Minutes of the Regular Meeting NRPPD Board of Directors, August 26, 2015, Unapproved

The regular meeting of Directors of Northwest Rural Public Power District (NRPPD) was held in the Conference Room of the District August 26, 2015 at 8:30 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, Gary Fuchser, Mike Van Buskirk, and Wayne Cobb.

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; Wade Hanks, Tyler Potts NRPPD lineman; and Jim Lambley, KSDZ Radio.

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.

During the public comment period, Jim Lambley, KSDZ Radio, addressed and questioned the Board concerning the outcome of the NADC issue and the appointment to fill the vacated Board seat.

A motion was made by Mike Van Buskirk, duly seconded by Wayne Cobb, that the minutes of the meeting held July 22, 2015 be approved as published and provided to all directors on August 19th; motion carried.

Terry Terrell addressed the Board with his desire and qualifications to fill the Board seat. Discussion followed. A motion was made by Mike Van Buskirk, duly seconded by Bruce Troester to appoint Bev Lee to fill the Board position; Lee Ahrens, nay; Mike VanBuskirk, aye; Bruce Troester, nay; Wayne Cobb, nay; Robert Rickenbach, nay; Gary Fuchser, nay; motion failed.

A motion was made by Bruce Troester, duly seconded by Wayne Cobb to appoint Terry Terrell to fill the Board position; motion carried.

Chance discussed with the Board a policy to address advertising during an election/campaign year. Terry Curtiss stated the legal issues as to what is and is not permissible during a campaign. A discussion followed on regarding the potential of setting black-out periods, suspending certain ads upon receiving complaints, and timing relating to the official start of a candidacy, among others. Chance will bring a draft policy which will attempt to mitigate issues dealing with advertising during an election year for future consideration.  

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

Russ reviewed the Safety Statistics for July. The Safety Report was discuss including the high potential incident, property damage and damage by non-NRPPD personnel. The training that occurred during the month was also discussed. A motion was made by Mike Van Buskirk, duly seconded by Wayne Cobb to accept the July Safety Report; motion carried.

Ron reviewed line loss statistics with the Board. A discussion followed.

Chance informed the Board that NRPPD has completed the testing of prepaid metering and will begin offering prepaid metering beginning in September. Prepaid meter customers will purchase electricity before it is used, make a payment when they want, and when the account runs low will receive an email or text message letting them know it is time to recharge their account. 

Activity for the implementation of an Outage Management System (OMS) is picking up. Training has been scheduled for September 8th, and with a go live date of mid-September.

Chance updated the Board on filling the IT position. Tony Hindman has been hired and began his duties as of August 11th.

Crow Butte Resources is in the process of obtaining a license renewal for their operation at their Crawford facility. A public hearing is being held the week August 24th. . Anyone wishing to provide comments are allowed to file a Written Limited Appearance Statement, and Chance submitted a letter of support for Crow Butte’s license renewal. 

Chance informed the Board that NRPPD has received a letter from CFC stating that they are reinstating donations to the CFC Integrity Fund again. The fund is used to help CFC members that are facing territory disputes. An agenda item will be added at a future date to consider participation. 

Chance informed the Board that the Strategic Planning Session has been scheduled for September 28 & 29 at the Best Western Plus in Sidney. 

Gary Fuchser reported on the Tri-State Meeting he attended. EPA has announced their final rule regarding the Clean Power Plan for regulating greenhouse gases from power plants. The 2016 budget was presented to the Tri-State Board and staff recommended no overall rate increase for 2016.

Robert Rickenbach commented on the NREA Meeting he attended and the safety issues pertaining to backing incidents. Bob stated that since cameras have been in use the backing incidents have decreased.

Chance also reported on the NREA Meeting. The NREA dues will be up 2.3% for 2016, and an update from Federated included information that they have documented 26 million hits on their website and thwarted 380,000 attacks on their network in the first seven months of the year. Federated has included Cyber Insurance to their coverage and NRPPD will be looking at the coverage at the upcoming review.

An item for the September Agenda will be added to seat Terry Terrell to fill the Board Seat, and to address questions posed during the public comments.

Terry Curtiss reported that the decision of the District Court of Lincoln County, Nebraska as entered July 15, 2015 on the remand of NADC v Skinner and Tlustos from the Nebraska Supreme Court. The district Court affirmed the decision of the NADC after applying the criteria stated by the Nebraska Supreme Court in its decision reversing and remanding the prior decision of the District Court. The Defendants have made the decision not to appeal and are waiting on settlement documents for final signatures.

A motion was made by Bruce Troester, duly seconded by Mike Van Buskirk to go into an executive session at 11:17 AM to discuss possible asset acquisition; motion carried.

Tyler Potts, Wade Hanks, Terry Terrell, Ron Housh, Russ Reichenberg, Les Tlustos, and Arlene Lahaye left the meeting.

A motion was made at 11:36 AM by Gary Fuchser, duly seconded by Bruce Troester to come out of executive session; motion carried.

The September regular meeting will be held on Thursday September 24th at 1:00 PM.

There being no further business to come before the Board, the president declared the meeting adjourned at 11:37 AM.

Approved: President

Signed: Secretary

Published: September 23, 2015