Watts News
 Published for the members of North Itasca Electric Cooperative
VOL. 20 NO. 11  -  November 2017

Cold Weather Rule Notification   |   Energy Assistance Programs

Open House for new 69kV line  

by Sally Sedgwick

About five years ago, North Itasca Electric began to look at ways to increase the quality of power coming into the Scenic area southeast of Bigfork. The electricity into that area currently comes directly from the Bigfork substation, an extended distance that is subject to line loss, reliability and voltage issues.

After looking at several options to improve that part of the cooperative’s system, the best and most cost-effective solution was to build a new substation near the intersection of county roads 340 and 341. The new Scenic substation would be fed by a transmission line at 69 kV from the Bigfork substation. Power would then be distributed to the south, southeast and northwest through lower voltage distribution line.


CEO Report  

by Brad Dolinski, CEO

Good morning.

It’s been a busy month at North Itasca Electric Cooperative Inc.

As I’m writing this article we are diligently working on the 2018 budget to present to our board of directors. Thank you to Jonny, Teri, and Mike from CFC for coming to work with us at NIECI. They have a valuable tool called Budget Pro; this is an intense process that is a deep dive into both historic and future budget numbers. I am very confident that we will have an accurate and complete budget for the board meeting on the 26th of October.

I was planning on bringing my boat down this week to enjoy the beautiful weather we’ve been having. I decided I better not have the distraction of going fishing until the budget is complete. We’re bound to have some nice weather in the weeks ahead.


Load control equipment checks  

by Jerry Loney

Load control checks have started for the coming winter season. Those who are on a Load Control program know the importance of properly operating Load Control equipment. This equipment consists of a Golay receiver which receives radio signals from a tower in Marcell which transmits a signal opening or closing a relay allowing or not allowing electric heating equipment to run.

This signal originates from Great River Energy’s office located in Elk River. Great River Energy monitors the distribution grid and determines if or when a control period is needed and sends out a signal accordingly. When a system peak (highest demand period) becomes apparent or the cost of energy is above a budgeted amount to reduce the need for producing and/or purchasing high cost energy, a control sign will be sent out to these Golay receivers instructing them to either control heat loads or to let them run. We call this load shedding.


Roxanne’s Sales Talk  

by Roxanne Prather, Member Services Representative

Cookie & Candy Contest

Christmas is right around the corner and this year we thought it would be fun to change it up and have a cookie & candy contest. We are asking that everyone who wants to compete send in your favorite recipe and some of the North Itasca Electric employees will vote on them and choose a winner. We will choose one winner for Cookie of 2017 and one winner for the Candy of 2017. The winners will receive a $25 credit on their electric bill. All recipes that come in will be copied into a Christmas Cookbook, that you can pick up at the Co-op. Open House on Dec. 8th. We thought that it would be fun to share new recipes for the Christmas Holiday. Hopefully we get lots of recipes!


It’s that time of year when people are getting ready to leave for the winter so we should talk about winterizing cabins and houses.


Hunters' Suppers  

Friday, November 3

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 out available
Menu: Lutefisk, Swedish meatballs and lefse
Also: Split the Pot raffle, need not be present to win

Northwoods Saddle
Location: Effie Community Center
Time: 4-7 p.m.
Cost: Suggested donation $8
Menu: Turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, corn, cranberry sauce, dinner roll, dessert


Elm Project Update  

by Sally Sedgwick

As the emerald ash borer draws closer – areas surrounding the Twin Cities, Duluth and one county along Minnesota’s southern border are under quarantine for infestations – the research project on the Chippewa National Forest becomes more important.

What does elm have to do with ash?

Elm shares a similar habitat requirement as ash, explained Charlie Flower, a research ecologist from the USDA Research Station in Delaware, Ohio which initiated the project on the Forest. Like ash, elm is tolerant of seasonally flooded land. In the spring, the water table can come up to a foot below the surface in black ash wetlands.


November 2017 Calendar of Events 

2 Storytelling at Marcell Town Hall building, 2:30 p.m. Story topic: “More reminiscing.”Coffee and treats served, all ages welcome. Note time change.
3 No school, Blackduck School
3 Opening reception for November Edge Gallery Show: "Looking in Different Directions," 5-7 p.m. The November show runs from Nov. 2 to Dec.2. The Edge Gallery is open on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Admission is free.
3, 4, 5 Fall play at Blackduck High School, "Fairytale Courtroom." Fri: Dinner theater, 6 p.m.; Sat: 7 p.m.; Sun: 2 p.m. More information: 835-5210.
4, 5 Hunters’ Suppers. see article for area locations
5 Daylight Savings Time ends, move clocks one hour back.
6 No school, Deer River, Bigfork, Northome