Minutes of the Regular Meeting NRPPD Board of Directors, January 30, 2014, Unapproved

The regular January meeting of directors of Northwest Rural Public Power District was held in the Conference Room of the District January 30, 2014 at 1:00 P.M.

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

Also present were Rolland Skinner, manager; Arlene Lahaye, office manager; Russ Reichenberg, line superintendent; Ron Housh, planning engineer; Les Tlustos, consumer services, Ron Olson, serviceman; 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 Gary Fuchser, duly seconded by Lee Ahrens to move agenda item #19 (Discuss manager search) under #5 (Approval of Minutes of January 3rd meeting); motion carried.

A motion was made by Gary Fuchser, duly seconded by Bruce Troester to retain the same officers for 2014 as follows: 

President Robert Rickenbach

Vice President Jim Johnson

Treasurer Bruce Troester

Secretary Lee Ahrens

Assistant Treasurer Mike Van Buskirk

Motion carried.

A motion was made by Bruce Troester, duly seconded by Wayne Cobb to appoint Gary Fuchser as the Tri-State representative for Northwest Rural Public Power District; motion carried.

A motion was made by Gary Fuchser, duly seconded by Lee Ahrens to appoint Arlene Lahaye as recording secretary; motion carried.

A motion was made by Wayne Cobb, duly seconded Gary Fuchser, that the minutes of the meeting held January 3rd be approved as amended; Lee Ahrens, aye; Mike Van Buskirk, nay; Bruce Troester, aye; Jim Johnson, aye; Wayne Cobb, aye; Robert Rickenbach, aye; Gary Fuchser, aye; motion carried.

Robert Rickenbach announced that the position of manager has been offered to and accepted by Chance Briscoe. Chance will begin on February 24th.

Terry Curtiss stated that the KSDZ ad moratorium issue is inter-related with the NADC issue. Mr. Curtiss felt that it is still inappropriate to discuss the matter until a ruling is handed down.

Rolland Skinner handed out additional information on the Tri-State By-Law changes for the Board to review.

Ron Housh reviewed the letter sent to the customer with concerns of having an AMI meter installed. He informed the Board as of to date we have not had any response from the customer on the letter sent, and ask the Board for guidance on how the District should proceed. A discussion followed and it was the consensus of the Board that another letter be sent and then personal contact should be made. 

The office manager reviewed the December Financial reports. A motion was made by Wayne Cobb, duly seconded by Mike Van Buskirk to accept the December financial reports; motion carried.

The staff presented the 2013 Year End Report. Arlene Lahaye, office manager, reviewed the load and cash graphs for 2013. Ron Housh, planning engineer reviewed the 2013 irrigation data reports.

Ron Olson, reviewed the 2013 Safety Report. There were 14 reported injuries, 46 incidents (29 NPPPD – 17 non NRPPD)

Russ Reichenberg reviewed the drug testing program. There were 15 drug tests in 2013 and all tested negative for drugs or alcohol. 

Ron Olson then reviewed the 2013 Outage Report. We had 154 outages compared to 117 in 2012. The total consumer hours off system wide were higher in 2013 due to the spring and fall blizzards. 

Ron Olson left the meeting at 3:10 PM.

Russ Reichenberg went over the 2013 Inventory. In 2013 there was $952,065 in material charged out of inventory and we received $618,265 in material. For the year we handled $1,570,331 in material. 

The 2013 construction and work orders were reviewed. There were 120 Work Orders completed in 2013. Total cost of construction for the year was $3,269,879. Of this $884,008 was for normal construction; $282,408 was system upgrades and replacements, and $2,103,463 was for special projects.

Consumer services, Les Tlustos, reviewed Northwest’s communications in 2013. The District’s responsibility is to provide objective and accurate information to inform decision making; Informed consumers = Informed choices. The Youth programs supported by Northwest Rural were reviewed and Les also reviewed the rebates paid by Tri-State and Northwest Rural PPD during 2013.

The renewable energy was discussed. Northwest still has 14 solar stockwell units in service. Northwest’s solar display is located at the Crawford Public Schools and is hooked up in conjunction with their wind generator; it is used for educational purposes. The Board was also informed that Northwest has ten systems interconnected with our facilities. 

The office manager, Arlene Lahaye, reviewed the year-end Form 7 with the Board. The Cash Flow reports were reviewed and discussions were held on the difference between 2013 year end and the 2013 Budget. A discussion was held on the funds available at year end due to the long term loan that was executed in 2013.

Rolland Skinner reviewed the rate history and the overall status charts that cover construction, funds available, and long-term debt. Northwest’s TIER (Times Interest Earns Ratio) for 2013 is 4.94 and the DSC (Debt Service Coverage) is 5.61 still well above the NRUCFC (National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation) loan requirements. Northwest Rural’s average rate increase for the past 33 years is 1.13% as compared to gas, poles, wire, etc.

As a final comment the manager stated that Northwest Rural PPD continues strong both electrically and financially. 

A motion was made by Bruce Troester, duly seconded by Gary Fuchser to accept the 2013 yearend report; motion carried.

The line superintendent reviewed the December safety report. The injuries and non NRPPD personnel incidents were discussed. Training that occurred during the month was also discussed. A motion was made by Wayne Cobb, duly seconded by Gary Fuchser, and unanimously carried to accept the December safety report.

Russ Reichenberg updated the Board on the FEMA progress. The damage was approximately $100,000 and FEMA with reimburse 75% of our costs.

For Rolland’s final comments he stated that it has been a pleasure to work with a high quality and well educated Board of Directors.

Russ Reichenberg, Ron Housh and Les Tlustos left the meeting at 4;50 PM.

Gary Fuchser Reported on the Tri-State meeting and the strategic planning that is occurring at Tri-State.

Voting delegates for the NRECA/NRUCFC Annual meeting were discussed. A motion was made by Wayne Cobb, duly seconded by Gary Fuchser to appoint the delegates as follows:

NRUCFC Voting Delegate Lee Ahrens

Alternate Robert Rickenbach

NRECA Voting Delegate Robert Rickenbach

Alternate Lee Ahrens 

At 5:17 PM a motion was made by Bruce Troester, duly seconded by Gary Fuchser to go into an executive session to discuss NPSIG issues. Lee Ahrens, aye; Mike Van Buskirk, aye; Bruce Troester, aye; Wayne Cobb, abstain; Robert Rickenbach, aye; Gary Fuchser, abstain; Jim Johnson, aye; motion carried.

Wayne Cobb, Gary Fuchser and Arlene Lahaye left the meeting at 5:18 PM.

At 5:38 PM a motion was made by Bruce Troester, duly seconded by Mike Van Buskirk to come out of executive; Lee Ahrens, aye; Mike Van Buskirk, aye; Bruce Troester, aye; Wayne Cobb, absent; Robert Rickenbach, aye; Gary Fuchser, absent; Jim Johnson, aye; motion carried. 

There being no further business to come before the Board, the President declared the meeting adjourned at 5:40 P.M.. 

Approved: President

Signed: Secretary

Published: February 19, 2014