Master Builder

June 2016

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Page 36 of 63

I n response to concerns voiced by our members, the Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties (MBA) has increased its involvement with various utility districts to build relationships and identify ways to improve business processes beneficial to both their customers and the districts. MBA Increases Involvement with Utility Districts to Improve Processes for Builders BY JENNIFER ANDERSON MASTER BUILDERS ASSOCIATION SOUTH SNOHOMISH COUNTY MANAGER Our members benefit from increased predictability and responsiveness, tighter scheduling timeframes and improved customer service across King and Snohomish county jurisdictions — and utility districts are no exception. Through our efforts with the Snohomish County Public Utility District (PUD), we identified several process and policy improvements: 1 ZERO LOT LINE RESIDENTIAL TOWNHOMES For residential townhomes connected with a firewall, builders are now allowed to install individual meter bases on each unit and individual runs of secondary wire for each to the PUD connection point. The secondary wire will still be owned and maintained by the customer. This advancement allows more design and placement flexibility than when all meters are in one location. 2 OPTION THREE FOR DIRT WORK Developers now have a third option for dirt work and installation of conduit, vaults and grounding. Previously there were two options: either hire PUD or an approved electrical contractor from the PUD's pre-qualified list. This new option allows developers to hire their own dirt contractor to dig and install the conduit, vaults and grounding. After the work is inspected by PUD Line Inspectors, you may backfill the trench. PUD will then schedule a line crew to pull wire, make terminations and install transformers. This option provides better scheduling flexibility for all parties. 3 LETTER OF POWER AVAILABILITY Representatives from the MBA, PUD and Snohomish County Planning and Development Services met and reviewed the "letter of power availability" and the applicable County Code requirements. It was mutually agreed upon that when Option Three for dirt work is being utilized, the PUD will issue the letter of power availability after all PUD requirements have been met, but before PUD line crews have installed wire, transformers, etc. This change will streamline the final plat process and reduce scheduling challenges for the PUD. These process improvements are examples of how the MBA and the Governmental Affairs team are working with local utility districts to create a better building environment. Your participation and regular feedback play an integral role in these successes. If you are interested in becoming more involved in our efforts with various utility districts, contact your local Governmental Affairs Manager. If you don't yet know your local manager, please reach out to us at 37 06.16 master builder government advocacy

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