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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

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 27, 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 April 27, 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, Gary Fuchser, and Marcus Sandberg.

Also present were Chance Briscoe, manager; Arlene Lahaye, office manager; Ron Olson, operations manager; Trampas Belknap, line superintendent; Les Tlustos, member 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 Lee Ahrens to 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 March 27, 2017 be approved as corrected; motion carried.

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

Chance addressed the Financial Goals Policy Ratios. Chance suggested that NRPPD’s equity should be between 60 -70%, 90 day liquidity, maintain a 1.35 MDSC, and short term debt should be capped at $5 million. Discussion followed but no action was taken.

Darren Drabbels joined the meeting at 1:25 PM.

A discussion was held on the term of the Power Vision Advance. Chance discussed 15 to 30 year terms with the Board. Chance shared with the Board information on the average life of total plant. Based on the average life of plant Chance recommended a 20 year term on the Power Vision Advance. Additional discussion took place regarding expected interest rate adjustment by the Fed in the coming quarters. A motion was made by Lee Ahrens, seconded by Robert Rickenbach to authorize Chance, at his discretion, to lock in a $2 million, 20 year Power Vision Advance with CFC; Lee Ahrens, aye, Bruce Troester, nay; Wayne Cobb, aye; Robert Rickenbach, aye; Gary Fuchser, aye; Terry Terrell, nay; Marcus Sandberg, aye; motion carried.

The Basin Matching Fund Program was discussed. NRPPD must invest $500-$5,000 to a local nonprofit, and Basin will match NRPPD’s investment. A discussion was held and a motion was made by Bruce Troester, seconded by Marcus Sandberg, to authorize the use of the Basin’s Matching Funds Program for the Fire Departments, in our service area, along Highway 20 and to authorize management to find other projects within the service territory boundaries to utilize the balance of matching funds available from Basin Electric; motion carried.

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

Ron reviewed the Safety Statistics for March.  The Safety Report was discussed including the near miss incident, and the training for the month. The preliminary Agenda for the May Safety Meeting was reviewed. A motion was made by Bruce Troester, duly seconded by Gary Fuchser to accept the March Safety Report; motion carried.

Ron informed the Board that Trampas Belknap will be filling the Line Superintendent’s position, and Abe Young will move into the Foreman position. The Serviceman position has been opened up and hope to have that filled soon.

Ron is working with Tri-State and NPPD on a switch at the Rush Creek Sub that will mitigate future outages at our substation.

Ron reviewed the March Outage Report. Ron discussed the number of power outages that were caused by our power supplier.

A Tri-State Survey was completed by the Board.

Trampas left the meeting at 3:15 PM.

Chance informed the Board that NRPPD has been accepted into the NRECA Rural Cooperative Cyber Security Capabilities Program (RC3).

Gary Fuchser reported on the Tri-State Meeting Annual he attended. The main speaker for the meeting was the Attorney General of Colorado, Cynthia Coffman. Ms. Coffman discussed events at the state and federal levels.

Terry Terrell also reported on the Tri-State Annual Meeting.

Item for the May Agenda will be the Financial Goals Policy, and presentation of Scholarship winners.

Bruce Troester and Marcus Sandberg will plan to attend the CFC Training in Kearney on June 28 and 29th.

A motion was made by Gary Fuchser, seconded by Terry Terrell to go into an executive session at 4:26 PM to discuss a real estate matter; motion carried.

Darren left the meeting at 4:26 PM.

A motion was made at 4:55  PM by Robert Rickenbach, seconded by Lee Ahrens to come out of executive session; motion carried.

There being no further business to come before the Board, the president declared the meeting adjourned at 4:56 PM.

Approved:                                                                                 Signed:

_______________________________                                              ______________________________

President                                                                                  Secretary

May 25, 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 May 25, 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, Gary Fuchser, and Marcus Sandberg.

