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Board Meeting Minutes

January 26, 2017

MINUTES OF REGULAR MEETING OF DIRECTORS

The regular meeting of Directors of Northwest Rural Public Power District (NRPPD) was held in the Conference Room of the District January 26, 2017 at 1:00 PM.

The meeting was called to order by the president, Lee Ahrens.  Directors who answered the roll call were Bruce Troester, Lee Ahrens, Wayne Cobb, Terry Terrell, Robert Rickenbach, and Gary Fuchser. Mike Van Buskirk was absent.

Also present were Chance Briscoe, manager; Arlene Lahaye, office manager; Russ Reichenberg, line superintendent; Les Tlustos, member services; Terry Curtiss, District Counsel; and Matt Anderson, employee.

The Open Meeting Law posting was acknowledged.

All votes are unanimous upon a roll call vote unless noted.

A motion was made by Robert Rickenbach, duly seconded by Bruce Troester accept the order of business as published and supplemented at this meeting; motion carried.

A motion was made by Wayne Cobb, duly seconded by Gary Fuchser, that the minutes of the meetings held December 15, 2016 be approved as published and provided to all directors on January 19th; motion carried.

The Board reviewed the Check Register and Payroll Summary for the month of December.

The Oath of Office was read and signed by Gary Fuchser, Terry Terrell, and Bruce Troester as duly elected directors at the General Election held in November of 2016.

At 1:05PM Lee Ahrens requested Terry Curtiss act as President Pro Tem for the election of board president. A motion was made by Bruce Troester, duly seconded by Terry Terrell to nominate Wayne Cobb for President. A motion was made by Gary Fuchser, duly seconded by Bruce Troester to cease nomination and cast a unanimous vote for Wayne Cobb; Lee Ahrens, aye; Bruce Troester, aye, Wayne Cobb, abstain; Robert Rickenbach, Gary Fuchser, aye; and Terry Terrell, aye; motion carried.

Terry Curtiss turned the meeting over to Wayne Cobb at 1:10 PM.

A motion was made by Bruce Troester, duly seconded by Gary Fuchser to keep the rotation and elect officers as follows: 

Vice President    Bruce Troester

Secretary           Robert Rickenbach

Treasurer           Terry Terrell

A motion was made by Robert Rickenbach, duly seconded by Gary Fuchser to cease nominations an cast a unanimous vote; motion unanimously carried.

A motion was made by Bruce Troester, duly seconded by Terry Terrell to nominate Gary Fuchser for Assistant Treasurer. A motion was made by Robert Rickenbach, duly seconded by Lee Ahrens to cease nomination and cast a unanimous vote for Gary Fuchser; motion carried.

A motion was made by Robert Rickenbach, duly seconded by Terry Terrell to appoint Arlene Lahaye as recording secretary; motion carried.

A motion was made by Robert Rickenbach, duly seconded by Bruce Troester to nominate Gary Fuchser as the Tri-State representative for Northwest Rural Public Power District. A motion was made by Terry Terrell, duly seconded by Bruce Troester to cease nominations and elect Gary Fuchser as NRPPD’s Tri-State representative; motion carried.

A motion was made by Robert Rickenbach, duly seconded by Lee Ahrens to nominate Terry Terrell as NRPPD’s NREA Director and voting delegate. A motion was made by Robert Rickenbach, duly seconded by Lee Ahrens to cease the nominations and elect Terry Terrell as the NREA Director; motion carried.

Chance discussed the notice received regarding the resignation of Mike Van Buskirk from the Board. Chance will create a form for interested applicants to submit to the Board for consideration. NRPPD will publish a notice of the Board seat vacancy in local newspapers and post the vacancy on NRPPD’s Facebook page.

Chance reviewed the Financial Goals Policy. A discussion was held on what level the Equity Ratio percent level should be set with action to be taken at a later date.

Chance reviewed the proposed Safety Policy, a discussion was held. A motion was made by Lee Ahrens, duly seconded by Gary Fuchser to approve the proposed Safety Policy; motion carried.

Ron Olson joined the meeting at 1:47 PM.

Chance reviewed the proposed DG 2017 Non-Firm Irrigation less than 50 kW Rate. A motion was made by Robert Rickenbach, duly seconded by Terry Terrell to approve the proposed rate; motion carried.

Arlene reviewed the December financial reports, and Chance reviewed the load charts for December.  A discuss was held on the year to date costs of purchased power and the revenue from the kWh sales. A motion was made by Bruce Troester, duly seconded by Gary Fuchser to accept the December financial reports; motion carried.

Russ reviewed the Safety Statistics for December.  The Safety Report was discussed including injuries, and the non-NRPPD personnel incidents, and property damage. The training for the month was also discussed. The preliminary Agenda for the February 9th Safety Meeting was reviewed. A motion was made by Gary Fuchser, duly seconded by Robert Rickenbach to accept the December Safety Report; motion carried.

Ron also updated the Board that the Gordon Substation upgrade. A walk through has been done with Tri-State personnel and Kevin Groves, NRPPD’s engineer. A third party inspection and testing will be done during the Week of February 13th.   

Ron informed the Board that the position of Line Superintendent will be posted and he hopes to have that position filled by March.

Russ reviewed the December Outage Report. During the month of December approximately 80% of the outages occurred during the blizzard on December 25th and 26th. NRPPD estimated that approximately 1500 customers lost power at some point during the storm.

The Board was informed that the Hazard Mitigation Plan has been submitted to NEMA for their review. 

Chance stated that the solar project is ongoing. Innovative Solar LLC plan on a site visit in February to make plans for the lay out of the solar panels.

Chance attended the Tri-State Managers’ Meeting and stated that a rate stability option was discussed.

At the Tri-State Meeting the Regional Transmission Organization, RTO, was discussed and a unanimous vote was cast to proceed with investigation to join the Southwest Power Pool.

Gary Fuchser reported on the Tri-State Meeting he attended and stated that the tentative implementation of the RTO with SPP would be in 2019. 

Items for the February Agenda will be the Financial Goals Policy, Bank change, and Mike Van Buskirk’s Board Resignation.

A motion was made by Gary Fuchser, duly seconded by Terry Terrell to appoint Wayne Cobb as the Voting Delegate to NRECA/NRUCFC Annual Meeting; motion carried.

There being no further business to come before the Board, the president declared the meeting adjourned at 3:25 PM.

Approved:                                                                               Signed:

_______________________________                                              ______________________________

President                                                                                  Secretary

March 2, 2017

MINUTES OF REGULAR MEETING OF DIRECTORS

The regular meeting of Directors of Northwest Rural Public Power District (NRPPD) was held in the Conference Room of the District March 2, 2017 at 1:00 PM.

The meeting was called to order by the president, Wayne Cobb.  Directors who answered the roll call were Bruce Troester, Lee Ahrens, Wayne Cobb, Terry Terrell, Robert Rickenbach, and Gary Fuchser.

Also present were Chance Briscoe, manager; Arlene Lahaye, office manager; Ron Olson, operations manager; Russ Reichenberg, line superintendent; Les Tlustos, member services; Terry Curtiss, District Counsel; and Trampas Belknap, employee.

The Open Meeting Law posting was acknowledged.

All votes are unanimous upon a roll call vote unless noted.

A motion was made by Robert Rickenbach, duly seconded by Gary Fuchser accept the order of business as published and supplemented at this meeting; motion carried.

A motion was made by Terry Terrell, duly seconded by Lee Ahrens, that the minutes of the meeting held January 26, 2017 be approved as published and provided to all directors on February 16th; motion carried.

The Board reviewed the Check Register and Payroll Summary for the month of January.

A motion was made by Gary Fuchser, seconded by Lee Ahrens to accept Mike Van Buskirk’s resignation from the Board of Directors; motion carried. 

A discussion was held on the forms received from applicants interested in serving on NRPPD’s Board. A motion was made by Bruce Troester, duly seconded by Robert Rickenbach to appoint Marcus Sandberg to fill the vacant seat until the next General Election in 2018; motion carried.

Irrigation Load Control was discussed along with the number of hours controlled 2008 – 2012, compared to 2016. Chance reviewed the proposed 2017 Load Control Program and rates. A motion was made by Lee Ahrens, duly seconded by Gary Fuchser to accept the proposed 2017 Irrigation Load Control Program and associated rates.

Trampas Belknap reviewed the changes to Policy 100 Avian Protection. A motion was made by Bruce Troester, duly seconded by Robert Rickenbach to approve the revisions to Policy 100, Avian Protection; motion carried.

Chance reviewed Policy 500, Customer Deposits. A discussion followed and a motion was made by Lee Ahrens, duly seconded by Robert Rickenbach to approve Policy 500, Customer Deposits; motion carried.

