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Board Meeting Minutes

 

January 28, 2021

 

 

 MINUTES OF REGULAR MONTHLY MEETING
OF
THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF NORTHWEST RURAL PUBLIC POWER DISTRICT

 


A regular meeting of the Board of Directors of Northwest Rural PPD was held at the headquarters Thursday, January 28, 2021 at the hour of 1:00 p.m. The meeting was called to order by President Bruce Troester. The following Members were present and constituted a quorum: Lee Ahrens, Lucas Bear, Gary Fuchser, Christopher Garrett, Marcus Sandberg, and Bruce Troester.  Also present was General Manager Chance Briscoe and District Counsel Terry Curtiss.


Unless otherwise noted, all votes were taken by roll call on motion duly made and seconded and unanimously passed.


Open Meeting Law: The Open Meeting Law was acknowledged.


Agenda: Motion to accept the agenda; motion carried.
     
Approval of Minutes: A motion was made to accept the minutes of Budget Hearing and the Regular Meeting of December 21, 2020; motion carried.

Public Comments: None.

Check Register and Payroll Summary Review: The Check Register and Payroll Summary for the previous month were reviewed. President Troester declared the items as informational items requiring no Board action.

Action Items: At 1:03 p.m. President Troester turned the meeting over to Mr. Curtiss to conduct election of the Board President. Mr. Gary Fuchser was nominated. A motion was made to cease nomination and cast a unanimous ballot for Mr. Fuchser; motion carried.

At 1:05 p.m. Mr. Curtiss turned the meeting over to President Fuchser to conduct elections for the remaining officer positions. Upon conclusion of nominations and subsequent votes, the following officers were elected for the NRPPD Board of Directors; Mr. Lee Ahrens as Vice
President, Mr. Chris Garrett as Secretary, Mr. Marcus Sandberg as Treasurer, and Mr. Bruce Troester as Assistant Treasurer.

As is done annually, delegates to associated memberships were selected; Mr. Lucas Bear was selected to continue on the Tri-State Board and Mr. Chance Briscoe was selected to represent NRPPD on the NREA Board of Directors.

Financial Report: Manager Briscoe reviewed the operating report, variance report and load charts for the previous month. A motion was made to accept the financial report; motion carried.

Safety Report: Operations Manager Olson reviewed the safety statistics, safety report and safety meeting minutes for the previous month. A motion was made to accept the safety report; motion carried.

Staff Reports: The staff made the following reports and answered Board questions: a. Operations Manager Olson discussed the Outage Report for the previous month.  b. Customer Service Representative Tlustos reminded Directors that it was time for the
annual ACRE renewal if they were interested and gave a presentation reviewing 2020 load characteristics of the solar arrays on the City of Gordon water pumps.

General Manager’s Report: Manager Briscoe generally reported on or discussed, among other things: (1) a review of the teleconference for the Tri-State CEO Town Hall and Manager’s Meeting; (2) a status overview of the multiple open FERC dockets related to Tri-State; (3)
selection to the Western United Board replacing retired manager from Roosevelt; and (4) reviewed Tri-State’s response to the CTP request filed by NRPPD in November.

Tri-State Report: Director Bear gave a report on various operational metrics of Tri-State over the last month, renewable tax credits being extended, partial requirements open season being delayed, the Solar Winds cyberattack, fire mitigation presentation, and the Crossing Trails wind
project official start delayed due to defective turbine.

Items for Next Agenda: Review and consider applications to fill vacant NRPPD board seat and review final December financial statements.

Legal Update: Saved for Executive Session.

Other Business: None.

Executive Session: A motion was made at 2:52 p.m. to enter executive session to discuss litigation issues; motion carried with abstention by Director Bear.

A motion was made to exit executive session at 4:.03 p.m.; motion carried.

Adjournment: President Fuchser declared the meeting adjourned at 4:04 p.m.

APPROVED:
____________________________________ ____________________________________
President                                                          Secretary

 

 

 

February 25, 2021

MINUTES OF REGULAR MONTHLY MEETING
OF
THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF NORTHWEST RURAL PUBLIC POWER DISTRICT

 



A regular meeting of the Board of Directors of Northwest Rural PPD was held at the headquarters Thursday, February 25, 2021 at the hour of 1:00 p.m. The meeting was called to order by President Gary Fuchser. The following Members were present and constituted a quorum: Lee Ahrens, Lucas Bear, Gary Fuchser, Christopher Garrett, Marcus Sandberg, and Bruce Troester.

Also present was General Manager Chance Briscoe and District Counsel Terry Curtiss.

Unless otherwise noted, all votes were taken by roll call on motion duly made and seconded and unanimously passed.

Open Meeting Law: The Open Meeting Law was acknowledged.

Agenda: Motion to accept the agenda; motion carried.

Approval of Minutes: A motion was made to accept the minutes of the Regular Meeting of January 28, 2021; motion carried.

Public Comments: None.

Check Register and Payroll Summary Review: The Check Register and Payroll Summary for the previous month were reviewed. President Fuchser declared the items as informational items requiring no Board action.

Action Items: The Board considered current membership in the NE State Chamber of Commerce. It was determined that NRPPD would remain members of the Chamber for an additional year with review to follow in the 2022 budget discussion. A motion was made to continue membership for 2021; motion carried.

The current Board vacancy was reviewed. Notice had been posted regarding the vacancy but no applications were received for consideration. A motion was made to table; motion carried.

Manager Briscoe led a discussion regarding a potential electric vehicle lease. Each board member was able to take a short test drive of a new Mustang Mach-E provided by Wahlstrom Ford. After lengthy discussion, the board directed staff to acquire more information for consideration at the March meeting. A motion was made to table; motion carried.

Customer Service Represenative Tlustos joined the meeting and led a discussion regarding a potential community investment for the Gordon American Legion which is planning to install new electronic signage. Mr. Tlustos explained that by being members of Basin Electric, through Tri-State G&T, that NRPPD was eligible to apply for matching funds toward the Legion sign. A motion was made to allow for up to $1,500 to be applied toward the sign with the contingency of the Basin Electric match but to review next month if the matching funds could not be acquired; motion carried. Mr. Tlustos left the meeting.

