Watts News
 Published for the members of North Itasca Electric Cooperative
VOL. 19 NO. 11  -  November 2016


Cold Weather Rule Notification   |   Energy Assistance Programs

Starting a new century: Spring Lake Store  

by Sally Sedgwick

The Spring Lake Store turned 100 years old in 2016. And it came up for sale.

It wasn’t a historic building – the structure was rebuilt after a fire. But it was part of the history of the area; a Minneapolis and Rainy River Railroad stop, a collection of pioneer homes and a country school, and even today, an important place for local people to get gas, groceries and stamps within a short distance.

The prospect of losing the store for the community was what concerned Sue Watlov Phillips. She was familiar with the area, coming up for many years to help her friend Elaine Rasmussen at Island View, a resort on nearby Sand Lake.

She also was an advocate for the importance of community in her work with people at-risk and/or experiencing homelessness in the Twin Cities. The Spring Lake Store served a number of elderly and residents with limited income or disabilities.

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CEO Report: Budget and RoundUp  

by Chris Corradi, CEO

With 2016 nearly behind us, your staff and board of directors are working on and discussing the budgeting process for 2017. In doing so, we analyze internal costs to make sure we are running your cooperative as efficiently and effectively as possible. Not-for-profit co-ops such as North Itasca Electric are governed by their members. The board of directors has the responsibility to ensure your cooperative is operated in a sound fiscal manner. I can assure you that your board of directors take this responsibility very seriously.

As mentioned in previous articles, 2016 has been a rough year financially for your cooperative. This can primarily be attributed to reduced energy sales but was also accompanied by the series of powerful storms that tore through our cooperative territory in July and August. As a result of the reduced energy sales, we project a very thin margin if any at all for 2016.

Looking forward to 2017, we are projecting a 1.9 percent increase in wholesale power costs from our power supplier. We will continue to find ways to reduce expenses going into 2017 as well to make sure your dollars are being used effectively. What this means for rates we are not yet sure. This is something we will be analyzing over the remainder of the year.

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Highway 38 construction delayed  

by Sally Sedgwick

Plans to reconstruct Highway 38 from Marcell to Pughole Lake have been delayed from 2017 to 2018, explained Minnesota Department of Transportation staff in a public meeting on Oct. 3 at the Marcell Family Center.

But that doesn’t mean that work is suspended on the project.

Design work and permitting activities are on schedule, according to MnDOT, including a social and environmental impact statement to the Federal Highway Administration completed last summer. The wetlands permit from the Corps of Engineers is expected in spring 2017.

Design work has identified two areas where the roadbed will be altered: one near Wildernessa Road to improve safety, and one to raise the roadbed in a location where it floods annually. In addition, 41 culverts will be replaced along the reconstruction.

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Hunters' Suppers  

Friday, November 4

  • Jesse Lake Lutheran Church
    Location: County Rd. 4, 2 miles west of Talmoon
    Time: 4-7 p.m.
    Cost: Adults, $14; children 6-12, $6: take outs available
    Menu: Lutefisk, Swedish meat balls and lefse
    Also: Split the Pot raffle

  • Mustang Volleyball fundraiser
    Location: Kootasca Senior Center in Northome
    Time: 4:30 -7:30 p.m.
    Cost: Free will donation

  • Northwoods Saddle Club
    Location: Effie Community Center
    Time: 4-7 p.m.
    Cost: Suggested donation $7
    Menu: Turkey, potatoes, stuffing, cranberries and dinner roll
    Also: Raffle prizes given away throughout the evening

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Marcell Township helping businesses grow  

In 1985, the successful Marcell startup business known as ASV (later purchased by Caterpillar) was awarded a state grant. The adjacent sawmill and pellet plant, Valley Forest Resources, also received two state grants in 1988 and 1990.

The payback of these three grants became seed money for other businesses to start and grow in Marcell Township.

Under the terms of the grants, repayments became the property of Marcell Township to start a Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) revolving loan fund for township economic development. Since 1985, Marcell has made 39 individual loans to 20 different recipients.

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RoundUp® Grants  

The following RoundUp® grants were made in October.

Applicant OrganizationProject TitleAmt Awarded
Ardenhurst TownshipArdenhurst Community Park Signs$215
Bigfork Music Booster PTABand choir trip to Chicago$215
Bigfork Valley HospitalKitchen Aid Mixer for Activities Dept$250
Bigfork Valley HospitalNew music mixes for Exercise Class$141
Bigfork Valley HospitalAgility Hurdles for Physical Therapy$143
Bigfork Volunteer Fire DeptGPS Units$800
Bigfork Wilderness Committee  Wilderness Day June 17, 2017 (1)$215
Bigfork Wilderness CommitteeWilderness Day June 17, 2017 (2)$215
City of BigforkBeach Facility Plan$215
City of NorthomeReceiving & Storage Building at Airport$215
City of NorthomeGeneral Improvements to unpaved municipal streets$215
City of NorthomeUpgrades to Boyscout Point campground$200
City of NorthomeSignage & additional improvements to Triangle Park$250

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November 2016 Calendar of Events 

3 Storytelling at Marcell Town Hall, 2 p.m. Subjects "How did you celebrate Thanksgiving?" and "Tell a favorite hunting story." All ages welcome, Coffee and treats served.
4 Edge Gallery show, Bigfork. Jonathan Thunder: The Politics of Dreams: Defying Dilettantism. Opening Reception 5-7 p.m. with animated film screening 6 and 6:30 p.m. Show runs Nov. 3 - Dec. 3. Gallery open Thurs.-Sat., 10 a.m.-4 p.m. through Dec. 3.
4, 5 Hunter's Suppers
6 Daylight Savings time ends, 2 a.m.: turn back clocks one hour.
7 No school, Deer River, Bigfork

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