Chance reviewed Policy 501, Fees. A discussion followed with a motion being made by Bruce Troester, duly seconded by Gary Fuchser to approve Policy 501, Fees; motion carried.

A discussion was held on the Financial Goals Policy and what level the Equity Ratio percent level should be set with action to be taken at a later date.

Chance reviewed the change of Bank options with the Board and a discussion followed. A motion was made by Gary Fuchser, duly seconded by Terry Terrell to stay with Security First Bank. Lee Ahrens, nay; Bruce Troester, nay; Wayne Cobb, aye; Robert Rickenbach, nay; Gary Fuchser, aye; Terry Terrell, aye; motion failed due to lack of a majority vote, therefore bank will stay status quo.

Arlene reviewed the January financial reports, and Chance reviewed the load charts for January.  A discuss was held Substation SCADA information for January 2016 and January 2017. A motion was made by Robert Rickenbach, duly seconded by Gary Fuchser to accept the January financial reports; motion carried.

Russ reviewed the Safety Statistics for January.  The Safety Report was discussed including injuries, non-NRPPD personnel incidents, and property damage. The training for the month was also discussed. The preliminary Agenda for the March 9th Safety Meeting was reviewed. A motion was made by Robert Rickenbach, duly seconded by Lee Ahrens to accept the January Safety Report; motion carried.

Russ reviewed the January Outage Report. The total outage time was less than the previous months.

Wayne read Thank You Notes from a two customers on restoring their power during the December storms.

Ron informed the Board that the Gordon Substation was online as of March 2nd.  Ron informed the Board that the position of Line Superintendent will be posted next week and hopes to have that position filled with in the next few weeks.

Les reported on the Scholarship applications that NRPPD received. The applications were reviewed by the committee and three students were chosen. Les will notify all three students that their applications were selected.

The Board was informed that NRPPD has received funds from NEMA for the Hazard Mitigation Plan. Their payment covers approximately 75% of the total expenses budgeted for the plan.

The 2016 Annual Report was reviewed. Chance reviewed graphs on the 2016 revenue and usage for residential, industrial and irrigation rate classes. Graphs on cents/kWh 2009-2015 and 2016 versus 2016 Budget were also viewed and discussed.

Ron reviewed the 2016 irrigation usage history by counties and irrigation types.

Russ reviewed the 2016 Safety Report and discussed the Safety Objectives for 2016. Russ also reviewed the construction for 2016. There was a total of $1.7 million construction dollars spent.

Chance reviewed the Gordon Substation Upgrade Project estimated costs versus the actual costs.

Russ reviewed the 2016 Inventory Handling results, which went well with only 1.67% of total annual inventory mishandled.

Les reviewed the consumer services report for 2016. Some of the activities that occurred during 2016 were the Tri-State/Touchstone advertising matching funds, Ag in the Class Room, Youth Energy Camp, Youth Tour and the Tri-State and Basin Scholarships awarded to students in NRPPPD’s service territory. Les also updated the Board on changes that have been made to NRPPD’s Web Page.  

Chance stated that the solar project is ongoing. Innovative Solar LLC visited our site next to the office, took measurements and is beginning the layout design of the solar system. NRPPD hopes to start ordering transformers soon, and a land lease agreement between NRPPD and Innovative has been tentatively agreed to by both parties.

There has been quite a bit of activity at the Nebraska Legislature regarding Net Metering, Retail Choice, and Community Solar.  Chance informed the Board that he is included with a group of mangers in the western portion of the state that have a weekly call with Senator Steve Erdmann to discuss the activities of the legislature.

Topics at the NREA Manager’s meeting included the JT&S program, rural broadband, the Goss study and retail choice, presentation by David Bracht of the Nebraska Energy Office, and a discussion regarding a study by NPA on the “Value of Public Power in Nebraska”. 

The Tri-State Contract and Rate Committee’s focus was on continuation of alternative contract structures, patronage capital credit retirements, PURPA, and SPP. The one lingering issue on the Rate Committee is the Standby Rate.

Gary Fuchser reported on the Tri-State Meeting he attended and stated that talks continue on the joining the SPP. 

Year-end margins are approximately $31 million, which is below budget during a difficult year for member sales.

Robert Rickenbach reported on the Safety Meeting he attended. Tim Flick, Nebraska State Patrol, gave an Active Shooter Training presentation to the group. Bob also attended the NREA Board Meeting and Legislative Event, and reported on the Bills that have been introduced in the Nebraska Legislature that may affect the rural utilities.

Terry Terrell also reported on the NREA Board Meeting and Legislative Event. Terry attended the Directors Update Program “Strategic Technologies and Their Impact on the PPD/Cooperative”.

Items for the March Agenda will be the Financial Goals Policy, and seat Marcus Sandberg on the NRPPD Board.

The March meeting date was scheduled for March 28th.

A motion was made by Robert Rickenbach, duly seconded by Bruce Troester to appoint Gary Fuchser as the Voting Delegate and Terry Terrell as the Alternate to Tri-State Annual Meeting; motion carried.

A motion was made by Gary Fuchser, duly seconded by Terry Terrell to appoint Arlene Lahaye as the Voting Delegate At the CRC Meeting during the CFC Forum; motion carried.

There being no further business to come before the Board, the president declared the meeting adjourned at 5:02 PM.

Approved:                                                                                 Signed:

_______________________________                                              ______________________________

President                                                                                  Secretary

 

March 28, 2017

MINUTES OF REGULAR MEETING OF DIRECTORS

(Unapproved)

The regular meeting of Directors of Northwest Rural Public Power District (NRPPD) was held in the Conference Room of the District March 28, 2017 at 1:00 PM.

The meeting was called to order by the president, Wayne Cobb.  Directors who answered the roll call were Bruce Troester, Lee Ahrens, Wayne Cobb, Terry Terrell, Robert Rickenbach, and Gary Fuchser.

Also present were Chance Briscoe, manager; Arlene Lahaye, office manager; Ron Olson, operations manager; Russ Reichenberg, line superintendent; Les Tlustos, member services; Terry Curtiss, District Counsel; Marcus Sandberg, incoming director; Brandon Blair, DeCoria, Maichel, Teague, Certified Public Accountants; Tony Hindman and Shellie Decker, employees.

The Open Meeting Law posting was acknowledged.

All votes are unanimous upon a roll call vote unless noted.

A motion was made by Robert Rickenbach, duly seconded by Gary Fuchser accept the order of business as published and supplemented at this meeting; motion carried.

A motion was made by Lee Ahrens, duly seconded by Terry Terrell, that the minutes of the meeting held March 2, 2017 be approved as corrected; motion carried.

The Board reviewed the Check Register and Payroll Summary for the month of January.

The Oath of Office was read and signed by Marcus Sandberg as duly appointed director by the NRPPD Board of Directors.

Brandon reviewed the 2016 Audit Report that his firm completed. Brandon discussed the audit adjusting entries and the reclassification entries with the Board. A motion was made by Gary Fuchser, seconded by Terry Terrell to accept the 2016 Audit Report with Resolution 1-2017: motion carried.

RESOLUTION 1-2017

Acceptance of Audit Report

WHEREAS, a report of the audit of this District’s books of account and related records for the calendar year of 2016, made by DeCoria, Maichel, Teague, Certified Public Accountants, was presented to and received by the Board of Directors of the District;

and

WHEREAS, the Directors find the report completed, in sufficient detail, and otherwise satisfactory; now therefore be it hereby

RESOLVED, that the Directors of the Northwest Rural Public Power District accept the

audit report as presented; said report covering the audit report as presented; said report for the calendar year of 2016; and

BE IT FUTHER RESOLVED, that a copy of said report be filed in Minutes Exhibit Book.

Brandon left the meeting at 1:49 PM.

A discussion was held on the Financial Goals Policy. Chance will bring recommendations for the Financial Goals Policy to the next meeting.

Tony addressed the Board concerning cyber security. He explained the RC3 Program, Rural Cooperative Cyber Security Capabilities Program, through NRECA. The program provides tools to test and protect ourselves at a reasonable cost. A motion was made by Robert Rickenbach, seconded by Gary Fuchser to approve the RC3 Program with the following resolution:

 

RESOLUTION 2-2017

Cyber Security

RESOLVED, that the Board of Directors of the Northwest Rural Public Power District, on the recommendation and advice of staff, hereby endorses Northwest Rural Public Power District’s participation in NRECA’s Rural Cooperative Cyber Security Capabilities Program (RC3)

BE IT FUTHER RESOLVED, that a copy of said report be filed in Minutes Exhibit Book.

