Minutes of the Regular Meeting NRPPD Board of Directors, May 27, 2015, Unapproved

The regular meeting of Directors of Northwest Rural Public Power District (NRPPD) was held in the Conference Room of the District May 27, 2015 at 10:00 AM.

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

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; Matt Anderson warehouseman; Mike Lewis, CFC Representative; Ethan Skinner, Melissa Jech, and Katherine Roberts 2015 Scholarship recipients.

The Open Meeting Law posting was acknowledged. 

All votes are unanimous upon a roll call vote unless noted.

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.

Les explained the scholarship program that is administered by NRPPD. 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 NRPPD and all applications are reviewed by a selection committee.

The 2015 scholarships were presented by Lee Ahrens and Les Tlustos. Katherine Roberts received the $1,000 Basin Electric Scholarship, Melissa Jech and Ethan Skinner each received a $500 Scholarship from Tri-State G & T. Each recipients addressed the Board concerning their future plans and where they will be attending college.

A motion was made by Wayne Cobb, duly seconded Mike Van Buskirk, that the minutes of the meeting held April 21, 2015 be approved as published and provided to all directors on May 20th; motion carried.

Mike Lewis, CFC Representative for Nebraska and Kansas introduced himself to the Board. He gave an update on CFC and what services CFC has to offer NRPPD.

A conference call was held with Roger Schmidt, Jr., Schmidt and Company, to review the 2014 Audit Report. Roger informed the Board of how the audit is conducted and what the audit should accomplish. A discussion followed with a motion being made by Wayne Cobb, duly seconded by Tony Hindman to accept the 2014 Audit with Resolution 1-2015 as follow:


Acceptance of Audit Report

WHEREAS, a report of the audit of this District’s books of account and related records for the calendar year of 2014, made by Schmidt and Company, Certified Public Accountants, was presented to and received by the Board of Directors of the District; and

WHEREAS, the Directors find the report completed, in sufficient detail, and otherwise satisfactory; now therefore be it hereby

RESOLVED, that the Directors of the Northwest Rural Public Power District accept the audit report as presented; said report covering the audit report as presented; said report for the calendar year of 2014; and

BE IT FUTHER RESOLVED, that a copy of said report be filed in Minutes Exhibit Book.

Motion carried.

The Board considered a request from the Dawes County Historical Society for a donation to their fund raiser for a new structure to house a collections of early farm equipment. The consensus of the Board was that the project was a worthy cause but the request failed due to lack of a motion. 

Chance explained the proposed IT Coordinator position to the Board. With all the new technology that NRPPD is moving towards it would be to NRPPD’s advantage to have someone dedicated in an IT position. A discussion followed. A motion was made by Robert Rickenbach, duly seconded by Gary Fuchser to approve the creation of an IT Coordinator. Lee Ahrens, aye; Mike Van Buskirk, aye, Bruce Troester, aye; Tony Hindman; abstain; Wayne Cobb, aye; Robert Rickenbach, aye; Gary Fuchser, aye; motion carried.

Mike Lewis left the meeting at 11:40 AM.

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

Russ reviewed the Safety Statistics for April. The vehicle accident, property damage and training that occurred during the month were discussed. A motion was made by Mike Van Buskirk, duly seconded by Wayne Cobb to accept the April Safety Report.

Russ informed the Board the 8N Tree Service will start trimming trees in our area again this year. The entire NRPPD territory has been covered once and they will be starting over the project again this year. They will be trimming on the north end of Beaver Valley and the White Clay area. 

Russ stated that NRPPD has started a 15 minute weekly employee meeting each Tuesday morning for the purpose of keeping employees informed of what the work schedule is for the week for all departments.

The meeting was adjourned at 12:00 pm for lunch.

The meeting reconvened at 12:30 pm with the aforementioned present.

Chance reported on the Tri-State Manager’s meeting. Topics that were discussed were Policies 115, 117, 118 regarding Distributed Generation, the PURPA/FERC issue with DMEA, Long Term Financial Forecasts, and Transmission Updates. The Tri-State rate structure for 2016 was also discussed.

Lisa Lienhart from NISC was on site for three days to review NRPPD’s Billing System with NISC’s iVue program. We will be reviewing her report to see what additional parts of the system we can utilize to improve our processes.

Chance reviewed Dave Jarecke’s memorandum on ipad use and Terry Curtiss gave his legal opinion on what could be considered as a public document.

Matt Anderson left the meeting at 1:20 pm.

Chance informed the Board that NRPPD will be having discussions with NISC on Prepaid Metering and customer use. Rates will need to be designed for usage tied to a prepaid account.

Gary Fuchser reported on the Tri-State Board Meeting. The Colorado District Court has ruled against the Office of Surface Mining on the lawsuit filed by the Wild Earth Guardians. The margins were 22 million compared to 10 million budgeted.

Robert Rickenbach and Tony Hindman reported on the NREA meeting held in Norfolk. Kristen Gottschalk gave a report on the Legislative Activity at the NREA Meeting.

Mike Van Buskirk will be attending the Directors’ Summer School and will complete his BLC. 

Item for the June Agenda will be a discussion concerning NRPPD’s Auditor for future years.

Terry Curtiss informed the Board that oral augments will be heard on July 7th for the NADC issue. 

There being no further business to come before the Board, the president declared the meeting adjourned at 2:00 PM. 

Approved: President

Signed: Secretary

Published: June 24, 2015