Minutes of the Regular Meeting NRPPD Board of Directors, September 25, 2014

The regular meeting of Directors of Northwest Rural Public Power District (NRPPD) was held in the Conference Room of the District September 25, 2014 at 1:00 PM.

The meeting was called to order by the president, Robert Rickenbach.  Directors who answered the roll call were Robert Rickenbach, Bruce Troester, Gary Fuchser, Lee Ahrens, Mike Van Buskirk, Jim Johnson, and 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, and Terry Curtiss, District Counsel.

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 Mike Van Buskirk to excuse Wayne Cobb’s absence; motion carried.

A motion was made by Gary Fuchser, duly seconded by Jim Johnson to accept the order of business as published and supplemented at this meeting; motion carried.

A motion was made by Gary Fuchser, duly seconded Jim Johnson, that the minutes of the meeting held August 28th be approved as published and mailed to all directors on September 19th; motion carried.

Chance Briscoe reviewed the Tri-State 2014 Load Forecast along with Resolution 3-2014. Summaries of the historical and projected trends in the power requirement of NRPPD’s service areas were reviewed. Historically, total purchased energy has increased at an average growth rate of 2.81% annually over the last fifteen year period. Based on the projections of total retail sales, own use and distribution system losses, purchased energy is predicted to increase at an average annual growth rate of 0.23% over the twenty year forecast period. A motion was made by Bruce Troester, duly seconded by Gary Fuchser to approve Resolution 3-2014, Load Forecast; motion carried.


Load Forecast

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 2014 Load Forecast Report; now

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, the Board of Directors of Northwest Rural Public Power district does hereby approve the 2014 Load Forecast Report, as amended and as prepared by Tri-State.

Arlene Lahaye reviewed the August income Statement. Revenue for August was $95,000 over budget and our cost of power was also over what was budgeted by $36,000. Total net margins were $145,118 higher than the budget. Chance Briscoe reviewed the Cash Flow from operating, investment and financing activities for the month of August. For the month of August there was $485,262 cash from all activities. A discussion followed with a motion being made by Mike Van Buskirk, duly seconded by Jim Johnson to accept the August financial reports; motion carried.

Chance Briscoe informed the Board that NRPPD needed to renew the plan document for the 401K plan. The only change to the document was the addition of allowing employees the ability of requesting a loan from their 401K. The following resolution was presented for approval:




Whereas, the Employer has the power to amend and restate the Plan. On September 25, 2014 the following resolutions to amend and restate the Northwest Rural Public Power District 401K Plan and the Northwest Rural Public Power District 401K Trust were duly adopted by the Board of Directors of Northwest Rural Public Power District 401K Trust were duly adopted by the Board of Directors of Northwest Rural Public Power District and that such resolutions have not been modified or rescinded as of the date hereof:

RESOLVED, that the form of Plan presented to this meeting is a Cash or Deferred Profit Sharing Plan as authorized under Internal Revenue Code sections 401(a), 401(k), 402(g), 401(m) and 501(a). This restatement shall be effective October 1, 2014;

RESOLVED, that the Northwest Rural Public Power District 401K Plan and the Northwest Rural Public Power District 401K Trust presented to this meeting are hereby adopted and approved and that the proper officers of the Employer are hereby authorized and directed to execute and deliver to the Plan Administrator one or more counterparts of the Plan and Trust.

RESOLVED, that the proper Officers of the Employer shall act as soon as possible to notify employees of the Employer of the restatement of the Plan and Trust by delivering to each employee a copy of the summary plan description of the Plan in the form of the Summary Plan Description presented to this meeting, which form is hereby approved.

RESOLVED, that the form of Plan presented to this meeting is a restatement intended to meet the requirements of the Pension Protection Act of 2006 (“PPA  “06”), the Heroes Earnings Assistance and Relief Tax Act of 2008 (“HEART”), the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (EESA”), the Workers, Retiree, and Employer Recovery Act of 2008 (WRERA”), as well as the required changes from the 2010 Cumulative List of Changes in Plan Qualification Requirements described in section 4 of Revenue Procedure 2005-66 as modified by Revenue Procedure 2007-44.

The undersigned further certifies that attached hereto as Exhibits A, B, C and D respectively are true copies of the Northwest Rural Public Power District 401K Plan Adoption, Document, Trust and Summary Plan Description approved and adopted in the above resolutions.

Lee Ahrens, Secretary

Dated: September 25, 2014

Chance Briscoe reviewed the August safety report.  Chance discussed the high potential incident involving both NRPPD and non-NRPPD personnel. The training that occurred during the month was also reviewed. A motion was made by Jim Johnson, duly seconded by Gary Fuchser to accept the August safety report; motion carried.