Arlene reviewed the February financial reports, and Chance reviewed the load charts for February.  A motion was made by Robert Rickenbach, seconded by Lee Ahrens to accept the February financial reports; motion carried.

Russ reviewed the Safety Statistics for February.  The Safety Report was discussed including injuries and property damage. The training for the month was also discussed. The preliminary Agenda for the April Safety Meeting was reviewed. A motion was made by Robert Rickenbach, duly seconded by Terry Terrell to accept the February Safety Report; motion carried.

Russ reviewed the February Outage Report. Russ discussed the outages the Crow Butte and Gordon Substations, and the outage that was a caused by our power supplier.

Les informed the Board that NRPPD will be co-sponsoring the Lineman’s Rodeo in Alliance. Les has contacted the Guidance Counselors at the Crawford, Chadron, Hay Springs, and Gordon/Rushville with the offer of taking any student that may be interested in a career as a lineman to Alliance to see what is involved in a Lineman Career.  

Ron discussed with the Board the Gordon Substation outages on March 7th and March 11th. Ron stated that the Independent Inspector will be coming up to further test the Gordon Substation.

A brief discussion was held on the secondary wire that NRPPD owns on irrigation services. NRPPD has been looking at the cost and possibilities of discontinuing providing the wire from the transformer pole to the irrigation panel.

Chance stated that the solar project is ongoing. The investor’s attorney is currently reviewing the Purchased Power Agreement.

Chance continues to participate in weekly calls with Senator Erdmann, which are helping to foster a good relationship between our rural utilities and the senator. Most of the bills that NREA opposed this year were killed in committee, including retail choice, net metering, and community solar gardens.

The Tri-State Rate Committee reviewed the newly proposed LDR-1 (Load Development and Retention Service), presentation by the rate consultant group, and a long discussion about the Standby Rate. Ultimately the committee passed to approve all the discussed rates to be recommended as proposed to the full board.

The Fed has increased interest rates by a quarter percent at their last meeting. With that in mind management will be recommending to advance from our PowerVision facility with CFC to lock in rates prior to the additional increases.

Tony left the meeting at 3:15 PM.

Gary Fuchser reported on the Tri-State Meeting he attended. Tri-State will be holding their 65th Annual Meeting April 5th and 6th.

Tri-State’s 2016 audit has been completed and a clean audit opinion was issued.

Retired Fitch analyst Alan Spen provided the board with an in-depth review of credit rating issues. Spen provided an overview of the credit rating process. The evolving nature of rating agencies, an assessment of Tri-State’s current credit worthiness and Tri-State specific challenges.

Items for the April Agenda will be the Financial Goals Policy, and recommended terms on PowerVision advance.

Terry Terrell will plan to attend the NREA Meeting in Norfolk. Bruce Troester would like to attend the CFC Training in Kearney.

Robert Rickenbach stated that the Dawes County 4-H Board would like to have two poles set at the Fair Grounds to hang banners from. Ron informed Robert that it has already been taken care off.

There being no further business to come before the Board, the president declared the meeting adjourned at 3:37 PM.

Approved:                                                                                 Signed:

_______________________________                                              ______________________________

President                                                                                  Secretary

 

 

April 26, 2016

 

MINUTES OF REGULAR MEETING OF DIRECTORS

The regular meeting of Directors of Northwest Rural Public Power District (NRPPD) was held in the Conference Room of the District April 26, 2016 at 1:00 PM.

The meeting was called to order by the president, Lee Ahrens.  Directors who answered the roll call were Bruce Troester, Lee Ahrens, Gary Fuchser, Mike Van Buskirk, Wayne Cobb, Terry Terrell, and Robert Rickenbach.

Also present were Chance Briscoe, manager; Arlene Lahaye, office manager; Russ Reichenberg, line superintendent; Ron Housh, planning engineer; Les Tlustos, consumer services; Terry Curtiss, District Counsel; Brad Johnson, employee; Jayden Garrett and Brooke Roes, scholarship recipients.

The Open Meeting Law posting was acknowledged.

All votes are unanimous upon a roll call vote unless noted.

A motion was made by Mike Van Buskirk, duly seconded by Wayne Cobb to amend the order of business as published and delay the Tri-State Resolution and Audit Approval actions until later in the meeting; motion carried.

A motion was made by Mike Van Buskirk, duly seconded by Gary Fuchser, that the minutes of the meeting held March 24, 2016 be approved as published and provided to all directors on March 17th; motion carried.

Les explained the scholarship program that is administered by NRPPD.  Tri-State G & T provides the funds for two $500 scholarships and Basin Electric provides the funds for one $1,000 scholarship.  The recipients’ family must receive their power from NRPPD and all applications are reviewed by a selection committee.  The 2016 scholarships were presented by Lee Ahrens and Les Tlustos. Jayden Garrett received the $1,000 Basin Electric Scholarship, Brooke Roes and John Manning each received a $500 Scholarship from Tri-State G & T. Jayden and Brooke each addressed the Board concerning their future plans and where they will be attending college.

The Board reviewed the Check Register and Payroll Summary for the month of March.

Les informed the board that NRPPD has been contacted by the Hay Springs High School for a donation to replace their existing score board. Les contacted Basin Electric and Basin will match NRPPD’s donation of $1,500. With Basin’s match this will give the School a total of $3,000 towards the cost of their score board. A motion was made by Wayne Cobb, duly seconded by Mike Van Buskirk to donate $1,500 with the Basin match of $1,500 to the HSHS score board project; motion carried.

Chance reviewed the Cost of Service Study and the existing net return on each revenue class. A discussion was held on the rate of return on three phase and single phase irrigation services. Chance also discussed the proposed net revenue return by rate class. A discussion was held concerning the removal of the single phase irrigation from the existing three phase irrigation rate class. A motion was made by Bruce Troester, duly seconded by Wayne Cobb to table the rate discussion until the May meeting; motion carried.

Brandon Blair, from Decoria - Maichel & Teague, joined the meeting at 1:33 PM.  Brandon reviewed the 2015 Audit Report that his firm completed. Brandon identified areas that their firm would like to see done differently and discussed the audit adjusting entries with the Board. A motion was made by Mike Van Buskirk, duly seconded by Gary Fuchser to accept the 2015 Audit Report with Resolution 2-2016: motion carried.

           

RESOLUTION 2-2016

Acceptance of Audit Report

WHEREAS, a report of the audit of this District’s books of account and related records for the calendar year of 2015, made by DeCoria - Maichel  & Teague, Certified Public Accountants, was presented to and received by the Board of Directors of the District;

and

WHEREAS, the Directors find the report completed, in sufficient detail, and otherwise satisfactory; now therefore be it hereby

RESOLVED, that the Directors of the Northwest Rural Public Power District accept the audit report as presented; said report covering the audit report as presented; said report for the calendar year of 2015; and

BE IT FUTHER RESOLVED, that a copy of said report be filed in Minutes Exhibit Book.

Brandon Blair left the meeting at 2:55 PM.

Russ reviewed NRPPD’s radio system upgrade proposal with the Board. NRPPD has the need for a reliable radio system for day to day communication and safety concerns. Action Communications has made some suggestions to increase reliability of the radio communications on NRPPD’s system. A motion was made by Robert Rickenbach, duly seconded by Terry Terrell to approve the radio system upgrade; motion carried.

Chance discussed Tri-State Policies 115 and 117 dealing with distributed generation for their member systems. Chance also discussed his conversations with SoCore and the possibility of working with SoCore on a DG Project in NRPPD’S service area. The general consensus of the Board was to move forward with the investigation and bring the findings back to the Board for further discussions. An application for approval of the proposed project has been submitted and included on the agenda of the Tri-State Board Meeting in May.

Arlene reviewed the February and March financial reports, and Chance reviewed the load charts for February and March. A motion was made by Bruce Troester, duly seconded by Gary Fuchser to accept the February and March financial reports; motion carried.

Russ reviewed the Safety Statistics for March. The Safety Report was discussed including a discussion on property damage and near miss incidents that occurred during the month. The training that occurred was also discussed. A motion was made by Robert Rickenbach, duly seconded by Wayne Cobb to accept the March Safety Report; motion carried.

Chance and Russ addressed the Federated Assessment Letter. The primary purpose of the Federated visit was to make a safety and loss prevention assessment of NRPPD’s operations and system. All recommendations from the previous visit were completed and Federated found the facilities, vehicles and operations to be in excellent condition.

Chance reviewed the CFC Annual Benefits of Ownership Statement for NRPPD.

Russ reviewed a sample of an Outage Report that is now available through our OMS software which showed all the outages and associated causes for the month of March.