Also present were Chance Briscoe, manager; Arlene Lahaye, office manager; Ron Olson, operations manager; Les Tlustos, member services; Terry Curtiss, District Counsel; Kelsey DeField, employee; Garrett Weyers, Drew Letcher, and Danielle Johnson 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 Robert Rickenbach, duly seconded by Lee Ahrens accept the order of business as published and supplemented at this meeting; motion carried.

A motion was made by Lee Ahrens, duly seconded by Gary Fuchser, that the minutes of the meeting held April 27, 2017 be approved as published and provided to all directors on May 18th; motion carried.

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

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 2017 scholarships were presented by Wayne Cobb and Les Tlustos. Danielle Johnson received the $1,000 Basin Electric Scholarship, Garrett Weyers and Drew Letcher each received a $500 Scholarship from Tri-State G & T. Each student addressed the Board concerning their future plans and where they will be attending college.

Danielle Johnson, Garrett Weyers, and Drew Letcher left the meeting.

Chance addressed the Financial Goals Policy ratios. No action taken.

The NRUCFC Integrity Funds was discussed. A motion was made by Robert Rickenbach, seconded by Terry Terrell to contribute 5% of NRPPD’s Capital Credit refund with a cap of $750 to NRUCFC’s Integrity Fund; motion carried.

Chance recommended that NRPPD discontinue the solar project with Innovative Solar LLC. A discussion followed with a motion being made by Robert Rickenbach, seconded by Gary Fuchser to suspend the solar project; motion carried.

Arlene reviewed the April financial reports, and Chance reviewed the load charts for April.  A motion was made by Bruce Troester, seconded by Terry Terrell to accept the April financial reports; motion carried.

Ron reviewed the Safety Statistics for April.  The Safety Report was discussed and no incidents were reported for the month. Training for the month was reviewed. The preliminary Agenda for the June Safety Meeting was reviewed. A motion was made by Gary Fuchser, duly seconded by Lee Ahrens to accept the April Safety Report; motion carried.

Ron informed the Board that he met with Federated Insurance and reviewed NRPPD’s claims for the past three years. Federated commented on the small volume of claims that have been submitted, as well as the amount on the claims paid.

Ron reviewed the April Outage Report. The largest outage in April was at the Scott Substation and a lightning arrestor was the cause of the outage.

Chance addressed the Board concerning a letter received from a customer dealing with the State of Nebraska’s required Sales Tax Exempt forms.

Chance reported on the Tri-State Board Meeting and the Contract Committee Meeting he attended. Tri-State is forecasting an annual average increase of less than 1% per year for years 2018 through 2021. The Contract Committee reviewed polling results from the previous meeting. The survey found five major areas putting pressure on the contract; changing market conditions, diverging member growth, differing state pressures, new technology opportunities, and progressive community and industrial loads that desire to have renewables.

NRPPD’s 2016 irrigation hours controlled were discussed and compared with a neighboring system. While the programs have differences they had approximately the same number of controlled days.

Chance discussed the CFC Loan Funds advancement and will probably advance the funds in June since it looks like the Federal Reserve will raise the interest rate again in June. A further discussion was held on the possibility in the future of splitting advances between a fixed rate and a variable rate.

Chance reviewed several financial forecasts utilizing differing levels of long term debt financing with the Board followed by an in depth discussion on the options presented.

Gary Fuchser reported on the Tri-State Meeting he attended. Gary informed the Board the vice president of the Tri-State Board lost his seat at his local system so the Tri-State Board will have to elect a new vice president at a future meeting. Also at the meeting discussions were held on the proposed Tri-State Standby Rate.

Terry Terrell reported on the NREA Board Meeting. NREA has increased their assets by $430,000, and NREA also reported that they have received approximately $300,000 from their Insurance Carrier on the fraud issue.  

Chance also reported on the NREA Board Meeting. The board did pass the new contract proposed, which will add another JT&S coordinator. The instructor will be based in western Nebraska.

Item for the June Agenda will be the Financial Goals Policy.

