The regular meeting of directors of Northwest Rural Public Power District was held in the Conference Room of the District September 26, 2012 at 1:00 P.M.
The meeting was called to order by the president, Gary Fuchser. Directors who answered the roll call were Bruce Troester, Gary Fuchser, Mike Van Buskirk, Wayne Cobb, Lee Ahrens, Robert Rickenbach, and Jim Johnson.
Also present were Rolland Skinner, manager; Arlene Lahaye, office manager; Terry Curtiss, District Counsel, Marjean Terrell, Rick Bridge, and Kristen Gottschalk, NREA.
The Open Meeting Law posting was acknowledged.
All votes are unanimous upon a roll call vote unless noted.
A motion was made by Wayne Cobb, 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 Bruce Troester, duly seconded Lee Ahrens, that the minutes of the meeting held August 23rd be approved as amended; motion carried.
The manager asked the Board to ratify the letter that was sent to all customers on August 10th. The letter informed the customers that our electric system has been put under a lot of stress due to the extreme heat. A motion was made by Robert Rickenbach, duly seconded by Wayne Cobb to ratify the letter sent on Auguts 10th to all customers; motion carried.
The office manager reviewed the August Cash Flow report and also reviewed the year to date figures for the specialty budgets and the numbers for the Rolling Meadow projects. Graphs on purchased and sold power, demand and cash flow were reviewed.
The Board was informed that we will be having discussions on October 11th for issuing Bonds and loan discussions with CFC on October 16 or 17th. A motion was made by Bruce Troester, duly seconded by Jim Johnson to accept the September financial reports; motion carried.
We have been notified by the IBEW for contract renewal. The manager handed out the letter from the IBEW on what they want to negotiate. The Board Negotiation Committee will consist of Gary Fuchser, Robert Rickenbach and Bruce Troester.
Ron Housh informed the Board that we have two miles of overhead left on the original contract for the Rolling Meadow Project. The Cement work at the Rush Creek Substation will be done on Friday afternoon. Installation of the ground grid will begin as soon as the concrete crew moves out. The transformer for the Rush Creek Substation is scheduled for delivery mid February 2013.
The manager discussed a Board tour of the construction sites. It was the consensus of the Board that a date in November would be best suited for everyone’s schedules.
The manager informed the Board of the amount of work already on the schedule, the fires and the 34.5 line failing. The 34.5 line goes north out the NPPD Sub and it feeds our Gordon Substation. With all the work that needs to be done he has asked the Contractor to build the rest of the line into Rolling Meadow that is to be completed in 2012, and asked the Board to ratify the use of the contractor for additional work. A motion was made by Wayne Cobb, duly seconded by Jim Johnson to ratify the use of the contract for this additional work; motion carried.
Russ Reichenberg showed the Board an overview of where the fires were on our project, and reviewed the number of poles damaged by the fires. We have had discussions with FEMA, however there is a question now whether there will be enough damage from the fires for a FEMA declaration. NEMA is trying to put all the fires, over the summer, together to qualify the Sheridan and Dawes County fires. At 1:55 PM the meeting moved to the crew room to view the areas on the map that were affected by the fires. Returned to the Board Room at 2:10 PM and discussed what will be needed for FEMA reimbursements.
We had 250 customers without power for 65 hours, this was an average of 9.5 hours per customer. A letter to NEMA and an e-mail asking to have the average cost per pole increased due to the terrain were read and discussed.
The office manager informed the Board of the discussion with CFC. CFC has an emergency Loan available that could be put in place within 2-4 days at a rate of 2.4 percent.
Rolland Skinner reviewed the Tri-State Load Forecast. A discussion was held on Tri-State’s predictions and Resolution 1-2012 as follows was read:
WHEREAS, Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association Inc., in cooperation with Northwest Rural Public Power District’s staff has developed a twenty year Load Forecast Report for Northwest Rural Public Power District; and
WHEREAS, the intent of the Load Forecast Report is to be used as a supporting document in system and financial planning analyses, as well as, the design of load management and energy conservation programs; and
WHERAS, the Rural Utilities Services requires the approval of the Load Forecast Report by the Board of Directors; and
WHEREAS, the manager of Northwest Rural Public Power District recommends to the Board of Directors the approval of the 2012 Load Forecast Report; now
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, the Board of Directors of Northwest Rural Public Power district does hereby approve the 2012 Load Forecast Report, as amended and as prepared by Tri-State.
A motion was made by Bruce Troester, duly seconded by Wayne Cobb to approve Resolution 1-2012 with a note made to Tri-State that the Forecast was to low due to the extreme heat this summer; motion carried.