Chance informed the Board that NRPPD how has a Facebook Page as a result of Strategic Plan Objective #3, Customer Service, Education and Communication plan. Chance also informed the Board that Tri-State gave a presentation “Road to Member Engagement” to the employee group.

Chance stated as part of the Board Sub-Committee’s Strategic Objective #2, he has offered his name to fill the CFC Manager Director position that is open for CFC District 7.

Gary Fuchser reported on the Tri-State Annual Meeting he attended. This year’s theme was “One Family: Powered by Many”.

Mike Van Buskirk also reported on the Tri-State Annual Meeting. Mike stated that he presented a motion, and the motion was seconded by DMEA, however the motion was denied due to a technicality written in the Tri-State By-Laws preventing such a motion from the Membership. It was stated that such an item for consideration could only be considered by the Board of Directors.

Chance presented the following resolution as an alternative to the motion made at the Annual Meeting.

Resolution 1-2016

Tri-State Strategic Planning

 

WHEREAS, Tri-State routinely conducts Strategic Planning sessions with the Board of Directors and Management; and

WHEREAS, Tri-State is integral to all the cooperative and public power district members of Tri-State; and

WHERE AS, the membership at large could benefit from understanding the results of Tri-State’s Strategic Planning; now

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Board of Directors of Northwest Rural Public Power District urges Tri-State’s management to produce an executive summary of topics and results from the Strategic Planning sessions, excluding confidential business matters, and prior to holding a Strategic

Planning session the stakeholders of the organization (to potentially include home system Directors and/or distribution managers) are polled, interviewed or surveyed so as to include that input for consideration during the planning session.

A motion was made by Bruce Troester, duly seconded by Terry Terrell to approve Resolution 1-2016, Tri-State Strategic Planning.

Items for the May Agenda are an update on SoCore and a DG project along with the rate discussions.

The next meeting date was set for Thursday, May 26th.

There being no further business to come before the Board, the president declared the meeting adjourned at 5:15 PM.

Approved:                                                                               Signed:

_______________________________                                              ______________________________

President                                                                                  Secretary

 

May 26, 2016

 

MINUTES OF REGULAR MEETING OF DIRECTORS
 

The regular meeting of Directors of Northwest Rural Public Power District (NRPPD) was held in the Conference Room of the District May 26, 2016 at 1:00 PM.

The meeting was called to order by the president, Lee Ahrens.  Directors who answered the roll call were Bruce Troester, Lee Ahrens, Gary Fuchser, Mike Van Buskirk, Wayne Cobb, Terry Terrell, and Robert Rickenbach.

Also present were Chance Briscoe, manager; Arlene Lahaye, office manager; Russ Reichenberg, line superintendent; Ron Housh, planning engineer; Les Tlustos, consumer services; and Terry Curtiss, District Counsel.

The Open Meeting Law posting was acknowledged.

All votes are unanimous upon a roll call vote unless noted.

A motion was made by Robert Rickenbach, duly seconded by Wayne Cobb to accept the order of business as published and supplemented at this meeting; motion carried.

A motion was made by Gary Fuchser, duly seconded by Mike Van Buskirk, that the minutes of the meeting held April 26, 2016 be approved as published and provided to all directors on April 19th; motion carried.

The Board reviewed the Check Register and Payroll Summary for the month of April.

Chance reviewed the Cost of Service Study (COSS) for the current residential rate and the proposed residential rate. The proposed rate would alter blocks one and two and the off peak rate as well as the off peak time period. Currently the TOU period is from 11 PM to 7 AM and the proposed time would be from 10 PM to Noon.

The COSS for three phase irrigation and single phase irrigation services were also discussed. Chance proposed a new rate for single phase irrigation that would reflect the cost to provide service to a single phase irrigation service accurately. A discussion followed. A motion was made by Mike Van Buskirk to alter the fixed energy kWh charge to .059 per kWh, leave the access fee as proposed and alter the demand charge to reflect the change in the kWh charge with a retroactive bill credit on facility fees for single phase accounts. The motion was seconded by Robert Rickenbach; motion carried.

A motion was made by Mike Van Buskirk, duly seconded by Terry Terrell to approve the proposed Residential Rate; motion carried.

Chance gave an update to the Board regarding the status of a proposed solar purchase power agreement with SoCore. Tri-State has approved the project under the 115 and 117 policies. Additional engineering information will be necessary to move forward, along with a review of the proposed agreement. No action taken at this time.

Arlene reviewed the April financial reports, and Chance reviewed the load charts for April. A motion was made by Robert Rickenbach, duly seconded by Gary Fuchser to accept the April financial reports; motion carried.

Russ reviewed the Safety Statistics for April. As of April NRPPD has worked 804,031 hours without a loss time injury. The Safety Report was discussed including a discussion on property damage, near miss incidents and that occurred during the month. Training for the month was also discussed. A motion was made by Mike Van Buskirk, duly seconded by Wayne Cobb to accept the April Safety Report; motion carried.

Les reported that NRPPD will be sending four kids the NREA Youth Energy Leadership Camp. Also NRPPD plans to participate in the five area parades.  

Russ reviewed April Outage Report. In April NRPPD experienced twelve outages that affected several customers due to ice and wind.

Russ informed the Board that the pole inspection has been completed south of Crawford and the inspection crew is now south of Hay Springs.

Chance informed the Board that NRPPD had a total of sixty accounts participating in the Load Control Program for a total of approximately 3 MW. NRPPD will control approximately 1.5 MW in each group.

Chance reported on the CFC 100% Borrowers Meetings, the NREA Board Meeting and the NREA Strategic Planning Meeting he attended.          

At the MDM Meeting Chance stated that the Tri-State Policy 101 was discussed along with the NREA IT Conference.

Gary Fuchser reported on the Tri-State Meeting he attended.

Robert Rickenbach reported on the NREA Meeting he attended. Robert also reported on the Policy and Resolution Committee Meeting, which he sits on.

Items for the May Agenda are an update on SoCore and a DG project along with the rate discussions.

The next meeting date was set for Tuesday, Wednesday 22nd.

There being no further business to come before the Board, the president declared the meeting adjourned at 3:55 PM.

Approved:                                                                               Signed:

_______________________________                                              ______________________________

President                                                                                  Secretary

June 22, 2016

 

MINUTES OF REGULAR MEETING OF DIRECTORS

The regular meeting of Directors of Northwest Rural Public Power District (NRPPD) was held in the Conference Room of the District June 22, 2016 at 1:00 PM.

The meeting was called to order by the president, Lee Ahrens.  Directors who answered the roll call were Bruce Troester, Lee Ahrens, Gary Fuchser, Mike Van Buskirk, Wayne Cobb, Terry Terrell, and Robert Rickenbach.

Also present were Chance Briscoe, manager; Arlene Lahaye, office manager; Les Tlustos, consumer services; Terry Curtiss, District Counsel; Troy Bredenkamp, NREA GM; and Eric Persons, employee.

The Open Meeting Law posting was acknowledged.

All votes are unanimous upon a roll call vote unless noted.

A motion was made by Mike Van Buskirk, duly seconded by Robert Rickenbach to accept the order of business as published and supplemented at this meeting; motion carried.

A motion was made by Wayne Cobb, duly seconded by Gary Fuchser, that the minutes of the meeting held May 26, 2016 be approved as published and provided to all directors on June 16th; motion carried.

Troy gave the Board an update on NREA, the change in the board, and staff changes as well. Troy also commented on the Bills that affected the NREA Members during the 2016 Legislative Session. The Working for Nebraska Campaign has been very effective reaching Nebraskans on important industry issues.

NREA held a Strategic Planning Session and defined six goals to work towards. 1) Job Training and Safety 2) Communications 3) Training and Education 4) Legislative 5) Governance 6) Future Program Consideration. A discussion was held with the Board on other NREA issues.

Troy Bredenkamp left the meeting at 1:50 PM.

The Board reviewed the Check Register and Payroll Summary for the month of May.

Chance informed the Board that a Draft SoCore Agreement has been received and given to Terry Curtiss for review.

Arlene reviewed the May financial reports, and Chance reviewed the load charts for May. A motion was made by Robert Rickenbach, duly seconded by Mike Van Buskirk to accept the May financial reports; motion carried.

Chance reviewed the Safety Statistics for May. The Safety Report was discussed including a discussion on property damage, vehicle accident, and an injury that occurred during the month. Training for the month was also discussed. A motion was made by Mike Van Buskirk, duly seconded by Gary Fuchser to accept the May Safety Report; motion carried.

