Minutes of the Regular Meeting NRPPD Board of Directors, June 25, 2015, Unapproved

The regular meeting of Directors of Northwest Rural Public Power District (NRPPD) was held in the Conference Room of the District June 25, 2015 at 10:00 AM.

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

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

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 accept the order of business as published and supplemented at this meeting; motion carried.

A motion was made by Gary Fuchser, duly seconded Mike Van Buskirk, that the minutes of the meeting held May 27, 2015 be approved as published and provided to all directors on June 18th; motion carried.

Chance explained the new format and numbering system for NRPPD Policies. Russ then reviewed Policy 100, Avian Protection. The policy outlines NRPPD’s intent to comply with bird protection regulations for new construction and existing line maintenance. A motion was made by Mike VanBuskirk, duly seconded by Tony Hindman to approve Policy 100, Avian Protection; motion carried.

Chance informed the Board of the request from the Crawford Fire Department for a donation to their Scholarship Fund. The scholarship would be awarded to a family member of the Crawford Fire Department. A motion was made by Gary Fuchser, duly seconded by Mike VanBuskirk to make a one-time donation of $500.00 to the Scholarship Fund; motion carried.

Chance explained how a prepaid metered account is handled and the need to establish a rate just for a residential prepaid account. The proposed rate for an average customer would have a neutral rate effect for an existing TOU residential account moving to the prepaid rate. Examples of the effect of the prepaid rate were reviewed and discussed. Chance reviewed Policy 600, Residential Prepay Rate Schedule, a motion was made by Mike Van Buskirk, duly seconded by Robert Rickenbach to approve Policy 600, Residential Prepay Rate Schedule; motion carried. 

Chance reviewed the letter received from Schmidt and Company concerning their Peer Review. A discussion followed, and the consensus of the Board was that the answers provided in the letter were sufficient, at this time, to continue using Schmidt and Company as NRPPD’s Auditor.

Arlene reviewed the May financial reports, and Chance reviewed the load charts for May. A discussion was held on line loss and the relationship between kWh sales and line loss. A motion was made by Mike Van Buskirk, duly seconded by Tony Hindman to accept the May financial reports; motion carried.

Russ reviewed the Safety Statistics for May. Total hours worked without a lost time accident is 761,432 hours. The property damage, training and the injury that occurred during the month were discussed. A motion was made by Robert Rickenbach, duly seconded by Gary Fuchser to accept the May Safety Report; motion carried.

Russ reviewed construction and the damage that has occurred due to storms that have gone through NRPPD’s service area. NRPPD has lost 32 poles due to high winds. The line has been re-spanned and the 32 poles have been replaced with 43 new poles. The total amount spent on construction through April is $374,511.

Les informed the Board that NRPPD will be sending three kids to the NREA Youth Energy Leadership Camp in July. NRPPD will be using the safety demo trailer as a float in the parades this year. Les also informed the Board that Tri-State has launched a campaign “Power Makes It Possible” using the Power character in the campaign ads. These ads may be viewed at powerworksforyou.coop. 

Chance reported on setting up the Mobile Workforce (electronic service orders) with NISC. The testing has been completed and NRPPD has gone live with the program. The IT position has been accepted by the IBEW and has been posted; intend to have the position filled by the end of July.

Chance informed the Board that he and Russ attended the Power Line Advisory Council meeting at WNCC. The enrollment numbers are down for this year and a few items were discussed to address the lower enrollment.

Chance attended the MDM Meeting, this continues to be a very valuable meeting with several topics of interest being discussed by the Group.

Chance reviewed the letter from Tri-State addressing the Tri-State/DMEA FERC ruling on jurisdiction over Tri-State’s power supply agreements and wholesale contracts.

The schedule for the Strategic Planning Session was discussed and dates were set for September 28 & 29th.

Gary Fuchser reported on the Tri-State Board Meeting. Colowyo filed a motion for stay pending appeal in federal district court and a notice of appeal with the appellate court. Tri-State staff continues to address the Colowyo Mine issue on all fronts to ensure that mining operations can continue.

The Tri-State Board has authorized Tri-State to join the Southwest Power Pool.

The July regular meeting of the NRPPD Board will be held Wednesday, July 29th at 9:00 AM.

Wayne Cobb, Robert Rickenbach, Chance Briscoe, Russ Reichenberg, Les Tlustos and Lee Ahrens plan to attend the NREA Board Meeting August 12 & 13th in Scottsbluff.

Robert Rickenbach plan to attend the Region 7 & 9 Meeting.

Terry Curtiss informed the Board that Oral Arguments for the NADC will be heard July 7th in North Platte.

In Other Business Tony Hindman informed the Board that he is submitting his resignation from the Board in order to pursue personal goals. 

An item for the July Agenda will be added for acceptance of Tony’s resignation and the appointment to fill the vacated Board Seat.

Marissa Curtiss left the meeting at 3:10 PM.

A motion was made by Bruce Troester, duly seconded by Gary Fuchser to go into an executive session at 3:13 PM to discuss possible asset acquisition; motion carried.

A motion was made at 3:50 PM by Robert Rickenbach, duly seconded by Mike VanBuskirk 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 3:51 PM. 

Approved: President

Signed: Secretary

Published: July 22, 2015