At each regularly scheduled PUD Commission Meeting since this issue was presented in October, the Commission carefully and thoroughly considered the comments and information received. They discussed the benefits of the Wells Project for the people of Douglas and Okanogan counties and how this decision protects the right to generate electricity at the Project. The ability to operate the Wells Hydroelectric Project in compliance with the legal requirements of the Habitat Conservation Plan and the Wells Project license was their paramount consideration.

Rural Development

Douglas County PUD Commission, acting as the Board of the Electric Utility Rural Economic Development Revolving Fund, considered $149,712 in requests from 10 Douglas County entities. According to RCW 82.16, Douglas PUD is able to receive a revenue tax credit in the amount of $25,000 when it provides funding to rural communities for projects "designed to achieve job creation or business retention, to add or upgrade non-electrical infrastructure, to add or upgrade health and safety facilities, to accomplish energy and water use efficiency improvements, including renewable energy development, or to add or upgrade emergency services" up to a maximum of $50,000. The Board of the Electric Utility Rural Economic Development Revolving Fund approved the following eight grants:

   Douglas County Courthouse inner door refurbishment $ 3,930.12

   Do. Co. Fire Dist. 1 Radio repeater 4,500.00

   City of Bridgeport Radio equipment for fire trucks 3,862.40

   Do. Co. Fire Dist. 3 Remote front nozzles on fire engine 8,816.75

   Do. Co. Fire Dist. 5 Fire hose, nozzles, generator and supply pump 7,110.28

   City of Rock Island City Hall energy efficient windows 4,829.00

   Do./Okan. Fire Dist. 15 Automated External Defibrillator (4) 5,575.00

   Douglas County Sheriff Motor for primary patrol vessel 11,376.45