Financial Report: Manager Briscoe reviewed the operating report and load charts for the previous month and the revised unaudited year end operating statement. A motion was made to accept the financial report; motion carried.

Safety Report: Manager Briscoe reviewed the safety statistic and safety report for the previous month. A motion was made to accept the safety report; motion carried.

Staff Reports: The staff made the following reports and answered Board questions: a. Manager Briscoe reviewed the Outage Report for the previous month and reviewed a recent inspection completed by Federated.

General Manager’s Report: Manager Briscoe generally reported on or discussed, among other things: (1) Membership in Basin and Touchstone after the Tri-State changes eliminating memberships through Tri-State; (2) Review of the recent NREA Board and Committee meetings; (3) Review of the NREA Manager’s meeting; (4) Review of the Tri-State CEO Town Hall; and (5) A recap of the recent winter blast causing rolling blackouts in the SPP territory.
 
Tri-State Report: Director Bear gave a report on various operational metrics of Tri-State over the last month, that the board conducted a strategic planning session, Tri-State began operating in the SPP WEIS (Western Energy Imbalance Service), and discussion of the proposed policy 125 that
prescribes procedures for acquiring a CTP calculation.

Items for Next Agenda: Consider any received applications to fill the Board vacancy and consider the additional information provided regarding a potential electric vehicle.

Legal Update: Saved for Executive Session.

Other Business: None.

Executive Session: A motion was made at 3:38 p.m. to enter executive session to discuss litigation issues; motion carried with abstention by Director Bear. Director Bear left the meeting. A motion was made to exit executive session at 4:35 p.m.; motion carried.

Adjournment: President Fuchser declared the meeting adjourned at 4:36 p.m.

APPROVED:
____________________________________ ____________________________________
President                                                          Secretary
 

March 25, 2021

 

 

MINUTES OF REGULAR MONTHLY MEETING
OF
THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF NORTHWEST RURAL PUBLIC POWER DISTRICT


 



A regular meeting of the Board of Directors of Northwest Rural PPD was held at the headquarters Thursday, March 25, 2021 at the hour of 1:00 p.m. The meeting was called to order by President Gary Fuchser. The following Members were present and constituted a quorum: Lee Ahrens, Lucas Bear, Gary Fuchser, Christopher Garrett, Marcus Sandberg, and Bruce Troester. Also present was General Manager Chance Briscoe, District Counsel Terry Curtiss and guest Lynden Smith.

Unless otherwise noted, all votes were taken by roll call on motion duly made and seconded and unanimously passed.

Open Meeting Law: The Open Meeting Law was acknowledged.

Agenda: Motion to accept the agenda; motion carried.

Approval of Minutes: A motion was made to accept the minutes of the Regular Meeting of February 25, 2021; motion carried.

Public Comments: None.

Check Register and Payroll Summary Review: The Check Register and Payroll Summary for the previous month were reviewed. President Fuchser declared the items as informational items requiring no Board action.

Action Items: Mr. Smith was introduced as having interest to fill the board vacancy. Mr. Smith gave a brief overview of himself as an ag operator south of Hay Springs and married with three children. A brief discussion was held providing the board an opportunity to ask about his interest in serving on the board and vice versa if he had any questions regarding service on the board.  Upon conclusion, the board decided to table a decision until the next regular meeting and Mr. Smith stayed to observe the meeting.

Manager Briscoe reviewed steps to acquire information about potential lease of an electric vehicle. Information was still missing and the board tabled any decision until the next regular meeting.  

Manager Briscoe led a discussion to review the FEMA Hazard Mitigation document which was established in 2017. The plan will now be added as an appendix to the State of NE plan and amotion was made to approve the plan; motion carried.

Manager Briscoe led a discussion regarding the current long-term loan which has a variableinterest rate. The amount of the loan is $1.1M of the total long-term debt of $8.2M, 13.5%. The current option was to lock the interest rate at 3.55% up from 2.45% currently variable. After discussion and review of Policy 102 for Financial Goals, a motion was made to fix the interest rate for the remaining 17-year term; motion carried.

Financial Report: Manager Briscoe reviewed the operating report and load charts for the previous month. A motion was made to accept the financial report; motion carried.

Safety Report: Line Superintendent Belknap reviewed the safety statistic, safety report and safety meeting minutes for the previous month. A motion was made to accept the safety report; motion carried.

Staff Reports: The staff made the following reports and answered Board questions:

a. Line Superintendent Belknap reviewed the Outage Report for the previous month and reviewed the outage restoration efforts during the recent blizzard in March.

b. Customer Service Representative Tlustos reviewed a recent request for a community investment for renovations to the Hay Springs park concession stand. A motion was made to approve the request for $1,500.00 with the contingency that Basin Electric match the funds; motion carried.

General Manager’s Report: Manager Briscoe generally reported on or discussed, among other things: (1) Review of the Tri-State CEO Town Hall; (2) Review of a Wholesale Customer Meeting of NPPD; (3) A quick update of the status of the FERC dockets for the stated rate case and the contract termination case, with additional discussion held for executive session; and (4) An update as to the status of COVID response at NRPPD, which has allowed for all employees an opportunity to receive vaccination and return to normal operation the first week of April.

Tri-State Report: Director Bear gave a report on various operational metrics of Tri-State over the last month and significant discussion about passage with amendments of Policy 125 to establish procedures for Tri-State to supply CTP calculations to requesting members.

Items for Next Agenda: Board vacancy and potential electric vehicle.

Legal Update: Saved for Executive Session.

Other Business: None.

Executive Session: A motion was made at 2:27 p.m. to enter executive session to discuss litigation issues; motion carried with abstention by Director Bear. Director Bear and guest Mr. Smith left the meeting.

A motion was made to exit executive session at 3:04 p.m.; motion carried.

Adjournment: President Fuchser declared the meeting adjourned at 3:05 p.m.