Les Tlustos handed out “Nebraska Ag in the Classroom” reader that is focused on renewable energy. The reader is provided by Tri-State and is designed for use in the 3rd, 4th and 5th grade classrooms. Les stated that he had approximately 420 requests for the reader in Gordon, Rushville, Hay Springs, Chadron, and Crawford classrooms.

Ron Housh informed the Board that the Hay Springs Substation AMI equipment is online and NRPPD hopes to read and bill from the Hay Springs Sub in October. There are approximately 225 AMI meters left to install and the majority of those left are on stockwell services. NRPPD should have the AMI project complete by the end of 2014.

Chance informed the Board of an advantage of using the AMI meters to check voltage during switching lines. The AMI project will be beneficial for more than just reading the meters for billing purposes only.  

Chance reviewed the construction costs through August including the Work Orders for the AMI Project. The total construction cost, including labor and material, is $1.1 million through August of this approximately $736,000 is for normal construction. 

Chance Briscoe informed the Board that he received a letter form Ken Sharp from Indiana. The letter was sent to the Cherry County Commissioners and copied to NRPPD. He is concerned with the number of people dying from going off of the road and hitting utility poles. His issue is that he wants all utility lines underground. These letters are being sent around the country to county officials and utility companies.

Chance reported on the customer not wanting an AMI meter installed and requested the service removed. NRPPD has removed the meter and in a couple weeks will remove the entire service. NRPPD has received two more complaints dealing with AMI meter installations. One customer has hyper sensitivity to EMF emissions. NRPPD took readings on both the old meter and the AMI meter with customer’s testing device and NRPPD’s equipment. The results were the same on both meters and both sets of testing equipment, the result being NRPPD installed an AMI meter. The second complaint came from a lady worried about radiation due to radio frequencies. Chance stated that he had written her a letter explaining the difference between radio frequency and power line carrier technology, and that NRPPD’s AMI meters use the power line carrier technology. Chance received a letter from her stating that she still has some concerns.

Chance reported on the Tri-State Contract Committee. The first meeting of the committee was to set the ground rules, establish the scope of the committee’s work, and bring up issues that members of the committee want the committee as a whole to consider. Two main points to come from the round table revolved around the buyout methodology and the 5% rule for self-generation.

Chance also attended the Tri-State Rate Committee. Many issues were put on the table for consideration. The first process will be to conduct a Cost of Service Study (COSS) then get into rate design to address the results of the study. The COSS is expected to take up until the end of the year and the rate design to be done middle of next year for implementation in 2016. 

Chance reviewed an analysis of funding construction through rates versus financing with debt. A Financial Forecast with no rate increase was also reviewed. A discussion was held on options of funding construction, the effects on rates and NRPPD’s revenue.

Chance addressed the Tri-State rebate program pertaining to LED light bulbs. Tri-State will rebate up to 50% of the cost on LED bulbs. Chance discussed proposed distribution options to get the bulbs in our customers’ hands. The LED bulbs would be a benefit to NRPPD’s customers since the LED is a better bulb than CFL, and a 60 watt incandescent bulb is equivalent to an 8 watt LED. The consensus of the Board was to proceed with a distribution plan to get the LED bulbs in NRPPD customer hands.

 Chance discussed meeting dates for the November and December meetings. Tentative dates of November 22nd and December 22nd were discussed. The dates for the November and December meetings will be finalized at the October meeting.

A discussion was held on the IBEW Negotiation Committee. A motion was made by Jim Johnson, duly seconded by Gary Fuchser to appoint Robert Rickenbach and Bruce Troester; motion carried.

Gary Fuchser reported on the Tri-State meeting he attended. The Tri-State sales are under budget by $7 million and Tri-State paid off $8 million in Bonds. Gary also stated that Tri-State was discussing an Audit for refinancing purposes.

Terry Curtiss reported on the Legal Seminar he attended. The NADC decision was on the agenda for discussion. Terry stated that the Nebraska Supreme Court has not acted on the petition for re-hearing yet.

Chance also attended the Legal Seminar and a discussion on prepaid meters was held. Several of the utilities are looking at prepaid metering. Dave Jarecke, NREA Legal Counsel, stated that there may be some legal issues that need to be cleared up before implementing prepaid metering.

A discussion was held on voting delegates for the Region 7 & 9 meeting to be held in Omaha, October 14-16. A motion was made by Bruce Troester, duly seconded by Jim Johnson to appoint delegates as follows; motion carried.

NRECA Delegate: Mike Van Buskirk

Alternate: Bruce Troester

NRUCFC Delegate: Bruce Troester

Alternate: Mike Van Buskirk

Chance Briscoe handed out the ACRE enrollment cards.

There being no further business to come before the Board, the president declared the meeting adjourned at 3:20PM. 

Approved: President

Signed: Secretary

Published: October 22, 2014