Truckee Donner Public Utility District holds final meeting of 2022
TRUCKEE, Calif. – The Truckee Donner Public Utility District Board of Directors held its last board meeting of the year last Wednesday. The bulk of the meeting dealt with typical year-end tasks, including approval of purchases and contracts for 2023, appointment of the board leadership positions for next year, and approval of the 2023 board meeting schedule. In addition, General Manager Brian Wright recognized important new hires and promotions and shared that the district had recently been recognized for its performance on safety.
The district’s procurement process is done on an annual basis and defines the way in which the TDPUD obtains critical goods, services, and equipment needed to operate, maintain and modernize the electric and water utilities. For 2023, the board approved $10.9 million in annual procurements.
Following district code, a competitive procurement process must be utilized for most purchases and contract awards, in order to secure the most favorable terms and prices for TDPUD ratepayers. The board must approve all purchases over $15,000, but even for purchases less than that amount, the district still utilizes a competitive procurement process. In some instances where the product or service needed is too specialized to benefit from a bidding process, the district may negotiate directly with vendors or consultants on contract terms.
While procurements are utilized by every department, the district clerk’s office oversees the execution of this process and was responsible for the completion of more than 100 procurements this year. Chief Financial Officer Mike Salmon gave special recognition to District Clerk Shanna Kuhlemier and Contract Administrator Regina Cooley for their diligent work on this immense undertaking that is critical to the smooth operation of the TDPUD.
Wright also shared some important staffing updates for the electric department. He announced the hiring of Daniel Price as the TDPUD’s new electric operations manager, as well as the promotion of Cody Laplaca to assistant electric operations manager. Price comes to the district with more than 40 years of experience in the electric utility industry working up from a lineman position to an experienced trainer and manager. Laplaca, who had been serving as the interim assistant manager for seven months, has been with TDPUD for more than 11 years. He grew up in the foothills and has spent his whole life recreating in Truckee.
Safety is a top priority at the TDPUD, and the district’s efforts to maintain a safe workplace have not gone unnoticed. At the meeting, Wright announced that the president of the Association of California Water Agencies Joint Powers Insurance Authority presented the TDPUD with a special recognition award for safety. ACWA JPIA is a provider of insurance services to public water utilities, and the award recognized the district’s low ratio of claims. While safety on its own is important to prioritize, limited claims have a positive effect on insurance rates, and overall utility operating costs.
Wright and Water Utility Director Chad Reed recognized staff for the completion of the district’s Water SCADA Replacement Project. Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition is a system that is used in industries with automated and remote control of services. This impressive, decade-long project was a collaborative effort between IT, water utility and electric utility staff to replace the existing water utility SCADA with a modern system that is easily customized and expanded to meet the evolving needs of today’s water utility operations.
The final year-end housekeeping items the board acted on were the appointment of board leadership positions and the adoption of the 2023 board meeting calendar. Starting Jan.1, Vice President Jeff Bender will begin his term as board president, and Director Tony Laliotis will become vice president, as was decided via nomination and a unanimous vote by their fellow board members.
TDPUD board meetings are typically held monthly on the first Wednesday of the month, with an additional meeting each quarter. The newly adopted 2023 meeting schedule, as well as additional information about TDPUD board meetings and access to agendas, minutes, live streaming and archived video can be found at tdpud.org/boardmeetings.
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