APPROVED:
____________________________________ ____________________________________
President                                                          Secretary
 

 

April 29, 2021

 

 

MINUTES OF REGULAR MONTHLY MEETING

OF

THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF NORTHWEST RURAL PUBLIC POWER DISTRICT

(unapproved)
 

A regular meeting of the Board of Directors of Northwest Rural PPD was held at the headquarters Thursday, April 29, 2021 at the hour of 1:00 p.m. The meeting was called to order by President Gary Fuchser. The following Members were present and constituted a quorum: Lee Ahrens, Lucas Bear, Gary Fuchser, Christopher Garrett, Marcus Sandberg, and Bruce Troester.

Also present were General Manager Chance Briscoe, Operations Manager Ron Olson, Customer Service Representative Les Tlustos, Office Manager Tony Hindman, District Counsel Terry Curtiss and guest Lynden Smith.

Unless otherwise noted, all votes were taken by roll call on motion duly made and seconded and unanimously passed.

Open Meeting Law: The Open Meeting Law was acknowledged.

Agenda: Motion to accept the agenda; motion carried.

Approval of Minutes: A motion was made to accept the minutes of the Regular Meeting of March 25, 2021; motion carried.

Public Comments: None.

Check Register and Payroll Summary Review: The Check Register and Payroll Summary for the previous month were reviewed. President Fuchser declared the items as informational items requiring no Board action.

Action Items: A motion was made to appoint Lynden Smith to fill the vacant board seat for Subdivision 3; motion carried. Mr. Smith read and signed the Oath of Office.

Mr. Brandon Blair of the Decoria, Blair and Teague accounting firm joined the meeting by phone. Mr. Blair reviewed the audit report prepared on the 2020 financial statements. Mr. Blair indicated the audit confirms an unqualified opinion. A motion was made to accept the audit report; motion carried.

Manager Briscoe reviewed the potential purchase of an electric vehicle but more information is needed prior to proceeding and was tabled for a future meeting.  Manager Briscoe led a discussion regarding a new rate proposal. NRPPD currently offers a net meter rate for residential services that do not qualify under the Nebraska Statute LB436 but a new service has been installed on a General Service account. This new rate will apply a similar structure to residential but applied on general services accounts. A motion was made to adopt the new rate; motion carried.

Financial Report: Manager Briscoe reviewed the operating report and load charts for the previous month. A motion was made to accept the financial report; motion carried.

Safety Report: Operations Manager Olson reviewed the safety statistic, safety report and safety meeting minutes for the previous month. A motion was made to accept the safety report; motion carried.

Staff Reports: The staff made the following reports and answered Board questions:

a. Operations Manager Olson reviewed the Outage Report for the previous month and reviewed the outage restoration efforts during the blizzard in March.
b. Customer Service Representative Tlustos mentioned that the scholarship winners are scheduled to attend the May board meeting.
c. All department heads participated in a 2020 Year in Review presentation that highlighted work completed and performance results from the previous year.

General Manager’s Report: Manager Briscoe generally reported on or discussed, among other things: (1) Review of the Tri-State Manager’s Meeting; (2) Tri-State Shoshone method and 2021 financial forecast presentations; (3) Update on a meeting with multiple stakeholder groups regarding EV charging station planning across Nebraska; (4) A recap of the recent virtual legislative meetings in coordination with NREA and NRECA; and (5) A review of the two active FERC docket cases on the stated rate and the buyout method where Tri-State recently held a special meeting of the board to vote on a settlement offer (which they approved).

Tri-State Report: Director Bear gave a report on various operational metrics of Tri-State over the last month, proposed bylaw changes related to partial requirement members and that Tri-State has been in conversation with the Sierra Club to work on proposals to recuperate stranded costs on early termination of coal generation plants.

Items for Next Agenda: Potential electric vehicle.

Legal Update: None.

Other Business: None.

Adjournment: President Fuchser declared the meeting adjourned at 4:20 p.m.

APPROVED:
____________________________________ ____________________________________
President                                                           Secretary
 

 

 

 

May 28, 2020

MINUTES OF REGULAR MONTHLY MEETING
OF
THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF NORTHWEST RURAL PUBLIC POWER DISTRICT

 

A regular meeting of the Board of Directors of Northwest Rural PPD was by video conference on Thursday, May 28, 2020 at the hour of 1:00 p.m.  The meeting was called to order by President Bruce Troester.  The following Members were present and constituted a quorum: Lee Ahrens, Lucas Bear, Gary Fuchser, Christopher Garrett, Marcus Sandberg, Terry Terrell, and Bruce Troester

Also present were General Manager Chance Briscoe, Office Manager Tony Hindman, Operations Manager Ron Olson, Consumer Services Les Tlustos, and District Counsel Terry Curtiss. 

Unless otherwise noted, all votes were taken by roll call on motion duly made and seconded and unanimously passed.  

Open Meeting Law: The Open Meeting Law was acknowledged. 

Agenda: Motion to accept the agenda; motion carried.  

Approval of Minutes: A motion was made to accept the minutes as presented for the meeting of April 23, 2020; motion carried. 

Public Comments: None. 

Check Register and Payroll Summary Review: The Check Register and Payroll Summary for April 2020 were reviewed. President Troester declared the items as informational items requiring no Board action. 

Action Items: A potential study was proposed to be done by NRTC in relation to a fiber network buildout in the NRPPD territory. The cost of such study was to be $20,000. The study would produce a report showing a network design along with the costs of building a fiber network in the territory. This was raised in regard to the upcoming Rural Digital Opportunity Fund reverse bid program being offered by the FCC later this year. After presentations and discussion, a motion was made to table the action until more information was acquired and/or a special meeting was called to consider the study; motion carried. 

Financial Report: Manager Briscoe reviewed the operating report, variance report and load charts for April 2020. A motion was made to accept the financial report; motion carried. 

Safety Report: Operations Manager Olson reviewed the safety statistics for April 2020. There was no safety meeting and thus no meeting minutes to present. A motion was made to accept the safety report; motion carried. 

Staff Reports:  The staff made the following reports and answered Board questions:

a.    Operations Manager Olson discussed the Outage Report for the previous month and discussed that the Gordon Substation was currently being fed from the Rush Creek Substation while NPPD conducted work on the transmission line feeding Gordon. 
b.    Customer Services Representative Tlustos reported on delivering information to the scholarship recipients and that there are 59 irrigation systems that have signed up for a load control program.  