A motion was made by Bruce Troester, seconded by Gary Fuchser to go into an executive session at 3:15 PM to discuss a NREA personnel matter; motion carried.

Kelsey DeField, Ron Olson, Les Tlustos, and Arlene Lahaye left the meeting at 3:15 PM.

A motion was made by Gary Fuchser, seconded by Marcus Sandberg to come out of executive session at 3:41 PM; motion carried.

There being no further business to come before the Board, the president declared the meeting adjourned at 3:42 PM.

Approved:                                                                               Signed:

_______________________________                                              ______________________________

President                                                                                  Secretary

 

June 22, 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 June 22, 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, Gary Fuchser, and Marcus Sandberg.

Also present were Chance Briscoe, manager; Arlene Lahaye, office manager; Ron Olson, operations manager; Les Tlustos, member services; Terry Curtiss, District Counsel; and Wade Hanks, employee.

The Open Meeting Law posting was acknowledged.

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

A motion was made by Bruce Troester, 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 Robert Rickenbach, duly seconded by Marcus Sandberg, that the minutes of the meeting held May 25, 2017 be approved as published and provided to all directors on June 15th; motion carried.

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

Chance addressed the Financial Goals Policy and ratio recommendations. A discussion followed with no action taken.

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

Ron reviewed the Safety Statistics for May.  The Safety Report was discussed and no incidents were reported for the month. Training for the month was reviewed. The preliminary Agenda for the July Safety Meeting was reviewed. A motion was made by Gary Fuchser, seconded by Marcus Sandberg to accept the May Safety Report; motion carried.

Ron informed the Board of recent routine oil test from the transformer at the Scott Substation came back with high gas contents. Currently the transformer is off line and arrangements have been made to ship the transformer for repairs and bring in a Tri-State mobile substation while the repairs are being completed. A claim has been filed with insurance carrier and it is expected at this time the repair costs will be eligible for reimbursement.

Osmose will start testing poles the week of June 26th and the following week NRPPD will have a tree trimmer start trimming trees in the area.

Ron reviewed the May Outage Report. The largest outages in May resulted from power supplier. Ron has had discussions with NPPD and Tri-State on a solution that could possibly mitigate the problem at our Rush Creek Substation.

Les stated that he has made arrangements with Tri-State to have Power at all of the parades again this year.

Chance reported on the NREA Managers’ Meeting he attended. Several topics were discussed, but the mutual aid program and the NREA GM were discussed in more detail. The main issue with the mutual aid program is when and how to have NREA take over coordination rather than the local system operations personnel handling it. The managers plan to have a special meeting to discuss some options to present to the board for consideration concerning the NREA GM.

Chance is on the NREA GM Search Committee, and the Committee has had a couple phone conference calls and one in-person meeting of the committee. The meeting included Ken Holmes from NRECA Executive Search, who facilitated the meeting.

Chance informed the board that a recent meeting, he attended, he won a door prize from UAV Recon, a drone inspection service, and they will do either a substation inspection or inspect 20 poles and provide NRPPD with the results of their inspection.

Gary Fuchser reported on the Tri-State Meeting he attended. The Tri-State Board held a Strategic Planning Session facilitated by ScottMadden. Gary felt it was one of the better planning sessions the Tri-State Board has had. The Tri-State Board will elect a new vice chairman at their July meeting.

Lee Ahrens, and Wayne Cobb attended NRPPD’s June Safety Meeting and reported on the Regional West Air Link presentation.

Robert Rickenbach and Terry Terrell will plan to attend the NREA Meeting in Scottsbluff in August.

Item for the July Agenda will be the Financial Goals Policy.

The July meeting will be held on July 24th at 1:00 PM.

There being no further business to come before the Board, the president declared the meeting adjourned at 3:00 PM.

Approved:                                                                               Signed:

_______________________________                                              ______________________________

President                                                                                  Secretary

 

July 24, 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 July 24, 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, Gary Fuchser, and Marcus Sandberg.

