Minutes of Regular Meeting NRPPD Board of Directors, July 28, 2016, Unapproved

The regular meeting of Directors of Northwest Rural Public Power District (NRPPD) was held in the Conference Room of the District July 28, 2016 at 1:00 PM.

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

Also present were Chance Briscoe, manager; Arlene Lahaye, office manager; Russ Reichenberg, line superintendent; Les Tlustos, consumer services; Terry Curtiss, District Counsel; and Kelly Troester, employee.

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 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 by Gary Fuchser, that the minutes of the meeting held June 22nd be approved as published and provided to all directors on July 21st; motion carried.

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

The Board reviewed the Check Register and Payroll Summary for the month of June.

Chance reviewed the Solar Purchased Power Agreements with SoCore and Innovative Solar LLC.  A discussion was held on installation and project pricing. Chance recommended that the Board authorize him to sign a Letter of Intent with Innovative Solar LLC and start the solar project. A motion was made by Mike Van Buskirk, duly seconded by Terry Terrell to authorize Chance to sign a formal Letter of Intent with Innovative Solar LLC to proceed with solar project as presented; motion carried.

A discussion was held on the IBEW Negotiation Committee. A motion was made by Mike Van Buskirk, duly seconded by Gary Fuchser to appoint Lee Ahrens, Robert Rickenbach and Bruce Troester to the IBEW Negotiation Committee; motion carried.

Arlene reviewed the June financial reports, and Chance reviewed the load charts for June. A motion was made by Bruce Troester, duly seconded by Mike Van Buskirk to accept the June financial reports; motion carried.

Russ reviewed the Safety Statistics for June. The Safety Report was discussed including the near miss incidents, property damage, and training for the month. A motion was made by Mike Van Buskirk, duly seconded by Wayne Cobb to accept the June Safety Report; motion carried.

Chance gave the Board an update on NRPPD’s Social Media, Facebook page. Statistics show that the page is being viewed and shared by a growing number of people. Chance also showed the Board the outage map that is available on NRPPD’s web page for customers to refer to during an outage situation.

Russ reviewed June Outage Report. In June NRPPD experienced outages that affected several customers due to the underground out of the Chadron Sub and wind storms.

Russ updated the Board on the pole inspection program. Through the first of July 2657 poles have been inspected with a reject rate of 2.1%.

Russ reviewed the construction costs through June. The total construction costs through June are $917,529, of this amount $27,289 is retirement costs.

Russ also reported that the radio system upgrade is complete. All the repeaters have been linked together and this has made a big difference in having a reliable radio system for communications.

Les reported on the 2016 NREA Youth Energy Leadership Camp. 

Chance reviewed the current collection procedure. A discussion followed.

Chance reported on the Municipal Smart Grid Summit he attended. Some of the products and services presented include; software analytics, GPS and mapping, AMI, SCADA, dispatch room monitors, reclosure equipment, LED solar security/street lighting, cyber security solutions, utility scale solar projects, and billing solutions. A few of the specific options to consider coming from the presentations were utility scale leased storage, LED solar lighting, and cyber security.

Chance also attended the Basin MAC meeting and much of the conversation was dominated by the Basin mid-year rate increase (approximately 12%), the initial forecast for 2017, and questions regarding Dakota Gasification Company. Due to Basin’s increase Tri-State may be looking at a 7% increase in 2017 instead of 5%.

Kit-Carson is now officially out of Tri-State. A discussion followed concerning the terms of the withdrawal and the non-disclosure agreement signed between Tri-State and Kit Carson. Gary, as NRPPD’s Tri-State Director, was not given all of the financial specifics as to the terms of Kit-Carson’s withdrawal buyout amount.

Chance informed the Board that he has posted the position of Operations Manager and hopes to have it filled by the middle of August.

Gary Fuchser reported on the Tri-State Meeting he attended. The June 16th FERC ruling as it affects Tri-State’s Board Policy 101 was discussed. Coal production is the lowest coal production since the early 80’s. Coal production was down from 5 million tons to 2.5 million tons in Colorado.

An item for the August Agenda is an update on the solar project.

The August meeting will be held August 30th at 1:00 PM.

Terry Curtiss discussed shared information as it pertains to the Tri-State Director’s home boards.

Chance informed the Board that an irrigation customer has asked for an extension of his payments until fall. The consensus of the board was that it was not an option.

At 4:35 PM a motion was made by Wayne Cobb, duly seconded by Gary Fuchser to go into an executive session to discuss the IBEW Contract structure and wage scale; motion carried.  

At 5:01 PM a motion was made by Wayne Cobb, duly seconded by Gary Fuchser to come out of executive session; motion carried.

A motion was made by Gary Fuchser, duly seconded by Wayne Cobb to authorize Chance to proceed to approach the Union with the proposed restructure; motion carried.

There being no further business to come before the Board, the president declared the meeting adjourned at 5:02 PM.

Approved: President

Signed: Secretary

Published: August 24, 2016