General Manager’s Report:  Manager Briscoe generally reported on or discussed, among other things: (1) A review of the teleconference for the Tri-State Board Committee meetings; (2) A review of the teleconference for the Tri-State CEO Town Hall; (3) That NRPPD is not eligible for funds under the Payroll Protection Program; (4) An update on NRPPD response to COVID-19; and (5) an update on the FERC protests against Tri-State’s proposed Contract Termination Payment Method.   

Tri-State Report: Mr. Fuchser gave a brief report of the Tri-State teleconference Board Meeting for May and an update of declining loads and energy prices. 

Items for Next Agenda: An item was noted to include the tabled motion at the next meeting. 

Legal Update: None.   

Adjournment:  President Troester declared the meeting adjourned at 2:18 p.m. 

APPROVED:

____________________________________    ____________________________________
President                        Secretary-Treasurer
 

June 25, 2020

MINUTES OF REGULAR MONTHLY MEETING
OF
THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF NORTHWEST RURAL PUBLIC POWER DISTRICT

 

A regular meeting of the Board of Directors of Northwest Rural PPD was in Hay Springs, NE on Thursday, June 25, 2020 at the hour of 1:00 p.m. The meeting was called to order by President Bruce Troester. The following Members were present and constituted a quorum: Lee Ahrens,
Lucas Bear, Gary Fuchser, Christopher Garrett, Marcus Sandberg, Terry Terrell, and Bruce Troester Also present were General Manager Chance Briscoe and District Counsel Terry Curtiss.

Unless otherwise noted, all votes were taken by roll call on motion duly made and seconded and unanimously passed.

Open Meeting Law: The Open Meeting Law was acknowledged.

Agenda: Motion to accept the agenda; motion carried.

Approval of Minutes: A motion was made to accept the minutes as presented for the meeting of May 28, 2020; motion carried.

Public Comments: None.

Check Register and Payroll Summary Review: The Check Register and Payroll Summary for May 2020 were reviewed. President Troester declared the items as informational items requiring no Board action.

Action Items:
Long-Term Debt Advance – The Board was presented options for various terms ranging from 15 to 30 years along with associated interest rates, both fixed and variable. Additionally, a request was made from the Board to have management review all current outstanding long-term debt and
consider potential for cost savings by re-financing any current outstanding debt in the current low interest rate environment. After a lengthy discussion including a request for additional information related to overall cost of debt during the entire term of the variety of loans, a motion
was made to approve a Long-Term Debt Advance in the amount of $1,450,000.00 with a 25-year fixed term; motion carried

Policy 504: Line Extension General Conditions – A discussion was held regarding some additions that were discussed in 2012 regarding this policy. Certain recommendations from the engineering firm had been planned for implementation in the policy but no record could be found
for adoption of the changes from 2012. Additionally, a discussion was had regarding an overall review of all line extension policies by end of year. After review of the proposed changes, a motion was made to accept the policy changes as presented; motion carried.

Financial Report: Manager Briscoe reviewed the operating report, variance report and load charts for May 2020. A motion was made to accept the financial report; motion carried.

Safety Report: Operations Manager Olson joined the meeting and reviewed the safety statistics for May 2020. There was no safety meeting and thus no meeting minutes to present. A motion was made to accept the safety report; motion carried.

Staff Reports: The staff made the following reports and answered Board questions: a. Operations Manager Olson discussed the Outage Report for the previous month, discussed briefly some options for radio equipment on a tower that is currently being replaced after it fell in the winter ice storm, and discussed that NPPD completed their work and the Gordon Substation was back to normal feed.

General Manager’s Report: Manager Briscoe generally reported on or discussed, among other things: (1) A review of the teleconference for the Tri-State Board Committee meetings; (2) A review of the teleconference for the Tri-State CEO Town Hall; (3) Discussion about governance
issues at Tri-State and some actions being taken to alter governance in the future; (4) and an update on the FERC protests against Tri-State’s proposed Contract Termination Payment Method.

Tri-State Report: Mr. Fuchser gave a brief report of the Tri-State teleconference Board Meeting for June and an update of the DMEA withdrawal from Tri-State that was accepted by FERC. Mr. Fuchser also reported that he intends to resign as Director to the Tri-State Board. A discussion
was held regarding his replacement but no action was taken.

Items for Next Agenda: To review all outstanding long-term debt.

Legal Update: None.

Executive Session: A motion was made at 3:13 p.m. to enter executive session to discuss litigation issues; motion carried with Director Fuchser abstaining. Director Fuchser left the meeting. A motion was made to exit executive session at 4:12 p.m.; motion carried.

Adjournment: President Troester declared the meeting adjourned at 4:13 p.m.

APPROVED:

____________________________________
President
____________________________________
Secretary-Treasurer

 

July 23, 2020

 

 

MINUTES OF REGULAR MONTHLY MEETING
OF
THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF NORTHWEST RURAL PUBLIC POWER DISTRICT

 


A regular meeting of the Board of Directors of Northwest Rural PPD was in Hay Springs, NE on Thursday, July 23, 2020 at the hour of 1:00 p.m. The meeting was called to order by President Bruce Troester. The following Members were present and constituted a quorum: Lee Ahrens,
Lucas Bear, Gary Fuchser, Christopher Garrett, Marcus Sandberg, Terry Terrell, and Bruce Troester  Also present were General Manager Chance Briscoe and District Counsel Terry Curtiss.

 

Unless otherwise noted, all votes were taken by roll call on motion duly made and seconded and unanimously passed.


Open Meeting Law: The Open Meeting Law was acknowledged.


Agenda: Motion to accept the agenda; motion carried.


Approval of Minutes: A motion was made to accept the minutes as presented for the meeting of June 25, 2020; motion carried.


Public Comments: None.


Check Register and Payroll Summary Review: The Check Register and Payroll Summary for June 2020 were reviewed. President Troester declared the items as informational items requiring no Board action.


Action Items:  Radio Tower Contract: Manager Briscoe reviewed options regarding NRPPD’s radio communication equipment. The tower previously hosting the equipment south of Chadron blew down in a storm last fall. The choice was to stay on the tower that had been a temporary situation
and go back to the original location or to permanently stay. After review of the costs associated with each option, a motion was made to authorize management to execute a contract to stay in place and for the purchase of a generator; motion carried.


