Minutes of the Regular Meeting NRPPD Board of Directors, March 26, 2015, Unapproved

The regular meeting of Directors of Northwest Rural Public Power District (NRPPD) was held in the Conference Room of the District March 26, 2015 at 1:00 PM.

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

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

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 Robert Rickenbach to excuse Mike Van Buskirk’s absence; motion carried

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

A motion was made by Wayne Cobb, duly seconded Tony Hindman, that the minutes of the meeting held February 16, 2015 be approved as published and mailed to all directors on March 20th; motion carried.

Chance reviewed the proposed By-Law changes which would allow for ACH payments to vendors, removal of references to directors carrying bonds, along with various updates to form and terminology. A discussion followed with a motion being made by Wayne Cobb, duly seconded by Gary Fuchser to approve the proposed changes to NRPPD’s By-Laws; motion carried.

Chance discussed refinancing NRPPD’s Long Term Debt options. The payoff penalties and over all refinancing savings were reviewed and discussed. A motion was made by Wayne Cobb, duly seconded by Robert Rickenbach to refinance CFC Loan Advance Numbers 9014001 and 9015003; motion carried.

Arlene presented a list of accounts for board approval to be transferred into NRPPD’s provision for uncollectible accounts. The Board was informed that the reasons these accounts were unpaid range from moved and did not pay final bill, to foreclosure and deceased. A motion was made by Robert Rickenbach, duly seconded by Bruce Troester to transfer the uncollectible amounts to the provision for uncollectible accounts; motion carried.

Chance discussed NRCS/NRD Funding Request and reviewed their objectives and goals. NRCS/NRD are asking for support in order to submit Grant Applications. Chance recommended that NRPPD sign on in support in name only. A motion was made by Bruce Troester, duly seconded by Tony Hindman to support NRCS/NRD in name only at this time; motion carried.

A discussion was held on a former employee issue, no action was taken.

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

Russ reviewed the Safety Statistics for February. NRPPD has reached 750,249 hours worked without a lost time accident. The incident that occurred and the training for the month were discussed. A motion was made by Robert Rickenbach, duly seconded by Gary Fuchser to accept the February Safety Report.

Russ reviewed the Work Order Inventories 458 through 525. The inventories represented that last seven years of construction and approximately $10 million of construction work completed. A discussion followed with a motion being made by Robert Rickenbach, duly seconded by Wayne Cobb to accept the Work Order Inventories 458 through 525; motion carried.

Chance informed the Board that the current mapping software is being evaluated. In order to make a WebMap version available will require some conversion work along with upgrading our server hardware to house the data. Discussions are also being held on converting the map to NISC, which also supports NRPPD’s accounting and customer billing software. Chance felt that due to the time line with NISC the best solution to make the map available would be to work through Fisher Utilities with the existing software and converting to NISC the first part of 2016.

Chance reviewed the Tri-State Rate Design Alternatives, which showed several possibilities on how to measure and bill demand components of the proposed rates. 

Chance showed the Board a comparison between NRPPD and NPPD residential rates for specific usage amounts. 

Chance, Russ and Ron attended the Water Issues Meeting that was held by the Upper Niobrara White NRD. NRPPD and PREMA were among the meeting sponsors. Topics of discussion were the current aquifer readings, projected water levels, and crop rotation effects.

Chance reviewed the Employee Culture Survey. The objective is to provide insights related to the culture of the work environment, identifying employee satisfaction, engagement, and dissatisfaction. Also, gauging employee perceptions of the district, district management and culture of the organization.

At the Tri-State Board Meeting there was an Executive Session regarding a recent filing from DMEA with FERC. The main issue in the filing is whether or not Tri-State’s contract supersedes PURPA as it relates to purchasing energy from local qualified generation sources.

Les reported on the Editors Workshop he attended and shared the Awards NRPPD received. First place for Photography, first on a News Story, and first for a Feature Story.

Terry Curtiss informed the Board that the briefs have been submitted to NADC. Terry also discussed the Tri-State By-Law change on how the Capital Credits are retired with the Board.

There being no further business to come before the Board, the president declared the meeting adjourned at 5:00 PM. 

Approved: President 

Signed: Secretary

Published: April 22, 2015