Minutes of the Regular Meeting NRPPD Board of Directors, July 29, 2015, Unapproved

The regular meeting of Directors of Northwest Rural Public Power District (NRPPD) was held in the Conference Room of the District July 29, 2015 at 9:00 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, Mike Van Buskirk, and Wayne Cobb.

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 Cale Anderson, NRPPD lineman.

The Open Meeting Law posting was acknowledged. 

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

A motion was made by Mike Van Buskirk, duly seconded by Wayne Cobb to accept the order of business as published and supplemented at this meeting, but to allow for the scheduled executive session phone conference; motion carried.

A motion was made by Robert Rickenbach, duly seconded Mike Van Buskirk, that the minutes of the meeting held June 25, 2015 be approved as published and provided to all directors on July 21st; motion carried.

A motion was made by Gary Fuchser, duly seconded by Mike Van Buskirk to accept Tony Hindman’s resignation from NRPPD Board of Directors.

A discussion was held on the appropriate process to fill the vacated Board seat. A motion was made by Gary Fuchser, duly seconded by Bruce Troester to place a notice in the local papers for interested applicants to submit a letter of interest for Board review; motion carried.  

Arlene reviewed the June financial reports, and Chance reviewed the load charts for June. Line loss was discussed and Chance informed the Board that approximately 10% of accounts are registered on SmartHub to view their accounts. A motion was made by Wayne Cobb, duly seconded by Mike Van Buskirk to accept the June financial reports; motion carried.

Russ reviewed the Safety Statistics for June. Total hours worked without a lost time accident is 765,123 hours. The incidents and damage that occurred by non-NRPPD personnel was discussed. Property damage caused by NRPPD personnel was also discussed along with training that occurred during the month. A motion was made by Wayne Cobb, duly seconded by Gary Fuchser to accept the June Safety Report; motion carried.

Russ informed the Board that NRPPD’s Avian Protection Plan has been approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and should be receiving confirmation on it soon.

Les informed the Board that NRPPD had three kids attend NREA Youth Energy Leadership Camp this year. NRPPD also provided transportation for one camper from PREMA’s service area.

Chance gave the Board an update on Prepaid Metering that NRPPD will be offering soon. NRPPD has finished the testing stage and plan to go live the first part of September. Prepaid meter customers will purchase electricity before it is used, make a payment when they want, and when the account runs low will receive an email or text message letting them know it is time to recharge their account.

Chance updated the Board on filling the IT position. All resumes have been reviewed and five candidates have been selected for the interview process. Chance plans to announce the person hired by August 10th.

Chance discussed the External Affairs Committee Meeting held during the Tri-State Board Meeting. Chance drafted a revision to Policy 308, which Gary presented to the External Affairs Committee, regarding the Managers’ Committee. The External Affairs Committee tabled the revision and sent it to the Managers’ Committee that would meet the next week. During the Managers’ Meeting support for a portion of the proposed revision failed.

Chance informed the Board that there is a group from southwest Colorado that has submitted questions to Tri-State on what their plan was for cost containment and generation diversification. Mike McGinnis, Tri-State CEO, addressed each of their questions. 

Chance also reported to the Board that he had attended the Basin Managers’ Meeting.

A proposed Agenda for the Strategic Planning Session, scheduled for September 28th and 29th was reviewed. The Board was asked to consider the Agenda and if they would like to see some changes they need to contact Chance and let him know. A discussion was held on the location for the Strategic Planning Session, and the consensus of the Board was to hold the session off site, which a location will be determined at a later time.

Gary Fuchser reported on the Tri-State Meeting and commented on the Colowyo Mine issue.

Mike Van Buskirk reported on the Director training in Branson, Missouri that he attended.

An item for the August Agenda will be added to fill the vacated Board Seat.

Wayne voiced a concern on NRPPD’s policy on priority of job construction. Russ explained that as soon as all required contracts and payments, if needed, are received the job is put in the weekly construction schedule. Staff will review what occurred and report back to the Board regarding the facts involved.

The Region 7 & 9 Meetings and voting delegates were discussed. A motion was made by Robert Rickenbach, duly seconded by Gary Fuchser to leave Mike as the voting delegate and to appoint Chance as the alternate; motion carried.

Terry Curtiss reported that the decision of the District Court of Lincoln County, Nebraska as entered July 15, 2015 on the remand of NADC v Skinner and Tlustos from the Nebraska Supreme Court. The district Court affirmed the decision of the NADC after applying the criteria stated by the Nebraska Supreme Court in its decision reversing and remanding the prior decision of the District Court. The Defendants and Intervenors have 30 days in which to appeal.

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.

A motion was made by Bruce Troester, duly seconded by Rickenbach to go into an executive session at 10:58 AM to discuss NADC legal issues; Lee Ahrens, aye; Mike Van Buskirk, abstain; Bruce Troester, aye; Wayne Cobb aye; Robert Rickenbach, aye; Gary Fuchser, aye; motion carried. Rolland Skinner joined the executive session.

Arlene Lahaye, Russ Reichenberg, Cale Anderson, Ron Housh, and Mike Van Buskirk left the meeting.

A motion was made at 12:17 PM by Bruce Troester, duly seconded by Gary Fuchser to come out of executive session; motion carried.

Rolland Skinner left the meeting. Arlene Lahaye and Mike Van Buskirk rejoined the meeting.

After exiting the executive session, the Board approved the following motion made by Bruce Troester and duly seconded by Robert Rickenbach; Chance Briscoe be and is hereby authorized to such action on behalf of the Northwest Rural Public Power District Board of Directors as he deems appropriate given the decisions of the individual participants in NADC v Skinner and Tlustos, et al; Lee Ahrens, aye; Mike Van Buskirk, abstain; Bruce Troester, aye; Wayne Cobb aye; Robert Rickenbach, aye; Gary Fuchser, aye; motion carried. 

The August regular meeting will be held on Tuesday August 25th at 1:00 PM.

There being no further business to come before the Board, the president declared the meeting adjourned at 12:20 PM.

Approved: President

Signed: Secretary

Published: August 19, 2015