Assistant General Manager Kevin Streett leaves JPUD
Assistant General Manager and Electrical Superintendent Kevin Streett has left Jefferson County Public Utility District No. 1 after six years of service. His last day in the office was Thursday October 25.
Streett was instrumental in building the PUD’s electrical service division from the ground up. When he began at the PUD, in November of 2012, Jefferson County’s electrical service was owned and operated by Puget Sound Energy (PSE), who subcontracted service and maintence to the Puyallup based Potelco. The former PSE yard, which the PUD now uses for operations and customer service, was, according to District 3 Commissioner Wayne King, “empty,” containing “not even a screwdriver.”
As the PUD’s first electrical employee, Streett was responsible for building the division: ordering equipment, supplies and vehicles; and recruiting, hiring, and training new employees. “Kevin Streett built this utility from scratch,” said King. “There’s not a lot of people who could have done that. We were very lucky to get him.”
It was a job for which Streett was uniquely made. The son of a nuclear engineer, and a lifelong electrical worker, Streett began his career working on line crews during summers off from college at Boise State. He then travelled the world working on transmission and distributions projects for various contractors before settling in as Operations Manager first at Overton Power District in Nevada, and then Navopache Electrical Co-op in Arizona.
During his tenure at Jefferson PUD, Streett worked hard to update and modernize the county’s aging electrical infrastructure. “Some of equipment I came across here, I had never seen before, and I began in this business in the 1980’s. We had, we still have, switches and transformers and meters from the 1960’s, earlier even. We’ve replaced a lot, but there’s still more to do.”
According to General Manager Larry Dunbar, one of Streett’s biggest upgrades to electrical service in Jefferson County was the installation of a Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system, which has improved the PUD’s electrical reliability and allowed the crew to restore service rapidly and remotely from the operations center during outages. “It’s a really impressive system for a district of this size,” said Dunbar.
Streett served as Interim General Manager for the PUD between Jim Parker’s departure in October of 2017 and Larry Dunbar’s hiring in April of 2018. Streett’s tenure as Interim GM was admittedly difficult. Not only did Streett have to deal with what became a contentious and controversial meter replacement campaign, as well as electric and water rate increases, he remained in charge of keeping the county’s lights and power on.
“Most days he came in before 6 am and on good days he went home by 6 pm,” said Annette Johnson, Executive Assistant and Public Records Officer, who was hired the same year as Streett. “If there was an outage, Kevin would be here around the clock. He was absolutely dedicated to this PUD and will be sorely missed.”
When asked why he was departing, Streett, who’s been in the electrical business for over 40 years replied that “it was time,” and that he planned to spend the next few weeks helping move his mother and taking a road trip to visit his sons.