Also present were Chance Briscoe, manager; Arlene Lahaye, office manager; Ron Olson, operations manager; Les Tlustos, member services; Terry Curtiss, District Counsel; and Vicky Henwood, 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, seconded by Gary Fuchser to accept the order of business as published and supplemented at this meeting; motion carried.

A motion was made by Lee Ahrens, seconded by Terry Terrell, that the minutes of the meeting held June 22, 2017 be approved as published and provided to all directors on July 17th; motion carried.

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

Chance addressed the Financial Goals Policy and a discussion was held on NRPPD’s equity level. An inclusion of a variable rate debt to NRPPD’s total debt portfolio was also discussed. A motion was made by Terry Terrell, seconded by Gary Fuchser to approve the Financial Goals Policy with the change of the equity level to state “Equity Ratio between 70% and 80%”; motion carried.

Chance explained that upon a survey of the property line just north of the NRPPD’s office building showed that NRPPD owned thirty-three feet past what was thought to be the boundary. Terry Curtiss drafted a Quitclaim Deed which was presented to the Directors for their approval to correct the property lines. A motion was made by Terry Terrell, seconded by Gary Fuchser to authorize the execution of the Quitclaim Deed; motion carried.

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

Ron reviewed the Safety Statistics for June.  The Safety Report was discussed and the incident that occurred during the month was also discussed. Training for the month was reviewed. The preliminary Agenda for the August Safety Meeting was reviewed. A motion was made by Robert Rickenbach, seconded by Gary Fuchser to accept the June Safety Report; motion carried.

Les stated that Tri-State’s “Power” character made his appearance at several of the parades again this year.

Ron reported that he was on site for testing of the Scott Sub transformer in Virginia. Currently the transformer has been drained and a moisture content test has been done. A discussion was held on the cost of the mobile substation and when the transformer would be scheduled to be put back into service.

Ron reported on the RESAP inspection that was done July 20th for the NRPPD facilities. Ron informed the Board that the inspection was an overall satisfactory inspection. There were a few minor things that were found and needed to be replaced. The inspectors stated that they felt that with all the retirements and position changes NRPPD employees still considered safety an important part of the company.

A discussion was held on the ownership of the secondary service on irrigation accounts. Further information will be gathered and brought back to the Board for consideration.

Ron reviewed the June Outage Report. Ron is still having discussions with NPPD and Tri-State on a solution that could possibly mitigate the problem at our Rush Creek Substation.

Chance reported on the final Tri-State Contract Committee Meeting he attended. The final recommendation from the committee was to keep the status quo on the contract for now with the committee to reconvene in two years. In general the committee recommended that the Tri-State board continue to review the patronage capital issue, both on the allocation and the retirement. It was generally determined to leave the self-generation allowance at 5% for now.

At the NREA Managers’ Meeting a discussion was held on changes to the NREA manager evaluation. The posting for the NREA GM ends August 7th and applications will be reviewed and interviews planned the first week of October.

Gary Fuchser reported on the Tri-State Meeting he attended. The Tri-State board elected Leo Brekel as vice chair.

Steven Livingston, head of Deloitte’s utility cyber security practice presented to the board a presentation that included; Utility cyber risk landscape – specific threats facing the sector, Cyber risk trends – trends in power impacting cyber risk, and Executive oversight – cyber assurance approaches for effective governance.

Several month ago, the rate design committee recommended a new standby rate. After thorough discussion and comments the board approved the new standby rate.

There being no further business to come before the Board, the president declared the meeting adjourned at 3:44 PM.

Approved:                                                                                 Signed:

_______________________________                                              ______________________________

President                                                                                  Secretary

 

August 24, 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 August 24, 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, Gary Fuchser, and Marcus Sandberg.