Chance reviewed the notice that 8N Tree Service will be tree trimming in areas south and southeast of Gordon. Chance also reviewed the pole inspection report from Osmose Utilities Services.

Chance reported to the Board that the Load Control Program has been running in June and things seem to be running pretty smooth at this time.

NRPPD has converted to CRC dispatch service. There has been a couple minor issues but overall the transition seems to be going better than expected.

Chance reported on the NREA Manager’s Meeting he attended. Mike McInnes gave a presentation regarding outreach efforts conducted by Tri-State focused on the issue surrounding the Colowyo Mine issues that were brought by the group Wild Earth Guardians.

Les left the meeting at 3:30 PM.         

With the upcoming retirement of Ron Housh, planning engineer, Chance reviewed the proposed reorganization structure that was discussed at NRPPD’s Strategic Planning Session held last fall.                      

A discussion was held with the Board concerning NRPPD’s office hours and the crew work schedules. The consensus of the Board was that more information was needed before a decision could be made. Chance will conduct a survey and bring the information back to the Board for consideration.

Gary Fuchser reported on the Tri-State Meeting he attended. The Board viewed a video of Mike McInnes’ testimony at a hearing on the “Implications of the Supreme court Stay on the Clean Power Plan” before the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.

Items for the July Agenda are an update on SoCore and a DG project along with the rate discussions. Also a review of NRPPD’s disconnect policy.

The next meeting date was set for Thursday, July 28th.

There being no further business to come before the Board, the president declared the meeting adjourned at 4:50 PM.

Approved:                                                                               Signed:

_______________________________                                              ______________________________

President                                                                                  Secretary

July 28, 2016

MINUTES OF REGULAR MEETING OF DIRECTORS

The regular meeting of Directors of Northwest Rural Public Power District (NRPPD) was held in the Conference Room of the District July 28, 2016 at 1:00 PM.

The meeting was called to order by the president, Lee Ahrens.  Directors who answered the roll call were Bruce Troester, Lee Ahrens, Gary Fuchser, Mike Van Buskirk, Wayne Cobb, and Terry Terrell.  Robert Rickenbach was absent.

Also present were Chance Briscoe, manager; Arlene Lahaye, office manager; Russ Reichenberg, line superintendent; Les Tlustos, consumer services; Terry Curtiss, District Counsel; and Kelly Troester, employee.

The Open Meeting Law posting was acknowledged.

All votes are unanimous upon a roll call vote unless noted.

A motion was made by Mike Van Buskirk, duly seconded by Gary Fuchser to accept the order of business as published and supplemented at this meeting; motion carried.

A motion was made by Wayne Cobb, duly seconded by Gary Fuchser, that the minutes of the meeting held June 22nd be approved as published and provided to all directors on July 21st; motion carried.

A motion was made by Wayne Cobb, duly seconded by Gary Fuchser to excuse Robert Rickenbach’s absence; motion carried.

The Board reviewed the Check Register and Payroll Summary for the month of June.

Chance reviewed the Solar Purchased Power Agreements with SoCore and Innovative Solar LLC.  A discussion was held on installation and project pricing. Chance recommended that the Board authorize him to sign a Letter of Intent with Innovative Solar LLC and start the solar project. A motion was made by Mike Van Buskirk, duly seconded by Terry Terrell to authorize Chance to sign a formal Letter of Intent with Innovative Solar LLC to proceed with solar project as presented; motion carried.

A discussion was held on the IBEW Negotiation Committee. A motion was made by Mike Van Buskirk, duly seconded by Gary Fuchser to appoint Lee Ahrens, Robert Rickenbach and Bruce Troester to the IBEW Negotiation Committee; motion carried.

Arlene reviewed the June financial reports, and Chance reviewed the load charts for June. A motion was made by Bruce Troester, duly seconded by Mike Van Buskirk to accept the June financial reports; motion carried.

Russ reviewed the Safety Statistics for June. The Safety Report was discussed including the near miss incidents, property damage, and training for the month. A motion was made by Mike Van Buskirk, duly seconded by Wayne Cobb to accept the June Safety Report; motion carried.

Chance gave the Board an update on NRPPD’s Social Media, Facebook page. Statistics show that the page is being viewed and shared by a growing number of people. Chance also showed the Board the outage map that is available on NRPPD’s web page for customers to refer to during an outage situation.

Russ reviewed June Outage Report. In June NRPPD experienced outages that affected several customers due to the underground out of the Chadron Sub and wind storms.

Russ updated the Board on the pole inspection program. Through the first of July 2657 poles have been inspected with a reject rate of 2.1%.

Russ reviewed the construction costs through June. The total construction costs through June are $917,529, of this amount $27,289 is retirement costs.

Russ also reported that the radio system upgrade is complete. All the repeaters have been linked together and this has made a big difference in having a reliable radio system for communications.

Les reported on the 2016 NREA Youth Energy Leadership Camp.

Chance reviewed the current collection procedure. A discussion followed.

Chance reported on the Municipal Smart Grid Summit he attended. Some of the products and services presented include; software analytics, GPS and mapping, AMI, SCADA, dispatch room monitors, reclosure equipment, LED solar security/street lighting, cyber security solutions, utility scale solar projects, and billing solutions. A few of the specific options to consider coming from the presentations were utility scale leased storage, LED solar lighting, and cyber security.

Chance also attended the Basin MAC meeting and much of the conversation was dominated by the Basin mid-year rate increase (approximately 12%), the initial forecast for 2017, and questions regarding Dakota Gasification Company. Due to Basin’s increase Tri-State may be looking at a 7% increase in 2017 instead of 5%.

Kit-Carson is now officially out of Tri-State. A discussion followed concerning the terms of the withdrawal and the non-disclosure agreement signed between Tri-State and Kit Carson. Gary, as NRPPD’s Tri-State Director, was not given all of the financial specifics as to the terms of Kit-Carson’s withdrawal buyout amount.

Chance informed the Board that he was posted the position of Operations Manager and hopes to have it filled by the middle of August.

Gary Fuchser reported on the Tri-State Meeting he attended. The June 16th FERC ruling as it affects Tri-State’s Boar Policy 101 was discussed. Coal production is the lowest coal production since the early 80’s. Coal production was down from 5 million tons to 2.5 million tons in Colorado.

An item for the August Agenda is an update on the solar project.

The August meeting will be held August 30th at 1:00 PM.

Terry Curtiss discussed shared information as it pertains to the Tri-State Director’s home boards.

Chance informed the Board that an irrigation customer has asked for an extension of his payments until fall. The consensus of the board was that it was not an option.

At 4:35 PM a motion was made by Wayne Cobb, duly seconded by Gary Fuchser to go into an executive session to discuss the IBEW Contract structure and wage scale; motion carried. 

At 5:01 PM a motion was made by Wayne Cobb, duly seconded by Gary Fuchser to come out of executive session; motion carried.

A motion was made by Gary Fuchser, duly seconded by Wayne Cobb to authorize Chance to proceed to approach the Union with the proposed restructure; motion carried.

There being no further business to come before the Board, the president declared the meeting adjourned at 5:02 PM.

Approved:                                                                                 Signed:

_______________________________                                              ______________________________

President                                                                                  Secretary

 

August 30, 2016

MINUTES OF REGULAR MEETING OF DIRECTORS

The regular meeting of Directors of Northwest Rural Public Power District (NRPPD) was held in the Conference Room of the District August 30, 2016 at 1:00 PM.

The meeting was called to order by the president, Lee Ahrens.  Directors who answered the roll call were Bruce Troester, Lee Ahrens, Gary Fuchser, Mike Van Buskirk, Wayne Cobb, Terry Terrell, and Robert Rickenbach.

Also present were Chance Briscoe, manager; Arlene Lahaye, office manager; Ron Olson, operations manager; Russ Reichenberg, line superintendent; Les Tlustos, consumer services; Terry Curtiss, District Counsel; LJ Prosser, employee, and Marjean Terrell.

The Open Meeting Law posting was acknowledged.

All votes are unanimous upon a roll call vote unless noted.

A motion was made by Robert Rickenbach, duly seconded by Wayne Cobb to accept the order of business as published and supplemented at this meeting; motion carried.

During the Public Comments portion of the meeting, Marjean Terrell addressed the Board regarding the agenda item to discuss the office hours and the recent survey of customers. She supported keeping the office hours as they are and not closing the office on Fridays.

A motion was made by Wayne Cobb, duly seconded by Mike Van Buskirk, that the minutes of the meeting held July 28th be approved as published and provided to all directors on August 23rd; motion carried.

The Board reviewed the Check Register and Payroll Summary for the month of July.

