By The Vidette Staff
ABERDEEN — Grays Harbor PUD will be changing the locations for pay stations in outlying areas of the county, it was announced last week. Current pay stations located at Image Flowers in Elma, Pick Rite Thriftway in Montesano, Hoquiam Ace Hardware, D&K Grocery in Pacific Beach, Grayland Hardware and the Westport-Grayland Chamber of Commerce will no longer accept payments on behalf of the Grays Harbor PUD effective Nov. 30.
Beginning Monday, Dec. 2, payments can be made at any Anchor Bank location in Grays Harbor County, including Aberdeen, Elma, Hoquiam, Montesano, Ocean Shores and Westport. The change is being made due to increased regulations around personal information related to customer accounts. The Anchor Bank locations will take payments, but won’t have access to PUD customer records.
Previously, the PUD contracted with the local pay stations, which had access to customer records and payment history.
“I had a great ride for 10 or 11 years,” said Luke Bailey of Image Flowers in Elma. “This was my day job — my bread and butter,” he said, noting that he averaged 60 to 65 PUD customers per day and was paid by the PUD to serve as a payment station. He said he was notified of the closure last week via fax.
“I’m just a little disturbed by the way they processed it,” said Bailey. He said after serving the PUD loyally for more than a decade, he felt he deserved some sort of personal contact by PUD officials.
“The district appreciates the relationship and the quality of work that each pay station has provided; however, regulatory requirements have prompted these necessary changes.” said Dave Ward GHPUD general manager in his press release.