Also present were Chance Briscoe, manager; Arlene Lahaye, office manager; Ron Olson, operations manager; Les Tlustos, member services; Terry Curtiss, District Counsel; and John Hessler, 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, seconded by Lee Ahrens to accept the order of business as published and supplemented at this meeting; motion carried.

A motion was made by Lee Ahrens, seconded by Gary Fuchser, that the minutes of the meeting held July 24, 2017 be approved as published and provided to all directors on August 17th; motion carried.

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

Chance explained the formalization of the Avian Protection Plan Policy. The policy is intended to ensure compliance with legal requirements, while improving distribution system reliability. NRPPD management and employees are responsible for managing bird interactions with power lines and are committed to reducing the detrimental effects of these interactions. A discussion followed with a motion being made by Robert Rickenbach, seconded by Terry Terrell to approve the Northwest Rural Public Power District: Avian Protection and Management Policy, motion carried.

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

Ron reviewed the Safety Statistics for July.  The Safety Report was discussed and the incident that occurred during the month was also discussed. Training for the month was reviewed. The preliminary Agenda for the September Safety Meeting was reviewed. A motion was made by Gary Fuchser, seconded by Robert Rickenbach to accept the July Safety Report; motion carried.

Ron reported that the testing of the Scott Sub transformer has been completed and new oil has been put back into the transformer. Currently the transformer is scheduled to be installed the week of September 18-22.

Ron informed the Board that the tree trimmers have completed the work north of Rushville and part of the Flats. Osmose pole inspectors should be done with the pole inspection in a few weeks. Osmose reported that they have not found many bad poles during the inspection.

Chance shared the approval of NRPPD’s proposed annex to the Nebraska State Hazard Mitigation Plan. With the approval of NRPPD’s Hazard Mitigation Plan NRPPD now has the ability to apply for FEMA grant funds for potentially rebuilding of lines that are in need of an upgrade. A discussion followed on the potential line rebuilds. Chance stated that the Construction Committee will bring back information on potential construction projects for the Board to review.

Chance reported on the MDM meeting that NRPPD hosted. Topics that were discussed were UAV Recon, Secondary Irrigation line, SCADA vendors, 2018 wages and benefits, GPS units on vehicles, weight limitations for linemen equipment, and Big Iron auction services.

Discussion at the Tri-State board meeting include Equity to Capitalization ratio, Holcomb deferral, short term rate forecast, and staff recommendation for deferred revenue. Also, Tri-State staff is currently recommending to attain and maintain a deferred revenue balance of $100M.

Gary Fuchser reported on the Tri-State Meeting he attended. The Tri-State staff recommended no rate increase in the draft 2018 consolidated budget presented to the board. A discussion was held regarding a letter sent last year from NRPPD regarding Tri-State’s financial goals policy. That letter called for a targeted rate increase goal of 0.5%-3.0% per year. It was the consensus of the Board for the Manager to draft and send another letter to Tri-State to reiterate that position of NRPPD.

Terry Terrell reported on the NREA Meeting he attended in Scottsbluff. Topics discussed at the meeting were WNCC Lineman Program, Customer Satisfaction Survey, equipment height and width regulations, Broadband, and an effort to classify utilities as first responders.

Terry Terrell was elected to the Legislative Committee.

Robert Rickenbach stated that the Retail Choice Bill will likely be up for vote again in the Legislative Session.

Item for the September Agenda will be the Mitigation Funds.

A motion was made by Robert Rickenbach, seconded by Gary Fuchser to appoint the voting delegate and alternate for the Region 7 & 9 for NRECA and NRUCFC as follows:

                        Delegate                       Bruce Troester

                        Alternate                      Chance Briscoe

Robert Rickenbach and Terry Terrell will plan to attend the Mid-West Electric Consumers Association Meeting in December. Terry Curtiss will attend the Legal Seminar. 

A motion was made by Bruce Troester, seconded by Gary Fuchser to go into an executive session at 2:51 PM to discuss a personnel issue; motion carried.

John, Les, Ron, and Arlene left the meeting at 2:52 PM.