Chance reviewed the proposed changes to the kWh and demand charges on the non-LB-436 Distributed Generation (DG) Pilot Rates for 2016. A discussion followed with a motion being made by Robert Rickenbach, duly seconded by Bruce Troester to approve the changes to the 2016 DG Pilot Rates; Lee Ahrens, aye; Mike Van Buskirk, abstain; Bruce Troester, aye; Wayne Cobb, aye; Robert Rickenbach, aye; Gary Fuchser, aye; and Terry Terrell, aye; motion carried.

Marjean Terrell left the meeting at 1:15 PM.

Terry Buskirk and Randy Richter with Innovative Solar, LLC joined the meeting at 1:15 PM.

Terry and Randy introduced themselves to the Board and explained what their company can provide with solar interconnect installations for NRPPD. Innovative Solar handles all the upfront work to locate and negotiate leases for the solar installations. Also, all the installation and maintenance costs will be covered by Innovative Solar and their investors. NRPPD would merely purchase the energy produced by the installed system through the means of a Purchased Power Agreement between NRPPD and Innovative Solar, LLC.

Terry and Randy left the meeting at 1:50 PM.

A further discussion and update was held on the solar interconnect project and Innovative Solar’s proposal. A Letter of Intent has been signed between the two parties. After additional work is done and land secured for the solar development, a final agreement would be signed at a later date.

Chance reviewed the letter from Poudre Valley REA, to Tri-State to formally request that Tri-State consider using financial tools available to the Tri-State Board to partially mitigate the proposed rate increase of 6.78% by recognition of deferred revenue or other means. A discussion followed with a motion being made by Bruce Troester, duly seconded by Mike Van Buskirk to support PVREA’s letter to Tri-State and ask for just a 3% increase; motion carried.

Arlene reviewed the July financial reports, and Chance reviewed the load charts for July. A motion was made by Bruce Troester, duly seconded by Gary Fuchser to accept the July financial reports; motion carried.

Russ reviewed the Safety Statistics for July. The Safety Report was discussed including the high potential incidents, and the incidents involving non-NRPPD personnel. The training for the month was also discussed. A motion was made by Robert Rickenbach, duly seconded by Wayne Cobb to accept the July Safety Report; motion carried.

Les reported that three essays were received for the Washington DC Youth Tour in 2017.

Ron informed the Board that NRPPD will be filling the serviceman position and will then need to fill a lineman position. It is anticipated Tyler Potts may be leaving later this fall and another lineman position could need to be filled.

Ron also updated the Board that he, Brad, Trampas and Erik will be meeting with Besler, Inc. (the construction contractor) to discussion the Gordon Sub upgrade.

Russ reviewed July Outage Report. In July NRPPD experienced outages that affected several customers due to wind and other storms, therefore the number of customer hours off were increased.

Approximately 34% of the surveys were returned that was mailed out with the July bills. A discussion was held on the office hours and the current operational issues with the crew being split between Mondays and Fridays with the four ten hour work days. It was the consensus of the Board that additional information was needed before a decision could be made.

LJ left the meeting at 4:40 PM.

Chance reported on the Tri-State Contract Committee Meeting, with 43 assigned members. The bulk of the comments related to the 5% self-generation limitation, not wanting to open the contract at all, and the potential contract extension due to the Basin extension. Mike McInnes, Tri-State CEO, gave an overview of the Basin contract extension related to the East/West split of the two separate contracts Tri-State has with Basin.

Chance also reported on the NREA Committee and Board Meeting that was held in Scottsbluff. Troy Bredenkamp, NREA Manager, reviewed year to date through 2016 and the proposed budget for 2017, which will include a 1% increase while using funds from the margin stabilization. Les Tlustos was elected to the Public Information Committee, Robert Rickenbach was elected to the Legislative Committee, and Chance was elected to the Salary Review Committee.

Robert Rickenbach also reported on the NREA Meeting and the Resolutions that will advance to the NRECA Regional Meeting in October.

Terry Terrell reported on the ACRE Committee Meeting. Senator Al Davis and challenger Col. Tom Brewer both addressed the ACRE Committee. The ACRE Committee voted to donate $1,000 to Col. Brewer’s Campaign.

Gary Fuchser reported on the Tri-State Meeting he attended. The 2017 preliminary capital and operating budgets were reviewed with a proposed 6.78% rate increase. Some of the drivers impacting the 2017 budget include decreased member load growth; decreased non-member revenue; increased generation and fuel expense; and increased purchased power expense. After being questioned, Gary reported that Tri-State has not as yet provided a written report to the Tri-State Board on the outcome of the Strategic Planning Session held in July.

Items for the September Agenda are; an update on the solar project, DG Rates, and office hours.

The September meeting will be held September 19th at 1:00 PM.

A discussion was held on the Region 7 & 9 Meeting. A motion was made by Robert Rickenbach, duly seconded by Gary Fuchser to appoint Chance Briscoe as NRPPD’s voting delegate; motion carried.

There being no further business to come before the Board, the president declared the meeting adjourned at 5:50 PM.

Approved:                                                                               Signed:

_______________________________                                              ______________________________

President                                                                                  Secretary

 

September 29, 2016

MINUTES OF REGULAR MEETING OF DIRECTORS

The regular meeting of Directors of Northwest Rural Public Power District (NRPPD) was held in the Conference Room of the District September 19, 2016 at 1:00 PM.

The meeting was called to order by the president, Lee Ahrens.  Directors who answered the roll call were Bruce Troester, Lee Ahrens, Gary Fuchser, Terry Terrell, and Robert Rickenbach.

Also present were Chance Briscoe, manager; Arlene Lahaye, office manager; Ron Olson, operations manager; Russ Reichenberg, line superintendent; Les Tlustos, consumer services; Terry Curtiss, District Counsel; Tony Hindman, employee, and three members of the public.

The Open Meeting Law posting was acknowledged.

All votes are unanimous upon a roll call vote unless noted.

A motion was made by Robert Rickenbach, duly seconded by Gary Fuchser, to accept the order of business as published and supplemented at this meeting; motion carried.

A motion was made by Gary Fuchser, duly seconded by Terry Terrell, to excuse Wayne Cobb and Mike Van Buskirk from the meeting; motion carried.

During the Public Comments portion of the agenda, two members of the public stated their reason to attend the meeting was to support the passage of the Green Power Rate and the other member of the public stated that he was interested in hearing more information regarding the solar project the District is currently working on.

A motion was made by Bruce Troester, duly seconded by Gary Fuchser, that the minutes of the meeting held August 30th be approved as published and provided to all directors on September 12th; motion carried.

The Board reviewed the Check Register and Payroll Summary for the month of August.

The LB436 DG Rate was discussed. A proposed revision was considered to adopt an updated kWh rate to reflect changes made in the wholesale rate. In addition it was proposed to make the changes retroactively applied to January 1, 2016. A motion was made by Bruce Troester, duly seconded by Terry Terrell, to adopt the proposed changes to the LB436 DG Rate; motion carried.

A Green Power Rate was proposed. Through the wholesale power supplier, NRPPD has had a green power program available for many years. Due to a recent request from a customer to participate in the green power program a Green Power Rate was proposed for consideration. After discussing the mechanics of how the rate would work, what the offer would be, and input from the public that attended the meeting, a motion was made by Bruce Troester, duly seconded by Robert Rickenbach, to adopt the Green Power Rate as presented; motion carried.

An update was given on the 2MW solar project being considered by NRPPD. It was reviewed that a Letter of Intent has been signed and delivered to the developer, Innovative Solar LLC. The developer has begun investigating potential sites for the solar installation. No additional action was taken.

The three members of the public left the meeting upon conclusion of the solar project discussion.

The financial reports and load charts for August were reviewed. A motion was made by Robert Rickenbach, duly seconded by Gary Fuchser, to accept the August financial reports; motion carried.

The Safety Statistics for August were reviewed. The Safety Report was discussed including the injuries, near misses, and property damage. The training for the month was also discussed. A motion was made by Bruce Troester, duly seconded by Robert Rickenbach, to accept the August Safety Report; motion carried.

A report was given on the status of the Gordon and Chadron substations. The Gordon substation is offline and being fed from the Rush Creek substation. The construction work to reorganize the Gordon substation has now begun. The Chadron substation was taken offline to allow NPPD to complete some required work. The customers saw a short outage during the switching to feed the area from the Crow Butte substation and some customers directly from NPPD.

An update was given on NRPPD personnel changes and that Abe Young has accepted the Serviceman position, Darren Drabbels has accepted the Sub-Foreman position and an open position on the Hay Springs line crew will be filled in time.

