The regular meeting of directors of Northwest Rural Public Power District was held in the Conference Room of the District May 30, 2013 at 1:00 P.M.
The meeting was called to order by the president, Robert Rickenbach. Directors who answered the roll call were Gary Fuchser, Mike Van Buskirk, Wayne Cobb, Robert Rickenbach, Lee Ahrens, Jim Johnson, and Bruce Troester.
Also present were Rolland Skinner, manager; Arlene Lahaye, office manager; Les Tlustos, consumer services; Terry Curtiss, District Counsel; Regg Strotheide and Austin Weyers.
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 Gary Fuchser to accept the order of business published and supplemented at this meeting; motion carried.
A motion was made by Wayne Cobb, duly seconded Lee Ahrens, that the minutes of the meeting held April 25th be approved as published and mailed to all directors on May 24th; motion carried.
Les Tlustos explained the scholarship program that is administered by Northwest Rural. Tri-State G & T provides the funds for two $500 scholarships and Basin Electric provides the funds for one $1,000 scholarship. The recipients’ family must receive their power from Northwest Rural and all applications are reviewed by a selection committee.
Les introduced Regg Strotheide and informed the Board that he received a $500 Tri-State Scholarship. Austin Weyers was also introduced and presented a Tri-State $500 Scholarship. Sara Marlatt, was unable to attend, but she is the recipient of the $1,000 Basin Electric Scholarship.
Regg and Austin left the meeting at 1:10 PM.
The office manager reviewed the March Form 7 Financial Report and the April Cash Flow report, graphs on purchased and sold power, demand and cash flow were reviewed. A motion was made by Gary Fuchser, duly seconded by Jim Johnson to accept the March and April financial reports; motion carried.
Rolland Skinner explained the discount available to systems that prepay their defined benefit retirement plan with NRECA. NREA (Nebraska Rural Electric Association) has their retirement plan with NRECA and discussed this with the members at the May Board Meeting. A discussion followed with a motion being made by Wayne Cobb, duly seconded by Bruce Troester to pay Northwest Rural’s share in one lump sum instead of over ten years; motion carried.
Rolland Skinner explained to the Board that due to the fire in 2012 there are some pastures that will not be used this spring, however they are still under contract. A discussion was held and a motion was made by Mike Van Buskirk, duly seconded by Gary Fuchser to waive the annual facility fee for stockwells, in the burn area that are still under contract, for 2012; motion carried.
Rolland Skinner informed the Board that the line going north for Rolling Meadow has been completed and the contractor has moved to work on a build for another customer. They should be on that project for approximately six weeks. They will then move back down to the Rolling Meadow project. The Rush Creek Sub has a phasing issue, but that will be worked out next week.
A motion was made by Gary Fuchser, duly seconded by Mike Van Buskirk to go into an executive session at 2:50 PM to discuss personnel issues; motion carried.
A motion was made by Gary Fuchser, duly seconded by Mike Van Buskirk to come out of an executive session at 3:32 PM; motion carried.
Rolland Skinner reviewed the Safety Report for April. A discussion was held on the property damage that occurred, injuries and training for the month of April. A motion was made by Wayne Cobb, duly seconded by Gary Fuchser to accept the April Safety Report; motion carried.
The Audit reports for 2012 were handed out and they will be reviewed at the June Meeting.
Rolland Skinner discussed the Colorado Legislation dealing with renewables. Information provided by Ken Anderson, Tri-State CEO, was passed out to the Directors. Mr. Anderson stated that Tri-State’s assessment looked at capital costs they would incur to build renewables, natural gas plants to backup the wind, and transmission to support both wind and natural gas. These costs would increase Colorado’s rate requirements by 19 to 30%.
Rolland Skinner handed out purposed changes to Tri-State’s By-Laws; to be discussed at the next meeting.
A generic job description was passed out and a discussion was held on the manager’s responsibilities. Terry Curtiss discussed the options for a manager’s search.
Rolland Skinner, Les Tlustos and Arlene Lahaye were asked to leave the meeting at 3:30 PM.
At 3:50PM Rolland Skinner, Les Tlustos and Arlene Lahaye rejoined the meeting. Robert Rickenbach stated that the Board would like to use a consultant and would like further discussions at the next meeting.
Terry Curtiss stated that he feels it’s time that Northwest Rural appoints someone to the Tri-State Board. He feels that we need to have a vote on critical issues at Tri-State. A discussion was held concerning Northwest Rural director’s indemnity once seated on Tri-State’s Board. A motion was made by Jim Johnson, duly seconded by Bruce Troester to appoint Gary Fuchser as the new Tri-State representative for Northwest Rural Public Power District; to take effect upon resolution of confidentiality and privilege issues that arise from such appointment to the satisfaction of Drew Petrie as the dual directors’ counsel for NPSIG. Lee Ahrens, aye; Mike Van Buskirk, nay; Bruce Troester, aye; Jim Johnson, aye; Wayne Cobb, aye; Robert Rickenbach, aye; Gary Fuchser; abstain; motion carried.
Robert Rickenbach reported on the NREA meeting. Electricity used on a national average is down. A discussion on the increased raptor kills was held.
Larry Umberger, Midwest ECC, had a presentation at the NREA meeting on the Water Balance.
Les Tlustos informed the Board that he had five kids sign up for the Youth Energy Camp.
The Lineman’s Rodeo will be held at the Nebraska State Fair Grounds in Grand Island.
Gary Fuchser will plan to attend the August NREA meeting in Scottsbluff.
At 4:12 PM a motion was made by Gary Fuchser, duly seconded by Jim Johnson to call an executive session to discuss NPSIG issues and move the meeting to the manager’s office. Mike Van Buskirk, aye; Bruce Troester, aye; Lee Ahrens, aye; Wayne Cobb, abstain; Robert Rickenbach, aye; Gary Fuchser, abstain; Jim Johnson, aye; motion carried. Wayne Cobb, Gary Fuchser, Les Tlustos, and Arlene Lahaye left the meeting.
At 5:06 PM the meeting returned to the conference room and Arlene Lahaye rejoined the meeting.
At 5:07 PM a motion was made by Jim Johnson, duly seconded by Mike Van Buskirk to come out of executive session. Mike Van Buskirk, aye; Bruce Troester, aye; Lee Ahrens, 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 5:10 P.M..
Published: June 19, 2013