A motion was made at 3:32 PM by Robert Rickenbach, seconded by Gary Fuchser to come out of executive session; motion carried.

There being no further business to come before the Board, the president declared the meeting adjourned at 3:33 PM.

 

Approved:                                                                                 Signed:

_______________________________                                              ______________________________

President                                                                                  Secretary

 

September 28, 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 September 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, Gary Fuchser, and Marcus Sandberg.

Also present were Chance Briscoe, manager; Arlene Lahaye, office manager; Ron Olson, operations manager; Terry Curtiss, District Counsel; and Erik 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 Robert Rickenbach, seconded by Marcus Sandberg to accept the order of business as published and supplemented at this meeting; motion carried.

A motion was made by Lee Ahrens, seconded by Gary Fuchser, that the minutes of the meeting held August 24, 2017 be approved as published and provided to all directors on September 21st; motion carried.

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

Chance addressed the process needed to apply for the FEMA Mitigation Funds. Ron then showed the Board the four proposed areas for the construction projects. Ron also reviewed how the construction upgrades would improve service reliability and the estimated construction costs associated with each project. Under advisement from FEMA personnel Ron stated that NRPPD would submit all four projects under one Grant Application. The total estimated cost would be $3.2 million with FEMA paying 75% of the total cost. The upgrades would need to be completed within a three year period. A motion was made by Terry Terrell, seconded by Gary Fuchser to authorize staff to apply for FEMA funds for the proposed projects; motion carried.

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

Ron reviewed the Safety Statistics for August.  The Safety Report was discussed including injuries and accidents that occurred during the month. The training for the month was also discussed. The preliminary Agenda for the October 12th Safety Meeting was reviewed. A motion was made by Robert Rickenbach, duly seconded by Marcus Sandberg to accept the August Safety Report; motion carried.

Chance discussed UAV Recon’s on-site drone demo. UAV Recon started with a presentation regarding their background and their capabilities for inspections of lines. The demo continued with the drone flying approximately two miles of transmission line, which took about an hour to complete. Chance then showed the Board pictures that were taken by the drone during the inspection. NRPPD will have to determine if there is value to having a company like that continue future use of drones for inspection. 

Ron reported that Osmose has completed the pole inspection for this year. One hundred and sixty miles of line were inspected with a reject rate of a little over two percent.

Ron reported that the Scott Sub transformer is now sitting on the pad at the Substation and we need to schedule Besler to put the high side bushings back on the transformer. Once that is done we can energize the transformer for two to three days prior to putting any load back on the transformer.

Ron reviewed the August Outage Report. There were 300 customers out during the month for a total of 94.41 hours. The majority of the outages were caused by lightning.

Chance informed the Board that the Crawford crew is now back to a three man crew. The NREA GM search committee has selected four candidates for interviews, and plan to schedule the interviews for the first week of October.

Chance informed the Board that Tony has been working with the group regarding the cyber security pilot program through NRECA. The first on-site evaluation meeting is scheduled for the first week in October. This meeting’s intent is to identify all the participating parties that have access or somehow connect to our network.

Chance also reported on the NREA Managers’ Meeting and Legal Seminar. The managers’ meeting started with a legal presentation regarding drones and the implications of using a drone for commercial purposes. The last session was a roundtable discussion with topics such as construction standards related to FEMA jobs, communications among utilities during a statewide long term power outage, the customer satisfaction survey, and a TEDx talk given by Tim Lindahl relating to rural internet provider options. The legal seminar included topics such as HR compliance issues, public records requests, conflict of interest issues from NADC and resources available on NREA attorney’s website.

Chance showed the Board the 2018 NRECA rates for the medical plans. NRPPD’s overall rates have decreased due to a reduction in the average of employees in the plans.

Gary Fuchser reported on the Tri-State Meeting he attended, and the discussion on the Southwest Power Pool. Chance reported that the 2017 Tri-State year-end forecast yields higher margins are then what was budgeted.