The August Outage Report was reviewed. In August NRPPD experienced outages that affected several customers due to wind and lightning storms.

The General Manager’s report included information related to two committees attended at Tri-State G&T. The Contract Committee met to continue discussions related to a possible request for contract extension, the current 5% self-generation limitation, an in-depth review of the current contract, and the possibility of Tri-State extending their contract with Basin Electric. The Rate Committee met for the first time since being re-convened. The discussion was focused on a review of the 2016 rate and its performance year to date and a preview of a discussion of the Standby Rate from Tri-State.

Gary Fuchser reported on the Tri-State Meeting he attended. The report recapped the financial and generation performance of Tri-State through August 2016 and the 2017 proposed budget and rate increase. Tri-State received numerous comments from its members requesting additional actions to be taken to mitigate the originally proposed 2017 rate increase of 6.78%. The Tri-State CEO recommended to utilize an additional $30 million of deferred revenue in 2017 to result in approximately a 4.25% increase, which the board adopted.

An item for the October agenda was the continued progress on the solar project.

Upcoming meetings include the NRECA Annual Meeting and a few of the Directors tentatively plan to attend for NRPPD.

The October board meeting will be held October 27 at 1:00 PM.

There being no further business to come before the Board, the president declared the meeting adjourned at 2:41 PM.

Approved:                                                                                 Signed:

_______________________________                                              ______________________________

President                                                                                  Secretary

 

October 27, 2016

MINUTES OF REGULAR MEETING OF DIRECTORS

The regular meeting of Directors of Northwest Rural Public Power District (NRPPD) was held in the Conference Room of the District October 27, 2016 at 1:00 PM.

The meeting was called to order by the president, Lee Ahrens.  Directors who answered the roll call were Bruce Troester, Lee Ahrens, Mike Van Buskirk, Wayne Cobb, Terry Terrell, and Robert Rickenbach. Gary Fuchser was absent.

Also present were Chance Briscoe, manager; Arlene Lahaye, office manager; Ron Olson, operations manager; Russ Reichenberg, line superintendent; Les Tlustos, consumer services; and Abe young, employee.

The Open Meeting Law posting was acknowledged.

All votes are unanimous upon a roll call vote unless noted.

A motion was made by Robert Rickenbach, duly seconded by Wayne Cobb to accept the order of business as published and supplemented at this meeting; motion carried.

A motion was made by Bruce Troester, duly seconded by Wayne Cobb to excuse Gary Fuchser from the meeting; motion carried.

A motion was made by Robert Rickenbach, duly seconded by Terry Terrell, that the minutes of the meeting held September 29th be approved as published and provided to all directors on October 20th; motion carried.

The Board reviewed the Check Register and Payroll Summary for the month of September.

Chance gave an update on the 2MW solar project being considered by NRPPD. The developer, Innovative Solar LLC, has been talking to some customers in the area and we are awaiting them to secure land before taking the next step or working toward a final contract. No additional action was taken.

Arlene reviewed the September financial reports, and Chance reviewed the load charts for September.  A discuss was held on the year to date costs of purchased power and the revenue from the kWh sales. A motion was made by Bruce Troester, duly seconded by Mike Van Buskirk to accept the September financial reports; motion carried.

Russ reviewed the Safety Statistics for September. The Safety Report was discussed including the injury that occurred in September. The training for the month was also discussed. A motion was made by Wayne Cobb, duly seconded by Mike VanBuskirk to accept the September Safety Report; motion carried.

A discuss was held on security and safety issues for NRPPD’s office.

Russ reviewed September Outage Report. In September NRPPD experienced less outages than previous months.

Ron also updated the Board that the Gordon Sub upgrade is currently on schedule and the plan is to have the work completed by the end of the year.

Ron informed the Board that some job titles have changed. Brad is the Planning-Staking Engineer, John is a Groundsman, and Kelli will be the Operations Clerk. Interviews are currently being held to fill the linemen positions.

Chance reported that at the Legal Seminar several topics were covered including an insight to the Supreme Court, employment law updates procurement standards under FEMA, and REC’s. The FERC/DMEA issue was address by both a Tri-State Attorney and Dave Jarecke, NREA Attorney.

Topics discussed during the Region 7 conference were millennials in the workforce, cyber security, renewable energy, implementation of new technologies, and political races in certain states for Congress and Governor. 

Discussions at the Tri-State Meeting were the two solar farm projects are due to be online prior to year-end, the effect of the Basin rate increase for August was approximately $2.2M, an overview of surplus land Tri-State owns that may be considered for sale, and there has been no movement by FERC regarding the DMEA case.

Chance also informed the Board that Tri-State is starting up an IT Advisory Council, and Tony will represent NRPPD. The main focus for cyber –crime is that utilities are critical infrastructure in relation to terrorist activities along with being a “standard” business with information being pursued by criminals for identity theft or monetary gain.

United Power and Poudre Valley are currently pursuing a utility scale battery storage project.

The November meeting will be held November 21st at 1:00 PM.

There being no further business to come before the Board, the president declared the meeting adjourned at 3:10 PM.

Approved:                                                                                 Signed:

_______________________________                                              ______________________________

President                                                                                  Secretary

 

November 22, 2016

MINUTES OF REGULAR MEETING OF DIRECTORS

The regular meeting of Directors of Northwest Rural Public Power District (NRPPD) was held in the Conference Room of the District November 22, 2016 at 1:00 PM.

The meeting was called to order by the president, Lee Ahrens.  Directors who answered the roll call were Bruce Troester, Lee Ahrens, Mike Van Buskirk, Wayne Cobb, Terry Terrell, Robert Rickenbach, and Gary Fuchser.

Also present were Chance Briscoe, manager; Arlene Lahaye, office manager; Ron Olson, operations manager; Russ Reichenberg, line superintendent; Les Tlustos, consumer services; Terry Curtiss, District Counsel; and Cale Anderson, employee.

The Open Meeting Law posting was acknowledged.

All votes are unanimous upon a roll call vote unless noted.

A motion was made by Robert Rickenbach, duly seconded by Wayne Cobb to accept the order of business as published and supplemented at this meeting; motion carried.

A motion was made by Wayne Cobb, duly seconded by Mike Van Buskirk, that the minutes of the meeting held October 27th be approved as corrected; motion carried.

The Board reviewed the Check Register and Payroll Summary for the month of October.

Chance discussed the proposal from Sandhills State Bank to move NRPPD’s funds to their facility. A discussion followed. A motion was made by Mike Van Buskirk, duly seconded by Bruce Troester to table the change in bank intuitions until the December meeting; Lee Ahrens, nay; Mike Van Buskirk, aye; Bruce Troester, aye; Wayne Cobb, aye; Robert Rickenbach, nay; Gary Fuchser, aye; and Terry Terrell, aye; motion carried.

WNCC has requested an Investment in their Work Force Development program. WNCC’s program is designed to train lineman for the utility work force. They would like to expand the program and be able to provide training that would prepare the students for the actual jobs they would be preforming. A discussion followed. A motion was made by Terry Terrell, duly seconded by Wayne Cobb to support WNCC’s Work Force Development program in the amount of $3,000 per year for five years; motion carried.

Chance has received the Purchase Power Agreement (PPA) with Innovative Solar LLC and has asked for Terry Curtiss to review it as well. Chance discussed the possibility of installing a 900 kW solar installation south of NRPPD’s office building and a 350 kW solar installation at the Rush Creek Substation site. Innovative Solar LLC is still in discussions with land owners of other potential sites.  A motion was made by Robert Rickenbach, duly seconded by Gary Fuchser to authorize Chance to work with Terry Curtiss on the PPA with Innovative Solar LLC, and to sign the agreement upon its completion; motion carried. A motion was made by Mike Van Buskirk, duly seconded by Terry Terrell to authorize Chance to sign the necessary agreements with Tri-State in relation to the 115 and 117 Policies for the credits generated by the solar project; motion carried.

A discussion was held on the voting delegate for Touchstone Energy. A motion was made by Gary Fuchser, duly seconded by Wayne Cobb to assign Tri-State as NRPPD’s voting delegate; motion carried.

Arlene reviewed the October financial reports, and Chance reviewed the load charts for October.  A discuss was held on the year to date costs of purchased power and the revenue from the kWh sales. A motion was made by Mike Van Buskirk, duly seconded by Wayne Cobb to accept the October financial reports; motion carried.

Russ reviewed the Safety Statistics for October.  Russ informed the Board of a possible lost time incident that is currently being investigated by Federated Rural Electric Insurance. The Safety Report was discussed including the property damage that occurred in October. The training for the month was also discussed. A motion was made by Robert Rickenbach, duly seconded by Wayne Cobb to accept the October Safety Report; motion carried.