Financial Report: Manager Briscoe reviewed the operating report, variance report and load charts for June 2020. A motion was made to accept the financial report; motion carried.


Safety Report: Operations Manager Olson joined the meeting and reviewed the safety statistics for June 2020. There was no safety meeting and thus no meeting minutes to present. A motion was made to accept the safety report; motion carried.


Staff Reports: The staff made the following reports and answered Board questions: 

 

a. Operations Manager Olson discussed the Outage Report for the previous month, review of the recent Federated Inspection report from Bruce Baker, update on tree cutting that was finishing up, and review of a tree in a transmission line and associated blinks. Operations Manager Olson left the meeting.


b. Customer Service Representative Tlustos joined the meeting and reported on the TriState provided Tesla Model 3 and the EV Experience with employees and customers.  There were approximately 150 test drives with overwhelming positive reports from the drives. Customer Service Representative Tlustos left the meeting.


General Manager’s Report: Manager Briscoe generally reported on or discussed, among other things: (1) A review of the teleconference for the Tri-State Board Committee meetings; (2) A review of the teleconference for the Tri-State CEO Town Hall; (3) Discussion about governance
issues at Tri-State and some actions being taken to alter governance in the future; (4) an update on the FERC protests against Tri-State’s proposed Contract Termination Payment Method; (5) a review of current long term debt and repricing options; (6) a review and analysis of the method
approved for Tri-State buyout recommended by the ALJ for the Colorado PUC; and (7) a discussion regarding 4-H bidding by NRPPD at upcoming sales.


Tri-State Report: Mr. Fuchser gave a brief report of the Tri-State teleconference Board Meeting for July. Mr. Fuchser also formally announced his resignation from the Tri-State Board.


Items for Next Agenda: To review repricing options for a particular long-term debt obligation.


Legal Update: None.


Executive Session: A motion was made at 3:10 p.m. to enter executive session to discuss litigation issues; motion carried.
A motion was made to exit executive session at 3:41 p.m.; motion carried.


Action Item: A motion was made to appoint Manager Briscoe as the Tri-State Director and as the delegate to the Tri-State Annual Meeting; motion carried.


Adjournment: President Troester declared the meeting adjourned at 3:45 p.m.


APPROVED:

____________________________________
President
____________________________________
Secretary-Treasurer

 

August 10, 2020

 

MINUTES OF SPECIAL MEETING
OF
THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF NORTHWEST RURAL PUBLIC POWER DISTRICT


A special meeting of the Board of Directors of Northwest Rural PPD was by phone conference on Monday, August 10, 2020 at the hour of 2:00 p.m. The meeting was called to order by President Bruce Troester. The following Members were present and constituted a quorum: Lee Ahrens, Lucas Bear, Gary Fuchser, and Bruce Troester.  Also present was General Manager Chance Briscoe.

Unless otherwise noted, all votes were taken by roll call on motion duly made and seconded and unanimously passed.

Open Meeting Law: The Open Meeting Law was acknowledged.

Agenda: Motion to accept the agenda; motion carried.

Action Items:

A motion was made to appoint Lucas Bear as the representative from Northwest Rural to the TriState Board of Directors; motion carried.

Adjournment: President Troester declared the meeting adjourned at 2:04 p.m.

APPROVED:
____________________________________ ____________________________________
President                                                          Secretary-Treasurer


August 27, 2020

MINUTES OF REGULAR MONTHLY MEETING
OF
THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF NORTHWEST RURAL PUBLIC POWER DISTRICT

 

A regular meeting of the Board of Directors of Northwest Rural PPD was held by video conference Thursday, August 27, 2020 at the hour of 1:00 p.m. The meeting was called to order by President Bruce Troester. The following Members were present and constituted a quorum:  ee Ahrens, Lucas Bear, Gary Fuchser, Christopher Garrett, Marcus Sandberg, Terry Terrell, and Bruce Troester  Also present were General Manager Chance Briscoe, Office Manager Tony Hindman, Operations Manager Ron Olson, District Counsel Terry Curtiss and Guest Kate Merriman.

Unless otherwise noted, all votes were taken by roll call on motion duly made and seconded and unanimously passed.

Open Meeting Law: The Open Meeting Law was acknowledged.

Agenda: Motion to accept the agenda; motion carried.

Approval of Minutes: A motion was made to accept the minutes as presented for the meeting of July 23, 2020 and the Special Meeting of August 10, 2020; motion carried.

Public Comments: Kate Merriman was recognized as a guest attending the meeting.

Check Register and Payroll Summary Review: The Check Register and Payroll Summary for July 2020 were reviewed. President Troester declared the items as informational items requiring no Board action.

Action Items:  A special meeting of the board was called on August 10, 2020. During the meeting Lucas Bear was appointed to the Tri-State Board. A motion was made to ratify that action; motion carried.

Financial Report: Manager Briscoe reviewed the operating report, variance report and load charts for July 2020. A motion was made to accept the financial report; motion carried.

Safety Report: Operations Manager Olson reviewed the safety statistics, safety report and safety meeting minutes for July 2020. A motion was made to accept the safety report; motion carried.

Staff Reports: The staff made the following reports and answered Board questions:  a. Operations Manager Olson discussed the Outage Report for the previous month.

General Manager’s Report: Manager Briscoe generally reported on or discussed, among other things: (1) A review of the MDM Meeting attended; (2) A review of the teleconference for the Tri-State CEO Town Hall; (3) a review of the EV Experience; (4) an update on the FERC protests against Tri-State’s proposed Contract Termination Payment Method; and (5) a review of long term debt repricing available for loan 9018006 with CFC. After discussion, a motion was made to instruct staff to refinance loan 9018006 on the terms presented; motion carried.

Tri-State Report: Manager Briscoe gave a report of the Strategic Planning Session, the regular board meeting, the Annual Meeting and the Reorganization Meeting of Tri-State for August. Some of the topics discussed were; potential “Buy-in” ideas presented to Tri-State from member systems, Tri-State long-term governance considerations, rate reduction initiatives being reviewed by staff, the formation of a Technical Advisory Committee, and changes to the officer positions on the Executive Committee.