Arlene informed the board that Shellie Decker has submitted her resignation and her last day will be October 6th.

Terry Curtiss reported on the Legal Seminar. The employment law session was very informative.

There being no further business to come before the Board, the president declared the meeting adjourned at 2:25 PM.

Approved:                                                                                 Signed:

_______________________________                                              ______________________________

President                                                                                  Secretary

 

October 26, 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 October 26, 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, Gary Fuchser, and Marcus Sandberg.

Also present were Chance Briscoe, manager; Arlene Lahaye, office manager; Ron Olson, operations manager; Les Tlustos, Consumer Service; Terry Curtiss, District Counsel; and Tony Hindman, 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, seconded by Terry Terrell to accept the order of business as published and supplemented at this meeting; motion carried.

A motion was made by Gary Fuchser, seconded by Lee Ahrens, that the minutes of the meeting held September 28, 2017 be approved as published and provided to all directors on October 19th; motion carried.

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

Chance discussed the various considerations with regard to employee possession of firearms on NRPPD premises. Chance stated that NRPPD would follow all federal, state and local laws and follow up with an internal procedure.

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

Ron reviewed the Safety Statistics for September.  The Safety Report was discussed including one incident and the training that occurred during the month. The preliminary Agenda for the November 9th Safety Meeting was reviewed. A motion was made by Bruce Troester, duly seconded by Gary Fuchser to accept the September Safety Report; motion carried.

Ron reviewed the September Outage Report. There were 480 customers out during the month for a total of 607 hours. The majority of the outages were prearranged.

Ron discussed the solution with the NPPD feed to NRPPD’s Rush Creek Substation. Ron stated that if the procedure does not solve the issue then NPPD has agreed consider alternative solutions on the 34.5 line that would enable NPPD to more rapidly restore power to the NRPPD Rush Creek Substation.

Ron informed the Board that Kevin Groves, West Plains Engineering, completed a Work Order inspection on construction completed in 2016. Of the projects reviewed, only a few minor construction issues were noted. 

Ron informed the Board that Besler has completed the Doble testing of the Scott Substation transformer and the Substation is back on line.

Les reported that NRPPD has qualified another 11.4 kW solar interconnect system under LB 436. With this system NRPPD now has a total of 109 kW and ten systems under LB436. NRPPD has a total of fourteen interconnect systems.

Tony reported on the RC3 meetings that he attended at Wheat Belt PPD and NRECA. During the meetings he was updated on new tips for security measures and steps to be taken in the future to mitigate cyber threats. When it’s complete, Tony will show the results of the initial inventory of cyber security as indicated by the interview and survey. Over time NRPPD will compare the results to measure progress toward implementation of advisements to achieve a more secure network.

Chance reported on the NREA GM search. The committee has selected Kim Christiansen to be the new GM of NREA. Kim is set to begin her duties at NREA in mid-November.

Chance also reported on the Tri-State Manager Meeting. Mike McInnes commented that there is beginning to be more focus at the national level on grid reliability, there is starting to be some issues in New Mexico over rates, and Tri-State received a letter from United Power requesting further investigation into potential increased capital credit retirements along with a more in depth review of deferred margin accounts.

Chance informed the Board that the Operations group is working on the FEMA mitigation application that was discussed at the previous meeting. NRPPD’s expectation is that the application will be sent to NEMA/FEMA in early November, and we hope to hear back by the first part of next year as to the status of that application.

Gary Fuchser reported on the Tri-State Meeting he attended. Discussions included an update on the Las Conchas fire, and an update on the status of the Southwest Power Pool.

Bruce Troester reported on the NRECA Region 7 & 9 meeting that he and Chance attended. Topics discussed were rates, cyber security and a panel discussion on company embezzlement.

The November meeting is scheduled for November 27th at 9:00 AM.

There being no further business to come before the Board, the president declared the meeting adjourned at 2:55 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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