Minutes of Regular Meeting NRPPD Board of Directors, December 15, 2016, Unapproved

The regular meeting of Directors of Northwest Rural Public Power District (NRPPD) was held in the Conference Room of the District December 15, 2016 at 1:50 PM.

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

Also present were Chance Briscoe, manager; Arlene Lahaye, office manager; Ron Olson, operations manager; Russ Reichenberg, line superintendent; Terry Curtiss, District Counsel; Kelli Anderson, employee; and Lee Garrett, customer.

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 Comments portion, Lee Garrett addressed the Board with his concerns with NRPPD’s after-hours service. A brief discussion followed, and Lee left the meeting at 1:55 PM.

A motion was made by Gary Fuchser, duly seconded by Wayne Cobb to excuse Mike Van Buskirk from the meeting; motion carried.

A motion was made by Wayne Cobb, duly seconded by Terry Terrell, that the minutes of the meeting held November 22nd be approved as published and provided to all directors on November 15th  motion carried.

The Board reviewed the Check Register and Payroll Summary for the month of November.

Chance discussed the proposed 2017 Budget and Tri-State’s projected rate increases in relationship to NRPPD’s rates. The Board also discussed NRPPD’s need for future borrowing. A motion was made by Robert Rickenbach to approve the 2017 Budget and proposed rates, except the Green Power Rate which needed further consideration. Further discussions on the proposed rate increase, effects of deprecation in the financial statements, the cash flow statement projections, and the necessity of proposed long-term borrowing. The motion was then seconded by Wayne Cobb. Lee Ahrens, aye; Bruce Troester, nay; Wayne Cobb, aye; Robert Rickenbach, aye; Gary Fuchser, aye; and Terry Terrell, nay; motion carried.

Les Tlustos joined the meeting at 2:20 PM.

Chance reviewed the IBEW Contract negotiated changes and pay schedule. A discussion followed with a motion being made by Terry Terrell, duly seconded by Wayne Cobb to approve the IBEW Contract for 2017 and 2018; motion carried.

Russ reviewed the Safety Statistics for November.  The Safety Report was discussed including injuries, and the non-NRPPD personnel incidents. The training for the month was also discussed. A brief discussion occurred regarding the current Safety Policy and the portion that states a Director would attend at least two Safety Meetings per year. NRPPD would like to draft a revision to the existing policy and asked for the Board’s input on Board involvement in Safety Meetings and suggestions for a Safety Policy.   A motion was made by Bruce Troester, duly seconded by Terry Terrell to accept the November Safety Report; motion carried.

Ron reported on the JT & S Committee Meeting he attended at the NREA Meeting. NREA is looking at hiring another person as a JT & S Instructor. The Committee also discussed changes to the RESAP Program and they are dealing with cyber security and physical security.

WNCC will be hosting a Linemans’s Rodeo and NRPPD will be providing some of the judges.

Ron also updated the Board that the Gordon Substation upgrade is currently on schedule and the plan is still to have the work completed by the end of the year pending weather conditions. Kevin Groves, NRPPD’s Engineer, has a third party scheduled to do the final inspection before the Substation will be re-energized. With the final inspection the hopefully the Gordon Substation will be back on line by the end of January.

Les reported on the Net Metering Task Force that met at the NREA Meeting. The Task Force would like to develop a policy for consistency across the state on Net Metering, and an Interconnect Agreement. They feel this would aid in discussions with Legislators.

At the Public Information Committee Meeting Les reported that funds from the Working for Nebraska Campaign are available and NREA would like to use some of those funds to do a customer service survey among the NREA Members’ customers.

Chance reported on the Tri-State Contract and Rate Committee meetings. The Contract Committee discussed Capital Credits and the Financial Goals Policy. The Rate Committee discussed different contract options, subscription contract models, and the Standby Rate for large commercial customers with self-generation.

Chance reviewed the proposed layout and projected production for the Hay Springs 900kW Solar Project. 

A proposed Financial Goals Policy was reviewed. A Financial Goals Policy sets targets with direction form the Board to Management to maintain a sound financial position. A discussion was held and the proposed policy will be brought back to the Board for further review and discussion.

Gary reported on the Tri-State Meeting he attended and the discussions pertaining to joining the Southwest Power Pool.

Robert was seated on the Legislative Committee and reported on the discussion on deregulation or consumer choice that were held at the NREA Meeting. Les was seated on the Public Information Committee and Chance was elected to serve as the Chairman for the Policy and Resolutions Committee.

Items for the January Agenda will be the Financial Goals Policy, and Bank change.

A motion was made by Gary Fuchser to go into an executive session at 3:52 PM to discuss a staff wages, the motion was seconded by Wayne Cobb; motion carried. Russ Reichenberg, Ron Olson, Les Tlustos, Kelli Anderson, and Arlene Lahaye left the meeting. 

A motion was made by Bruce Troester, duly seconded by Gary Fuchser to come out of executive session at 4:24 PM; motion carried.

A motion was made by Wayne Cobb, duly seconded by Gary Fuchser to approve management proposal of salary increases for 2017; motion carried. 

There being no further business to come before the Board, the president declared the meeting adjourned at 4:30 PM. 

Approved: President

Signed: Secretary

Published: January 18, 2017