NREA Report: Mr. Terrell reported on the virtual board meeting held for NREA. Among other things he reviewed low activity on the Legislative Committee, the 2021 budget review and the hiring of a new General Manager for the association.

Items for Next Agenda: To review status of long-term debt currently on a variable rate and to appoint a voting delegate for the NRECA region meeting.

Legal Update: Held until Executive Session.

Executive Session: A motion was made at 1:45 p.m. to enter executive session to discuss litigation issues; motion carried, with abstention from Director Bear. Bear, Olson, Hindman and Merriman left the meeting.

A motion was made to exit executive session at 2:37 p.m.; motion carried.

Adjournment: President Troester declared the meeting adjourned at 2:38 p.m.
APPROVED:
____________________________________ ____________________________________
President                                                          Secretary-Treasurer 


 

September 24, 2020

 

MINUTES OF REGULAR MONTHLY MEETING
OF
THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF NORTHWEST RURAL PUBLIC POWER DISTRICT

 

A regular meeting of the Board of Directors of Northwest Rural PPD was at the headquarters Thursday, September 24, 2020 at the hour of 1:00 p.m. The meeting was called to order by President Bruce Troester. The following Members were present and constituted a quorum: Lee
Ahrens, Lucas Bear, Gary Fuchser, Christopher Garrett, Marcus Sandberg, Terry Terrell, and Bruce Troester

Also present were General Manager Chance Briscoe, and District Counsel Terry Curtiss.

Unless otherwise noted, all votes were taken by roll call on motion duly made and seconded and unanimously passed.

Open Meeting Law: The Open Meeting Law was acknowledged.

Agenda: Motion to accept the agenda; motion carried.

Approval of Minutes: A motion was made to accept the minutes as presented for the meeting of August 27, 2020; motion carried.

Public Comments: None.

Check Register and Payroll Summary Review: The Check Register and Payroll Summary for the previous month were reviewed. President Troester declared the items as informational items requiring no Board action.

Action Items:

A motion was made to appoint Manager Briscoe as the delegate for the business portion of the NRECA Regional Meeting; motion carried.

A motion was made to appoint Directors Fuchser, Bear and Sandberg to the negotiating committee for the upcoming union contract extension; motion carried.

Financial Report: Manager Briscoe reviewed the operating report, variance report and load charts for the previous month. A motion was made to accept the financial report; motion carried.

Safety Report: Operations Manager Olson joined the meeting and reviewed the safety statistics, safety report and safety meeting minutes for the previous month. A motion was made to accept the safety report; motion carried.

Staff Reports: The staff made the following reports and answered Board questions:
a. Operations Manager Olson discussed the Outage Report for the previous month and previewed additional materials purchases planned to stock up inventory to finish the year. Olson left the meeting upon the conclusion of his report.

General Manager’s Report: Manager Briscoe generally reported on or discussed, among other things: (1) A review of the teleconference for the Tri-State CEO Town Hall; (2) a review of the EV Experience and presentation made during the EPRI video conference; (3) a review of the
documents distributed by Tri-State relating to cost reductions being considered for rate relief over a three-year period; and (4) a discussion regarding the interest rate environment as it relates to current long term debt on a variable rate with a recommendation to lock in a rate at a later time.

Tri-State Report: Director Bear gave a report for his first participation as the NRPPD Tri-State Director. He relayed some of the operating statistics for Tri-State reported during the meeting, some policy actions taken, review of the cost reduction efforts being considered, and a preliminary review of the 2021 budget forecast that included no projected rate change. Upon conclusion of the Board Meeting, Director Bear attended a New Board Member orientation program presented by Tri-State staff.       

Items for Next Agenda: To review status of long-term debt currently on a variable rate, review the 2020 load control program results and consider increase to the corporate counsel retainer.

Legal Update: Held until Executive Session.

Executive Session: A motion was made at 2:00 p.m. to enter executive session to discuss litigation issues; motion carried, with abstention from Director Bear. Director Bear left the meeting.

A motion was made to exit executive session at 2:49 p.m.; motion carried.

Adjournment: President Troester declared the meeting adjourned at 2:50 p.m.

APPROVED:
____________________________________ President ____________________________________Secretary-Treasurer

 

 

 

October 22, 2020

 

 

 MINUTES OF REGULAR MONTHLY MEETING
OF
THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF NORTHWEST RURAL PUBLIC POWER DISTRICT

 


A regular meeting of the Board of Directors of Northwest Rural PPD was at the headquarters Thursday, October 22, 2020 at the hour of 1:00 p.m. The meeting was called to order by Vice President Chris Garrett. The following Members were present and constituted a quorum: Lee Ahrens, Lucas Bear, Gary Fuchser, Christopher Garrett, and Marcus Sandberg.

Also present were General Manager Chance Briscoe, and District Counsel Terry Curtiss.

Unless otherwise noted, all votes were taken by roll call on motion duly made and seconded and unanimously passed. 

Open Meeting Law: The Open Meeting Law was acknowledged. 

Agenda: Motion to accept the agenda; motion carried.    

Approval of Minutes: A motion was made to accept the minutes as presented for the meeting of September 24, 2020; motion carried. 

Public Comments: None. 

Check Register and Payroll Summary Review: The Check Register and Payroll Summary for the previous month were reviewed. Vice President Garrett declared the items as informational items requiring no Board action. 

Action Items: 

A motion was made to appoint Manager Briscoe as the delegate for the Basin Annual Meeting; motion carried. 

Mr. Curtiss reviewed the current monthly retainer. After discussion a motion was made to increase the monthly retainer to $700.00; motion carried. 

Financial Report: Manager Briscoe reviewed the operating report, variance report and load charts for the previous month. A motion was made to accept the financial report; motion carried. 

Safety Report: Operations Manager Olson joined the meeting and reviewed the safety statistics, safety report and safety meeting minutes for the previous month. A motion was made to accept the safety report; motion carried. 

