Apr 11, 2018
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In 1929, the Washington State Grange sent the very first initiative to the Legislature, to allow rural communities to form their own publicly owned utilities. This is our story.
In the 1930 election, the measure passed in a landslide.
Mason PUD 3 supporters jumped on board in 1934 calling for a countywide PUD. Mason PUD 1 backers had been working on their own district since 1932.
On November 6, 1934, local voters approved the formation of both districts.
By 1939, PUD 3 had its first eight customers. In 1940, the PUD was serving 318 rural customers.
In 1941, the PUD purchased the local property of West Coast Power Company, which included the Shelton and Kamilche Valley areas. By then there were just over 2,200 PUD 3 customers.
In 1948 the PUD bought out Puget Sound Power and Light properties in the northeastern part of Mason County, adding 1,031 new customers.
As of today, PUD 3 serves nearly 33,000 customers in 600 square miles.
To start out, Mason PUD 3 was powered by Tacoma City Light's Cushman Hydro Project. In 1948, PUD 3 signed up with the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA). PUD customers now get virtually all their electricity from BPA.
There was an effort to create a public utility district (PUD 2) in the Agate area of Mason County (just east of Shelton). Supporters of PUD 2 decided to drop their plans and join the countywide movement to form PUD 3.