Ron also updated the Board that the Gordon Sub upgrade is currently on schedule and the plan is still to have the work completed by the end of the year pending weather conditions.

Russ reviewed October Outage Report. In October NRPPD recoded 961.7 total customer hours off, but this may increase due to a correction needed.

Les informed the Board that James Dukesherer, NREA, will have a Grassroot presentation on November 29th for the employee group.

Ron informed the Board that NRPPD has hired three journeyman linemen; Craig Housh, Toby Rasmusson, and Denny Thorson. Each employee will have different start dates up to the end of January.

Chance reported on the Tri-State Contract and Rate Committee meetings. The Contract Committee focused on three main topics; review of previous polling results compared to 2014, analysis of impact of increased member self-generation, and patronage capital allocation and retirements. The polling resulted in a slightly less cohesive group with some of the questions resulting in an even split by half or thirds. The self-generation presentation made an attempt to quantify the effect of 1% member generation, which resulted in a 20 year cost to member of around $80M. The patronage capital discussion went through a historical review of allocations and retirements back to 1957. The Rate Committee reviewed the performance of Rate A39, and also viewed a presentation on the other rates such as Green Power, Economic Development, and Load Retention.

A presentation was given at the CFC IBES by representatives from GE and Samsung on battery storage. Utility scale battery storage has come down since 2009, and batteries are about 40 times better now than a decade ago.

Chance reviewed the preliminary 2017 Budget with a proposed 4% rate increase. The final Budget will be presented at the December meeting for review and approval.

In December a Special Meeting will be held at 9:00 AM to review CFC’s KTRA and Equity Management on December 15th, facilitated by CFC Regional VP, Mike Lewis.

Gary Fuchser informed the Board that Delta-Montrose officially filed their withdrawal request with Tri-State. Gary also stated that Tri-State held a Fiduciary Duty Session for the Tri-State Directors.

Terry reported on the Water Resource Meeting he attended and the presentation on Water Laws and Floods. A discussion was held on the amount of water that enters Nebraska versus the quantity that leaves the State. Also, discussed the water restrictions and the moratorium on new irrigation wells.

The 2017 Budget Hearing will be held on December 15th at 1:00 PM, and the regular meeting will be held at 1:30 PM.

Items for the December Agenda will be the 2017 Rates, and the 2017 Budget.

A motion was made by Wayne Cobb to go into an executive session at 4:19 PM to discuss a personnel matter, the motion was seconded by Gary Fuchser; motion carried. Russ Reichenberg, Ron Olson, Les Tlustos, Cale Anderson, and Arlene Lahaye left the meeting.

A motion was made by Robert Rickenbach, duly seconded by Gary Fuchser to come out of executive session at 4:46 PM; motion carried.

There being no further business to come before the Board, the president declared the meeting adjourned at 4:48 PM.

Approved:                                                                               Signed:

_______________________________                                              ______________________________

President                                                                                  Secretary

 

December 15, 2016

 

MINUTES OF REGULAR MEETING OF DIRECTORS

The regular meeting of Directors of Northwest Rural Public Power District (NRPPD) was held in the Conference Room of the District December 15, 2016 at 1:50 PM.

The meeting was called to order by the president, Lee Ahrens.  Directors who answered the roll call were Bruce Troester, Lee Ahrens, Wayne Cobb, Terry Terrell, Robert Rickenbach, and Gary Fuchser. Mike Van Buskirk was absent.

Also present were Chance Briscoe, manager; Arlene Lahaye, office manager; Ron Olson, operations manager; Russ Reichenberg, line superintendent; Terry Curtiss, District Counsel; Kelli Anderson, employee; and Lee Garrett, customer.

The Open Meeting Law posting was acknowledged.

All votes are unanimous upon a roll call vote unless noted.

A motion was made by Robert Rickenbach, duly seconded by Wayne Cobb to accept the order of business as published and supplemented at this meeting; motion carried.

During the Public Comments portion, Lee Garrett addressed the Board with his concerns with NRPPD’s after-hours service. A brief discussion followed, and Lee left the meeting at 1:55 PM.

A motion was made by Gary Fuchser, duly seconded by Wayne Cobb to excuse Mike Van Buskirk from the meeting; motion carried.

A motion was made by Wayne Cobb, duly seconded by Terry Terrell, that the minutes of the meeting held November 22nd be approved as published and provided to all directors on November 15th  motion carried.

The Board reviewed the Check Register and Payroll Summary for the month of November.

Chance discussed the proposed 2017 Budget and Tri-State’s projected rate increases in relationship to NRPPD’s rates. The Board also discussed NRPPD’s need for future borrowing. A motion was made by Robert Rickenbach to approve the 2017 Budget and proposed rates, except the Green Power Rate which needed further consideration. Further discussions on the proposed rate increase, effects of deprecation in the financial statements, the cash flow statement projections, and the necessity of proposed long-term borrowing. The motion was then seconded by Wayne Cobb. Lee Ahrens, aye; Bruce Troester, nay; Wayne Cobb, aye; Robert Rickenbach, aye; Gary Fuchser, aye; and Terry Terrell, nay; motion carried.

Les Tlustos joined the meeting at 2:20 PM.

Chance reviewed the IBEW Contract negotiated changes and pay schedule. A discussion followed with a motion being made by Terry Terrell, duly seconded by Wayne Cobb to approve the IBEW Contract for 2017 and 2018; motion carried.

Russ reviewed the Safety Statistics for November.  The Safety Report was discussed including injuries, and the non-NRPPD personnel incidents. The training for the month was also discussed. A brief discussion occurred regarding the current Safety Policy and the portion that states a Director would attend at least two Safety Meetings per year. NRPPD would like to draft a revision to the existing policy and asked for the Board’s input on Board involvement in Safety Meetings and suggestions for a Safety Policy.   A motion was made by Bruce Troester, duly seconded by Terry Terrell to accept the November Safety Report; motion carried.

Ron reported on the JT & S Committee Meeting he attended at the NREA Meeting. NREA is looking at hiring another person as a JT & S Instructor. The Committee also discussed changes to the RESAP Program and they are dealing with cyber security and physical security.

WNCC will be hosting a Linemans’s Rodeo and NRPPD will be providing some of the judges.

Ron also updated the Board that the Gordon Substation upgrade is currently on schedule and the plan is still to have the work completed by the end of the year pending weather conditions. Kevin Groves, NRPPD’s Engineer, has a third party scheduled to do the final inspection before the Substation will be re-energized. With the final inspection the hopefully the Gordon Substation will be back on line by the end of January.

Les reported on the Net Metering Task Force that met at the NREA Meeting. The Task Force would like to develop a policy for consistency across the state on Net Metering, and an Interconnect Agreement. They feel this would aid in discussions with Legislators.

At the Public Information Committee Meeting Les reported that funds from the Working for Nebraska Campaign are available and NREA would like to use some of those funds to do a customer service survey among the NREA Members’ customers.

Chance reported on the Tri-State Contract and Rate Committee meetings. The Contract Committee discussed Capital Credits and the Financial Goals Policy. The Rate Committee discussed different contract options, subscription contract models, and the Standby Rate for large commercial customers with self-generation.

Chance reviewed the proposed layout and projected production for the Hay Springs 900kW Solar Project.

A proposed Financial Goals Policy was reviewed. A Financial Goals Policy sets targets with direction form the Board to Management to maintain a sound financial position. A discussion was held and the proposed policy will be brought back to the Board for further review and discussion.

Gary reported on the Tri-State Meeting he attended and the discussions pertaining to joining the Southwest Power Pool.

Robert was seated on the Legislative Committee and reported on the discussion on deregulation or consumer choice that were held at the NREA Meeting. Les was seated on the Public Information Committee and Chance was elected to serve as the Chairman for the Policy and Resolutions Committee.

Items for the January Agenda will be the Financial Goals Policy, and Bank change.

A motion was made by Gary Fuchser to go into an executive session at 3:52 PM to discuss a staff wages, the motion was seconded by Wayne Cobb; motion carried. Russ Reichenberg, Ron Olson, Les Tlustos, Kelli Anderson, and Arlene Lahaye left the meeting.

A motion was made by Bruce Troester, duly seconded by Gary Fuchser to come out of executive session at 4:24 PM; motion carried.

A motion was made by Wayne Cobb, duly seconded by Gary Fuchser to approve management proposal of salary increases for 2017; motion carried.

There being no further business to come before the Board, the president declared the meeting adjourned at 4:30 PM.

Approved:                                                                               Signed:

_______________________________                                              ______________________________

President                                                                                  Secretary

  

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