Staff Reports: The staff made the following reports and answered Board questions:
a. Operations Manager Olson discussed the Outage Report for the previous month and discussed some of the additional materials purchases made to stock up inventory to finish the year. Olson left the meeting upon the conclusion of his report.
General Manager’s Report: Manager Briscoe generally reported on or discussed, among other things: (1) A review of the teleconference for the Tri-State Manager’s Meeting; (2) A review of a meeting with NPPD representatives to discuss the potential of power supply options through the Tri-State partial requirements contract changes; (3) the Technical Advisory Committee was formed at Tri-State and they plan to begin meeting soon; (4) COVID-19 update; (5) A review of the NRECA Regional Meeting held virtually; and (6) an interest rate review with recommendation to continue carrying a long term note at a variable rate. 

Tri-State Report: The October Tri-State board meeting was again held virtually. Director Bear gave a report on various operational metrics of Tri-State over the last month along with an overview of policies considered but tabled until the Board is able to meet in person. He also reviewed cost reduction plans presented by staff to reduce the average cost to under 70 mills by 2024, the 2021 budget presentation by Tri-State staff, and that he voted “no” on the 2021 proposed rates.
Items for Next Agenda: To review status of long-term debt currently on a variable rate. Due to schedule conflicts, the Board set the November meeting to be on the 19th at 1:00 pm and the December meeting to be on the 21st at 1:00 pm.
Legal Update: Mr. Curtiss briefly reviewed a recent set of letters distributed by United Power and Tri-State which attempted to clarify their positions in the on-going legal disputes between them.
Executive Session: A motion was made at 2:30 p.m. to enter executive session to discuss litigation issues; motion carried, with abstention from Director Bear. Director Bear left the meeting.
A motion was made to exit executive session at 3:40 p.m.; motion carried.
Adjournment: Vice President Garrett declared the meeting adjourned at 3:41 p.m.

APPROVED:
____________________________________ ____________________________________
President                                                           Secretary-Treasurer

 

November 19, 2020

 

MINUTES OF REGULAR MONTHLY MEETING
OF
THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF NORTHWEST RURAL PUBLIC POWER DISTRICT

 


A regular meeting of the Board of Directors of Northwest Rural PPD was held by video conference Thursday, November 19, 2020 at the hour of 1:00 p.m. The meeting was called to order by President Bruce Troester. The following Members were present and constituted a quorum: Lee Ahrens, Lucas Bear, Gary Fuchser, Christopher Garrett, Marcus Sandberg, Terry Terrell and Bruce Troester.


Also present were General Manager Chance Briscoe, Office Manager Tony Hindman, Operations Manager Ron Olson, Customer Service Representative Les Tlustos, and District Counsel Terry Curtiss.


Unless otherwise noted, all votes were taken by roll call on motion duly made and seconded and unanimously passed.


Open Meeting Law: The Open Meeting Law was acknowledged.


Agenda: Motion to accept the agenda; motion carried.


Approval of Minutes: A motion was made to accept the minutes as amended for the meeting of October 22, 2020; motion carried.


Public Comments: None.


Check Register and Payroll Summary Review: The Check Register and Payroll Summary for the previous month were reviewed. President Troester declared the items as informational items requiring no Board action.


Action Items: Manager Briscoe presented the 2021 Budget Forecast which included a 3% overall rate increase. The budget will be added to the December meeting agenda for final review and acceptance.


Financial Report: Manager Briscoe reviewed the operating report, variance report and load charts for the previous month. A motion was made to accept the financial report; motion carried.


Safety Report: Operations Manager Olson reviewed the safety statistics, safety report and safety meeting minutes for the previous month. A motion was made to accept the safety report; motion carried.


Staff Reports: The staff made the following reports and answered Board questions:
a. Operations Manager Olson discussed the Outage Report for the previous month.
b. Customer Service Representative Tlustos reviewed the Tri-State communication advisory council and the planned advertising campaigns coming for the following year.


General Manager’s Report: Manager Briscoe generally reported on or discussed, among other things: (1) a review of the teleconference for the Tri-State CEO Town Hall; (2) a status overview of the multiple open FERC dockets related to Tri-State; (3) a review of the NREA Legislative Committee meeting; (4) a review of the activities during the Basin Annual Meeting and Member Meeting held virtually; (5) and a status update on the Cost of Service Study being conducted by CFC.


Tri-State Report: Director Bear gave a report on various operational metrics of Tri-State over the last month, a discussion regarding the recent announcement of Tri-State’s joint press release of multiple utilities signing a Letter of Understanding to pursue joining the SPP and actions taken by the board to authorize a special meeting of the membership to consider changes to the Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws. A motion was made to appoint Manager Briscoe as the membership delegate for the Special Meeting and Director Bear as the alternate; motion carried.


Items for Next Agenda: To review status of long-term debt currently on a variable rate and action on the 2021 Budget Forecast.


Legal Update: Mr. Curtiss gave a report on COVID responses by different companies and the ability of OSHA to potentially hold companies accountable if not providing safe working conditions to employees during the pandemic.


Executive Session: A motion was made at 2:24 p.m. to enter executive session to discuss litigation issues; motion carried, with abstention from Director Bear. Director Bear left the meeting.


A motion was made to exit executive session at 3:14 p.m.; motion carried.


Adjournment: President Troester declared the meeting adjourned at 3:15 p.m.


APPROVED:

____________________________________
President
____________________________________
Secretary-Treasure

November 24, 2020

MINUTES OF SPECIAL MEETING
OF
THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF NORTHWEST RURAL PUBLIC POWER DISTRICT


A special meeting of the Board of Directors of Northwest Rural PPD was by video conference on Tuesday November 24, 2020 at the hour of 12:00 p.m. The meeting was called to order by President Bruce Troester. The following Members were present and constituted a quorum: Lee Ahrens, Chris Garrett, Gary Fuchser, Marcus Sandberg, Terry Terrell, and Bruce Troester.


Also present was General Manager Chance Briscoe and District Counsel Terry Curtiss.


Unless otherwise noted, all votes were taken by roll call on motion duly made and seconded and unanimously passed.


Open Meeting Law: The Open Meeting Law was acknowledged.