Rolland Skinner reviewed the Line Retention Rate Schedule LRet12, asking the Board for a two year waiver for customers affected by the fire. A motion was made by Robert Rickenbach, duly seconded by Jim Johnson to approve the addendum to Schedule LRet-12; motion carried.
Rolland Skinner reviewed Policy 0-38 and proposed changing #5 to add “DG facility may require an engineering evaluation at the co-generators expense. The harmonics allowed will be per the latest version of IEEE Std 519.” And to #9 “require annual proof of liability insurance”. A discussion followed concerning the engineering evaluation and harmonics. A motion was made by Bruce Troester, duly seconded by Jim Johnson to approve the changes to Policy 0-38; Lee Ahrens, aye; Mike Van Buskirk, nay; Bruce Troester, aye; Jim Johnson aye; Wayne Cobb, aye; Robert Rickenbach, aye; Gary Fuchser, aye; motion carried.
Rolland Skinner explained to the Board that a customer put in three new pivots and was given aid to construction line extension credit for three 25 HP wells. According to the usage only two of the wells are being used at the 25 HP level and the 3rd is showing usage for a pivot drive only. Per our Line Extension Policy if a well does not pull the equivalent of contract hp during ten year contract time frame additional aid would be required. It was the consensus of the Board that Counsel should contact the customer as to his intent to use all three wells at the contract HP.
A discussion was held on the meeting dates for the October and November meetings. October will be held on November 1 and the November meeting will be held November 29th.
Russ Reichenberg reviewed the Safety Report for August. The injuries, vehicle accidents and training that occurred during the month were reviewed. A motion was made by Jim Johnson, duly seconded by Wayne Cobb to accept the August Safety Report; motion carried.
Rick Bridge left at 3:15 PM.
Rolland Skinner discussed the fault in the underground north out of the NPPD Sub going to our Gordon Sub. He recommended rebuilding overhead since this would be part of the line that would go down to Fuchser’s corner. Rolland also recommended that this is rebuilt before next spring. The approximate cost is $150,000 using the Contractor for the construction. The Board felt this was a feasible plan, however no action will be taken until the October meeting when it can be put on the Agenda.
The manager stated that he had received and e-mail from the NREA office saying that each system will get 2 rooms at the Hampton Inn in Scottsbluff for the August NREA Meeting. It was the consensus of the Board to stay at the Holiday Inn and leave the other rooms for the systems that have further to travel.
At 3:45 PM a motion was made by Mike Van Buskirk, duly seconded by Robert Rickenbach to go into an executive session and move the session to the manager’s office to discuss NPSIG issues. Lee Ahrens, aye; Mike Van Buskirk, aye; Bruce Troester, aye; Wayne Cobb, abstain; Robert Rickenbach, aye; Gary Fuchser, aye; Jim Johnson, aye; motion carried.
Wayne Cobb, Marjean Terrell, Kristen Gottschalk, Arlene Lahaye, Les Tlustos, Russ Reichenberg, and Ron Housh left the meeting.
Wayne Cobb and Arlene Lahaye rejoined the meeting.
At 5:10 PM those in the executive session returned to the conference room and a motion was made by Robert Rickenbach, duly seconded by Mike Van Buskirk to come out of executive session. Lee Ahrens, aye; Mike Van Buskirk, aye; Bruce Troester, aye; Wayne Cobb, abstain; Robert Rickenbach, aye; Gary Fuchser, aye; Jim Johnson, aye; motion carried.
A motion was made by Bruce Troester, duly seconded by Jim Johnson to indemnify Wayne Cobb and Rolland Skinner on NPSIG activities. Lee Ahrens, aye; Mike Van Buskirk, aye; Bruce Troester, aye; Wayne Cobb, abstain; Robert Rickenbach, aye; Gary Fuchser, aye; Jim Johnson, aye; motion carried.
A discussion was held on legal counsel for Rolland Skinner for the Third Party Claim in conjunction with the NPSIG issues. A motion was made by Bruce Troester, duly seconded by Lee Ahrens to retain James D. Kilroy, Snell & Wilmer LLP, as legal counsel for the General Manager on the NPSIG issue; motion carried.
Upon discussing the NREA Annual Meeting a conflict of dates was identified. The November Board Meeting was rescheduled for November 26th.
Terry Curtiss asked the Board if they wanted someone at the October Tri-State meeting as an observer only? A discussion followed with the consensus being that Wayne Cobb was Northwest Rural’s Tri-State Director and they did not want to send another Director to the meeting to just observe.
There being no further business to come before the Board, the President declared the meeting adjourned at 5:20 P.M..
Published: October 24, 2012