Minutes of the Regular Meeting NRPPD Board of Directors, February 16, 2015, Unapproved

The regular meeting of Directors of Northwest Rural Public Power District (NRPPD) was held in the Conference Room of the District February 16, 2015 at 1:00 PM.

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

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.

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 Gary Fuchser to excuse Tony Hindman’s absence; motion carried

A motion was made by Robert Rickenbach, duly seconded by Wayne Cobb to accept the order of business as published and supplemented at this meeting; motion carried.

A motion was made by Wayne Cobb, duly seconded Mike Van Buskirk, that the minutes of the meeting held January 20, 2014 be approved as corrected; motion carried.

Chance discussed the proposed 2015 irrigation rate and the components of the Access Charge. The proposed rate the Annual Access Fee will remain the same, $51.00 per kw/yearly. The monthly demand charge, April – October, will decrease by $4.00 per kw and the energy charge will decrease by $0.0240 cents.  A discussion followed with a motion being made by Mike Van Buskirk, duly seconded by Bruce Troester to approve the proposed irrigation rate for 2015; motion carried. 

Chance reviewed the proposed By-Law changes which would allow for ACH payments to vendors along with various updates to form and terminology. A discussion followed and a final draft will be reviewed at the March meeting.

The 2014 Year End Report was presented. Arlene Lahaye, office manager, reviewed the load graphs for 2014.  Ron Housh, planning engineer reviewed the 2014 irrigation data reports.

Russ Reichenberg, reviewed the 2014 Safety Report, 2014 Outage Summary Report, Inventory and total construction costs for 2014.  

Consumer services, Les Tlustos, reviewed Northwest’s communications for 2014. The Youth programs supported by Northwest Rural were reviewed and Les also reviewed the rebates paid by Tri-State and Northwest Rural PPD during 2014. The renewable energy was discussed. 

Chance reviewed the year-end Form 7 and Cash Flow with the Board.  

Russ reviewed the January safety report.  Russ discussed the property damage and the non NRPPD incident that occurred. The training that occurred in the month was also discussed. A motion was made by Mike Van Buskirk, duly seconded by Wayne Cobb to accept the January safety report; motion carried.

Les informed that Board that NRPPD has received 8 Scholarship Applications, and the committee will  meet after the meeting to review and select the scholarship winners.

Russ reported that Tyler Potts has completed the required Lineman’s Course to attain journeyman lineman status.

Chance informed the Board that the electronic board packet process is ready, but it needs to be tested with NISC.

The Employee Culture Survey has been received and it will be reviewed at the March meeting.

A Strategic Planning was scheduled for June 9th at 9 AM.

Information to convert NRPPD’s existing loans with CFC was handed out to the Board. Chance stated that he would have to run more calculations to see if there would be an advantage to convert NRPPD’s loans.  

Chance reported on the Legislature Update. The legislature is dealing with two bills that impact PPD’s. The first bill, LB 177, would prohibit any employee of a PPD to run for the board of any other PPD, and LB 181 that would allow for blue and amber flashing lights for utility vehicles.

At the Tri-State Manager Meeting topics of interest were; High West Energy is planning to begin the use of drones for line patrol and Wheat Belt PPD is in the early stages of a territory issue with the city of Sidney.

A discussion was held on rescheduling the meetings for April and May. The April meeting will be held on Tuesday April 21st at 1 PM and the May meeting on Wednesday May 27th at 10 AM.

Chance reviewed the Cost of Service allocation methods, and the Tri-State rate survey from the Rate Committee.

Chance showed the Board SmartHub again and informed them that NRPPD’s SmartHub should be available by the end of February or early March.

Gary Fuchser reported on the Tri-State Meeting he attended.

Chance and Tony attended the Legislative Reception.

Robert Rickenbach, Mike Van Buskirk and Chance Briscoe will plan to attend the Tri-State Annual Meeting. A motion was made by Wayne Cobb duly seconded by Gary Fuchser to appoint Robert Rickenbach as Voting Delegate; motion carried.

Terry Curtiss informed the Board that he is working on briefs to be filed for NADC issue.

A motion was made by Mike Van Buskirk, duly seconded by Wayne Cobb to go into an executive session at 3:53 PM to discuss the Manager Salary review; motion carried.

Chance Briscoe, Arlene Lahaye, Russ Reichenberg, Ron Housh, and Les Tlustos left the meeting.

A motion was made by Bruce Troester, duly seconded by Mike Van Buskirk to come out of executive session at 4:17 PM. Chance Briscoe rejoined the meeting to go through the Manager Salary review.

A motion was made by Mike Van Buskirk, duly seconded by Gary Fuchser for a one time performance bonus of $5,000 for the manager, Chance Briscoe; motion carried.

There being no further business to come before the Board, the president declared the meeting adjourned at 4:25 PM. 

Approved: President

Signed: Secretary

Published: March 11, 2015