Watts News
 Published for the members of North Itasca Electric Cooperative
VOL. 19 NO. 9  -  September 2016


Scenic State Park  

by Sally Sedgwick

Over 150,000 people visit this place each year.

And it's just a few miles from Bigfork.

Scenic State Park is a destination for campers, hikers, swimmers, boaters, fishermen and families who want an escape to the woods. Its 97 campsites have been full every Friday and Saturdays since mid-June according to Jordan Schaefer, park manager.

Many of the campsites are filled by self-contained RVs, but there are park latrines, showers and potable water along with fish houses for cleaning the catch for those who want to pitch a tent. Many sites also have electricity.

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RoundUp® fall grant applications sought 

North Itasca Electric's RoundUp® program allows cooperative members to "round up" their monthly bills to the next dollar, providing an opportunity for community organizations to apply for funding for worthwhile projects. Over 80 percent of North Itasca Electric members support the program, allowing about $10,000 to be distributed by the community trust board twice a year. This year the employees of Great River Energy contributed $1,000 to the program at the annual meeting in June.

Applications are due in the headquarters office by Friday, Sept. 30 at 4:30 p.m.

Grants are determined by a separate community trust board which will meet on Wednesday, October 19. Members are listed in the accompanying table.

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CEO Report: Weather & budgeting  

by Chris Corradi, CEO

It’s been another busy month at your cooperative. Last month I talked about our line crews and office personnel being kept busy due to July storms that caused wide spread outages across our service territory. That stretch of bad weather carried over into early August which impacted many of you reading this article right now. Our line department worked around the clock many times over the past month. Just when we thought we were done and things would get back to normal we were hit again.

Many cooperatives across our northern region faced the same challenges. I will again say how proud I am of the work that your cooperative can accomplish with a fraction of the work force compared to those other electric cooperatives.

While the weather has been a tough test we’ve also been facing another challenge. In a past article I wrote about the financial position of North Itasca Electric. When budgeting for an upcoming year, your staff and directors spend a great amount of time pouring over numbers and scenarios. There are many factors we need to take into consideration when budgeting. The primary factor is providing the best possible service to our members. We also need to look into maintaining certain levels of financial stability that are required by our lenders that we work with.

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Will costs ever stop going up?  

by Jerry Loney, Energy Management Specialist

Extra charges for this, added fees for that, down payments required; will these costs ever stop? How can we turn off the faucet to them?

We may not be able to totally turn off the faucet to increasing cost, but we may be able to partially close it. When we look at how we use the things we need in life, we may see where a partially opened faucet can provide for our needs just as well as a fully opened one.

When I speak of a partially opened faucet, I’m not talking about just getting by, but I'm pointing out that sometimes we may use things in excess. In past articles I have been pretty much focused on electric use, demand savings and energy efficiency, but partially opened faucet can also apply to other things we need and use in our lives as well.

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Local Events in September  

Friday, September 23

An Evening in the Northwoods

The Bigfork Valley Community Foundation will host its annual fundraiser, "An Evening in the Northwoods" on Friday, Sept. 23 at 5:30 p.m. in the Marcell Family Center.

It's an evening of good food catered by the Timberwolf Inn, music with the Northern Lights Trio, and a lumberjack/jill demonstration by Gus Carlson of Talmoon and his daughter Denise Ott of Deer River.

The championship duo from Talmoon have competed in timber sports around the country - and Denise returned recently from participating with the US Women's Team in Sydney, Australia.

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September 2016 Calendar of Events 

1 Storytelling at Marcell Town Hall, 6:30 p.m. Subject: "A grade school experience." All ages welcome, Coffee and treats served.
4 Naturalist program at EOW Discovery Center just north of Marcell on Hwy 38: Raptors, Large birds of prey by the Headwaters Science Center, 11 a.m.
4 Benefit Lunch, 12-4 p.m. at the Bowstring Store Tent. Homemade bars & cookies, meat on a bun, chips, beverage, $5 or donation. Sponsored by the Bowstring Chapel. Please come to help sponsor our Africa New Life Child.
5 Labor Day. North Itasca Electric offices CLOSED.
6 School begins, all schools.
6 Hours change for North Itasca Electric offices: 8-4:30, Mon-Fri.
6 ISD 318 School Board meets, 7 p.m. Via telepresence at Bigfork School.
8 Committee on Aging, Marcell Town Hall, 9:30 a.m. speaker, 10 a.m. meeting, 11:30 a.m. lunch for a fee. TRIAD meeting following lunch.
8 Classic movie: Red River (1948) starring John Wayne and Montgomery Clift will be shown Thursday, Sept. 8 at 6:30 p.m. at the Edge Center Theater in Bigfork. Free.
9 Opening reception for September Edge Gallery show: "Iron and Stone//Paper and Color: Al Belleveau & Karlyn Atkinson Berg at the Edge Gallery, Bigfork, 5-7 p.m. Show runs Thurs., Sept. 8 through Sat., Sept 24. Edge Gallery is open Thurs.-Sat., 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
10 11th Annual Bigfork Valley Challenge half marathon and 10k certified races, 5k run/walk. Pre race registration fees: $4 for the 5k, $15 for the 10k, $20 for the half marathon. Prices slightly higher on race day. Register and more info at BigforkValley.org. Participation medal included. Breakfast burrito brunch is a Bigfork High School track team fundraiser.

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