Watts News
 Published for the members of North Itasca Electric Cooperative
VOL. 20 NO. 6  -  June 2017

Message from the Board Chair  

by Larry Salmela, board chair

How many businesses can you think of that are trying to encourage their customers to buy less? Can you think of any other examples where the State of Minnesota requires a company to encourage its customers to buy less? No automobile company, no retailer or no equipment manufacturer comes to mind which is trying to encourage its customers to buy less.

But this is exactly the requirement that state law has for companies that supply electric power. This includes your electric cooperative. The co-op is required to have programs to help its members reduce energy consumption.

We can see that there are many benefits to society including reduced consumption of non-renewable resources and reduced effects on the environment from the combustion of fuels at the power plants. The significant benefit for the individual consumer is lower power bills.


Message from the Interim CEO  

by Dan Hoskins, Interim CEO

Ladies and gentlemen, it is my pleasure and my honor to be your CEO of your North Itasca Electric Cooperative. But with that said, there is another word in my title; I am also called an Interim CEO which means that I am employed by your Cooperative and overseeing the Cooperative day to day operations while your Board of Directors seek a full time person for this position. The word Interim, meaning; “temporary and intended to be used or accepted until something permanent has been assigned.” It is also derived from a Latin word inter, and its first known use was 1604.

A couple of things I want to tell you: first of all, I can tell you that your Board of Directors is working diligently to get a person in this position full-time. Second, a little bit about me. I started on the ground floor, literally. I was a field tech at Mor-Gran-Sou Electric Cooperative in Flasher, North Dakota dragging a steel measuring tape, staking lines thru the hills of southwest No. Dak., and then while there I became a journeyman lineman for about 13 years.


Roxanne's Sales Talk  

by Roxanne Prather, member services representative

I want to thank everyone for making our Mother’s Day Sale a success. It was such a beautiful day and I know this time of year everyone is so busy. Thank you for taking time out to come to our sale. It was nice to see you all and to be able to visit a little.

There have been a lot of changes this year with new meters, our billing software and automated number to call payments in, instead of just calling the office. I know a lot of you weren’t happy with not being able to call your payment in to us at the office anymore. I hope you understand that by doing it through the automated call center it is much more secure. Protecting your information is one of our main concerns. You can still call us with any questions you may have or if you need help with something, we are here to help and love hearing from you!


Member Satisfaction  

by Jerry Loney, Energy Management Specialist

Member satisfaction is something every cooperative places at the top of its list and North Itasca Electric is no exception.

As a cooperative, you the member-owner operate it not only by electing board members to oversee its operations on your behalf, but by being active as well. Even though the board of directors are working for you the member-owner, it is also the cooperative’s membership that is responsible for its success. When working together with employees and directors, member satisfaction cannot but grow as we learn together finding what works best for the cooperative’s success.

Being inactive and silent as a member-owner can bring dissatisfaction of the services one expects. As a diverse people, challenges can and will occur when opinions of some members are more important to some and less to others. Being a democracy we will have those challenges, but this will also help us to grow. Working together will also cause us to grow as the focus will be on what is best for the membership.


Guest Speaker at the Annual Meeting  

Mark Fagan

The guest speaker at this year's annual meeting will be Mark Fagan, Vice-President and Chief Business Development Officer at Great River Energy. Mark Fagan was named to this position at Great River Energy in March 2016. He previously spent five years serving as vice president of risk and generation at Brazos Electric Power Cooperative, the largest generation and transmission cooperative in Texas.

Prior to joining Brazos, Fagan had spent almost 12 years with Great River Energy in many roles, including business development manager, resource planning manager, and enterprise risk and insurance manager. Fagan has a bachelor of arts degree in biology/chemistry from Dakota Wesleyan University and a master of science degree in public policy from the Humphrey School at the University of Minnesota.

From the Line Department  

by Daryl Pederson, Line Superintendent

Over the last construction year our crews have installed roughly 20 miles of new underground cable. The main projects include three miles of a 3-phase line and one mile of a single-phase line in the Owen Lake area, four miles of 3 phase line along County Road 45 from Fox Lake to County Road 347, and one mile of 3 phase line in Squaw Lake going north from the intersection of County Road 4 and State Hwy 46.

This year’s construction season will include the reconstruction of a half mile of single phase overhead (OH) line to 3 phase OH line in the Wirt area, converting one mile of single phase OH power line to a 3-phase underground power line feeding the Dunbar Lake area, converting a single phase OH power line to a single phase power line feeding Dixon Lake, and converting a three mile section of single phase OH power line to a 3 phase underground power line along County Road 35 going west from Bowstring Shores Lane.


June 2017 Calendar of Events 

Memorial Day. No school, all schools.
29 Ardenhurst Township Memorial Day Luncheon Reception, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. at Ardenhurst Town Hall.
31 Summer hours start at North Itasca Electric: 7 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
31 Ten Topics free community luncheon series at Bigfork Valley: Ticks and Zika1 Bigfork Valley board room, 11:45 a.m., lunch included. Regional epidemiologist Ellen Hill.
31 Last student day, Blackduck School.
Last student day Deer River School
1 Storytelling at Marcell Town Hall building, 6:30 p.m. Coffee and treats served.
2 Last student day, Bigfork School
2 Edge Center Gallery, Bigfork hosts "Every Painting Tells a Story," an exhibit by Christine Tierney. Reception June 2, 5-7 p.m. Edge Gallery is open Thurs.-Sat., 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
6 Mizpah City Council meets in Mizpah Community Center, 7 p.m.
8 Evergreen Friendship Club meets at Sand Lake Community Center, 5 p.m
10 North Itasca Electric Cooperative annual meeting, Northome School, breakfast 8 a.m., meeting 10 a.m.