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Shelton Mason County Journal
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Mason County Journal
News of Mason County, WA
July 10, 2014     Shelton Mason County Journal
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July 10, 2014

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Thursday, July 10, 2014 - Mason County Journal - Page A-11 C 5helton ponders off-leash dog park By GORDON WEEKS gordon@masoncoun com Where should dogs be allowed to frolic off-leash in Shelton? Everyone is invited to share their ideas when the city parks advisory committee meets at 6 p.m. Monday at the Shelton Civic Center, 525 W. Cota St. For the past year, the city of Shelton's Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee has discussed develop- ing an off-leash dog park in the Shelton IF YOU 60: area. Pets are not al- lowed in city parks. WHAT: City of Shelton Parks Owners can walk Advisory Committee meeting their dogs on leashes on the city's Huff 'n' WHEN: 6 p.m. Monday Pufftrails on Shelton WHERE: 525 W. Cota St. Springs Read. FOR MORE INFORMATION: 432- The city has no 1o- 5194 cation in mind, said Mark Ziegler, direc- tor of the Shelton Parks and Recreation Department. The closest dog park is in northeast Thurston Coun- ty, a 5-acre site that formerly served as part of the land- fill in the Hawk's Prairie area. The fenced park has separate sections for big and small dogs, water stations and waste receptacles, and costs about $15,000 a year to maintain, Ziegler said. Grants, fundraising campaigns and in-kind dona- tions such as fence building are some of the ways the city can get the money to lease or buy land for an off- leash dog park, he said. contmuedfrompageA-lO customers have made in the utility." The Washington state Audi- tor's Office focuses on two gen- eral areas during its auditing work -- financial audits and ac- countability audits. The accountability audit measures how well the district complied with state laws as well as its own policies and proce- dures. The state auditor's office specifically examined on-call contracts, credit card expendi- tures, travel expenditures and third-party cash receipting for 2013. "The areas examined were those representing the highest risk of noncompliance, misap- propriation or misuse," the au- dit report states. "In the area's we examined, the district's in- ternal controls were adequate to safeguard public assets." The financial audit examined the PUD's finances in detail for 2013. That year, the district's to- tal revenue was $55.3 million, an increase of $4.3 million from 2012. The majority of that in- crease came from a $4.1 million increase in utility sales, despite a decrease in PUD customers' electricity consumption. Much of that increase was caused by PUD 3 rate increases, according to the auditor's report. In May 2012 and April 2013 the PUD raised rates 3 percent with a 10 cent per day daily sys- tem charge increase. In February 2014, the Mason County PUD 3 Board of Com- mission approved an additional rate increase of 4 percent with a 10 cent per day system charge increase. The PUD needed to raise rates to account for increases in wholesale power costs from the Bonneville Power Administra- tion (BPA), which supplies much of the PUD's power, Creekpaum said. BPA's most recent rate in- crease went into effect in Octo- ber 2013, and included a 9 per- cent increase for wholesale pow- er and an 11 percent increase for power transmission. More BPA rate increases are likely in the future, Creekpaum said. She added that BPA raised rates partly to cover capital improvements, such as mainte- nance on its facilities. "Now we're feeling those ef- fects," she said. Initiative 937, which Wash- ington voters passed in 2006 and requires the PUD to pur- chase renewable energy, has also contributed to the need for PUD rate increases, Creekpaum said. Total PUD 3 expenses in- creased by $2.2 million from 2012 to 2013. Despite the fact that the PUD's total revenue exceeded total expenses by $2.1 million, the PUD's net position -- the value of its assets minus its li- abilities -- decreased by $2.4 million in 2013. The decrease was caused pri- marily by a correction the PUD made to how it calculates the de- preciation of its assets. Creekpaum said it was an accounting issue. In 1998, the PUD changed to a new account- ing system, and calculated the depreciation of its assets then. "We found just this year we had to do a correction of that de- preciation," she said. The correction resulted in a decrease of the PUD's net po- sition of $4.5 million, which caused the overall decrease in its position for 2013. PUD 3 has also received nine consecutive Certificates of Ex- cellence in Financial Reporting from the International Govern- ment Finance Officers Associa- tion of the U.S. & Canada. The PUD was certified as a di- amond level utility in this year's Reliable Public Power Provider designation from the American Public Power Association. PUD 3 is among 184 of the nation's more than 2,000 public power utilities to earn the recog- nition and one of 29 to reach the diamond level. con nuedfrompageA-3 The owner is a Montesano woman vchose sister, Edith Williams, left her the house, Birk said. Relatives have been re- moving items for weeks, but it was filled with garbage when it was leveled. "They had 20 years, approximately, to take care of this," Birk said. Neighbors watched the demolition with elation, and photographed the event. 'This is better than Christmas," said Bill Gale, who has lived across the alley from the house for40 years. For the last 30 years, the house has been a "drug hangout, an eyesore -- it didn't do anything for the neighborhood," he said. Davey Dally and his family have lived next door for three years. He once watched a Shelton Police officer tackle a youth he was chasing from the house. When relatives of the owner asked Dally to peek inside to see whether he wanted any items in the house, he saw light streaming through the fireplace. "A stiff breeze could knock that over," Dally said. Now, "I won't have to worry about that chimney falling down, or the house being on fire," he said. In 2012, the city created what it calls a "streamlined, proactive process" to deal with derelict structures using the hear- ings examiner instead of the court sys- tem. The city also passed an ordinance that strengthens its staffs ability to cite structures as public nuisances by mak- ing those types of nuisances a civil in- fraction. In deciding which structures to de- molish, the city considers the size of the nuisance, its visual impact, the cost of the abatement, the likelihood of the property owner addressing the issue and the likelihood a private owner will rede- velop the site. Journal photo by Gordon Weeks The owners left behind a house strewn with garbage. The city in April issued contracts for about $16,000 to demolish the Washington Street house and a 660-square-foot mobile home at 611 Fairmount Ave. as part of its abatement program. The two structures were on the city's top 10 list on unsafe, derelict buildings targeted for abatement. Call For Details and Pricing to Other Areas www.kennedycreekquarry.com New Patient Special Exam & X-Rays With Coupon Shelton Dental Center Expires 7/31/2014 I I I I I .J DENTAL (360) 861-8318/410 West Main Street, Elma WA 98541 www. Elma FamilyDental.com CENTER (360) 426-8401 / 360.GO.BRUSH (462-7874) www.SheltonDentalCenter.com 1829 Jefferson Street Shelton WA, 98584 .J