Executive Session: A motion was made to enter Executive Session at 12:01 pm for purposes of discussing litigation matters; motion carried


A motion was made to exit Executive Session at 12:14 pm; motion carried


Action Items: A motion was made to authorize management to take the necessary steps to obtain, for planning purposes, a buyout number from Tri-State under the CTP method currently approved and subject to settlement proceedings in the FERC Docket ER20-1559.


Adjournment: President Troester declared the meeting adjourned at 12:20 p.m.


APPROVED:

____________________________________
President
____________________________________
Secretary-Treasurer

 

 

MINUTES OF BUDGET HEARING
OF
THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF NORTHWEST RURAL PUBLIC POWER DISTRICT

 


A Budget Hearing was held on Monday December 21, 2020 at the hour of 11:00 a.m. The meeting was called to order by Vice President Chris Garrett. The following Members were present and constituted a quorum: Lee Ahrens, Lucas Bear, Chris Garrett, Gary Fuchser, Marcus Sandberg, and Terry Terrell.
Also present was General Manager Chance Briscoe.

Unless otherwise noted, all votes were taken by roll call on motion duly made and seconded and unanimously passed.

Open Meeting Law: The Open Meeting Law was acknowledged.

Order of Business: A motion was made to accept the Order of Business; motion carried

2021 Budget and Rate Review: Manger Briscoe reviewed presentation that was made in November regarding the 2021 Budget and proposed 2021 Rates. Several questions were asked by the Board and discussion was held.

Adjournment: After questions were reviewed, Vice President Garrett declared the meeting adjourned at 11:15 a.m.
APPROVED:

____________________________________
President
____________________________________
Secretary-Treasurer

 

 

 

December 21, 2020

 

 

MINUTES OF REGULAR MONTHLY MEETING
OF
THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF NORTHWEST RURAL PUBLIC POWER DISTRICT


 


A regular meeting of the Board of Directors of Northwest Rural PPD was held at the headquarters Monday, December 21, 2020 at the hour of 11:15 a.m. The meeting was called to order by Vice President Chris Garrett. The following Members were present and constituted a quorum: Lee Ahrens, Lucas Bear, Gary Fuchser, Christopher Garrett, Marcus Sandberg, and Terry Terrell.  Also present was General Manager Chance Briscoe.

Unless otherwise noted, all votes were taken by roll call on motion duly made and seconded and unanimously passed.

Open Meeting Law: The Open Meeting Law was acknowledged.

Agenda: Motion to accept the agenda; motion carried.

Excuse Director – A motion was made to excuse Director Troester from the meeting; motion carried.

Approval of Minutes: A motion was made to accept the minutes as amended for the meeting of November 19, 2020; motion carried. A motion was made to accept the minutes of the Special Meeting held virtually November 24, 2020 at 12:00 p.m; motion carried with Lucas Bear abstaining.

Public Comments: None.

Check Register and Payroll Summary Review: The Check Register and Payroll Summary for the previous month were reviewed. Vice President Garrett declared the items as informational items requiring no Board action.

Action Items: A motion was made to accept the 2021 Budget and Rates as reviewed during the Budget Hearing; motion carried

The 2021 to 2024 Labor Agreement was reviewed regarding the proposed changes along with labor rates for bargaining unit positions through 2024. A motion was made to approve the agreement; motion carried.

Office Manager Hindman joined the meeting to discuss a proposed resolution regarding hardship withdrawals from the employee 401k plans. After review and discussion a motion was made to approve the resolution; motion carried. Hindman left the meeting.

District Counsel Terry Curtiss joined the meeting.

Manager Briscoe reviewed accounting procedures for the legal costs related to the on-going FERC Protests in the Tri-State rate and contract termination dockets. Upon recommendation from the auditors, Manager Briscoe recommended the Board approve authorization to book those related costs as a Regulatory Item and then further discuss amortization upon conclusion of the cases. A motion was made to reclassify as regulatory items; motion carried.

Financial Report: Manager Briscoe reviewed the operating report, variance report and load charts for the previous month. A motion was made to accept the financial report; motion carried.

Safety Report: Operations Manager Olson reviewed the safety statistics, safety report and safety meeting minutes for the previous month. A motion was made to accept the safety report; motion carried.

Staff Reports: The staff made the following reports and answered Board questions:
a. Operations Manager Olson discussed the Outage Report for the previous month.  Olson also reviewed Covid protocols in place as they related to work schedules and he reviewed status of JT&S Instructors with recent resignation and pending retirement.
b. Customer Service Representative Tlustos reviewed the Tri-State Scholarship changes being proposed for 2022, the NREA re-design of the Rural Electric Nebraskan and previewed the ACRE renewal coming in January.

Grassroots Presentation: Due to the Covid situation the NREA produced a video showing the process for bill authorization through the Nebraska Legislature which was displayed for the Board.

General Manager’s Report: Manager Briscoe generally reported on or discussed, among other things: (1) a review of the teleconference for the Tri-State CEO Town Hall; (2) a status overview of the multiple open FERC dockets related to Tri-State; and (3) a review of the Tri-State Special Membership Meeting.

Tri-State Report: Director Bear gave a report on various operational metrics of Tri-State over the last month, review of the External Affairs committee actions, an overview of the Strategy Map developed by Tri-State, the work on cost and rate reductions, and a review of the approved Capital Credit Retirement of $30M.

Items for Next Agenda: To review status of long-term debt currently on a variable rate.

Legal Update: Saved for Executive Session.

Other Business: Vice President Garrett recognized that this was Director Terrell’s last meeting as a Board Member. Vice President Garrett thanked Director Terrell for his service to NRPPD and presented him with a gift of appreciation. A discussion was held and determined it was in the best interest to put out notice for anyone interested to fill the position and request applications.

Executive Session: A motion was made at 1:04 p.m. to enter executive session to discuss staff wages and litigation issues; motion carried. Director Bear left the meeting at 1:19 after discussion of staff wages.

A motion was made to exit executive session at 2:00 p.m.; motion carried.

Action Item: A motion was made to approve staff wages for 2021 as discussed in Executive Session.

Adjournment: Vice President Garrett declared the meeting adjourned at 2:05 p.m.

APPROVED:
____________________________________ ____________________________________
President Secretary-Treasurer
 

 

 

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