North Mason Community Voice

June 28, 2010

Board: Lee Swoboda, Ralph Lartz, Jack Kimball, Margie Benson, Kaye Massie, Ken VanBuskirk, Judy Scott, Greg Waggett

Directors not present: Linnie Griffin, Jim Clark, Randy Neatherlin

Attendees: 49

The business meeting was called to order at 7:00 PM.

The Pledge of Allegiance was said and everyone introduced themselves.

Secretary's Report - Linnie Griffin

• Since Linnie was not at the meeting, Mary Swoboda summarized the minutes of the previous meeting, then a motion was made to approve the minutes. The motion was seconded and passed unanimously.

Treasurer's Report - Jack Kimball

• All bills are paid and there is $1610.04 in the bank account.

Public Information Officer (PIO) Report - Ken VanBuskirk

• Attended several Belfair Water District meetings. The meeting time has changed to 6 PM. The regular monthly meeting is the second Tuesday of the month.

• The League of Women Voters of Mason County has done a new study of the county budget.

• Attended a Port of Allyn meeting.

• On June 19, a Gold Star banner was placed for Staff Sgt. Joseph Kane. It will be permanently displayed on a pole near Les Schwab. This is part of the Blue Star Program.

• Talked to the WSDOT engineer in charge of the Belfair bypass. The proviso report has been sent to the Legislature. It will be posted on July 15.

• An informal meet-and-greet of political candidates is scheduled for the July 26 Community Voice meeting.

The complete PIO report is attached to these minutes.


In accordance with the Bylaws, Board officers are elected by the Board.

Nominations for officers: Margie nominated Lee Swoboda for Chair. Greg nominated Ralph Lartz for Vice Chair. Ken nominated Linnie Griffin for Secretary. Margie nominated Jack Kimball for Treasurer. Greg nominated Ken VanBuskirk for PIO. There were no other nominations made.

A motion was made to approve the slate of candidates by acclamation. The motion was seconded and passed unanimously.

GUEST SPEAKER – Public Utility District #1

PUD 1 Commissioner Karl Denison, General Manager Steve Taylor, Director of Operations-Water Jocelyn Gray and their attorney. (http://masonpud1.org/index.html)

• PUD 1 was the first PUD in Washington State, created in 1934.

• In addition to electrical, PUD 1 also handles water and sewer systems. They manage 33 water systems in Jefferson County and Mason County. There are about 1,700 water system customers; 200 are in the North Mason area. Long-range plans include tying several water systems together, especially in the Union area. The State says the water systems must be physically connected to make them one system.

• PUD 1 is nonprofit with 24/7 customer service. It is a $30 million company with a $7 million annual budget and 22 employees. It is governed by three commissioners. PUD 1 is proud of their excellent customer service.

• PUD 1 helps small communities manage their water systems. PUD 1 is willing to manage a system for up to 2 years, but then the community group needs to decide to turn ownership over to PUD 1. The rates are set based on what it costs to operate each system.

• PUD 1 has declined taking over some water systems because they require too much upgrading, which would result in burdening their other customers.

• PUD 1 works hand-in-hand with PUD 3.

• The Department of Health and the Department of Ecology provide oversight to PUD 1.

• Most of the private water systems were given to PUD 1 to manage. PUD 1 has a MOU (Memorandum Of Understanding) with the county so people can deal directly with PUD 1.

• The Hoodsport water system was the first system PUD 1 took control of. The Health Department had tagged it and the owner was unresponsive. The court granted PUD 1 ownership of the system. PUD 1 then acquired government grants to upgrade the system.

• PUDs have condemnation rights.

• Resources for funding are drying up. USDA Rural Development loans are now 4.5% to 5% and getting harder to come by.

• Eventually all water systems will be metered (the State mandates it in 7 years).


A member observed that in the five years since the NM Community Voice was formed, there has been a quorum of the Board at every meeting.

Reminder: Voice meetings have been changed to the fourth Monday of each month. The next meeting is Monday, July 26, and a “meet-and-greet the candidates” is scheduled.

Meeting adjourned 8:14 PM.

Submitted by Linnie Griffin. Approved by NMCV Board 7/26/2010.


PIO Report, June 28, 2010
Ken VanBuskirk

Attended several water district meetings. The water district commissioners have approved a rate hike of $10/month effective in July with another $10/month effective next July. They have now changed their meeting times back to the evening, 6 PM on the second Tuesday of the month.

The LOWVMC (League of Women Voters of Mason County) have launched a new study group for Mason County. Looking at several advisory boards and commissions of the County, one of which is the LTAC (Lodging Tax Advisory Committee), which meeting I also attended.

Attended a Port of Allyn meeting in regards to new water system.

On June 19 the gold star banner was placed for Sgt. Joseph Kane. Congressman Norm Dicks and Senator Tim Sheldon both talked. The banner will be on display permanently down by Les Schwab.

Attended the PAC (Planning Advisory Commission) meeting. There are vacancies on this committee. If interested, you need to live in Districts 1 or 3.

Attended the Chamber of Commerce luncheon last week. Tom Moore of Mason County gave an update on the sewer project and Belfair Water District manager Dave Tipton talked briefly. He mentioned that the widening project/water line project is $5 million.

Last week the sewer contractor broke the H2O mainline down where they have found the contaminated soil. I called the hotline the following morning and was told the website would be updated when information came available. I also called the water district and was assured the system had been flushed. Don’t know if the water was tested.

Talked this afternoon to the DOT engineer in charge of the bypass. He told me that the proviso report has been sent to the Legislature and that it will be up on website by July 15th. He also told me that they could start the environmental work as soon as this Thursday as it has been allocated. Might be some good questions to ask our elected officials as they hit the campaign trail.

Upcoming meetings.

Tomorrow night, 6 PM. at the North Mason School District admin office will be the Mason County Commissioner fifth Tuesday meeting. Topic: Belfair sewer policies and rates!

Belfair Water District meeting July 13 at 6 PM.

Next month’s Voice meeting we are planning to invite any/all candidates for office to our meeting for an informal meet and greet.