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  December 2019 Issue

· CEO Report

· Message from the Board Chair: Our Most Important Obligation

· December Calendar

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  November, 2019
  October, 2019
  September, 2019
  August, 2019
  July, 2019
  June, 2019
  May, 2019
  April, 2019
  March, 2019
  February, 2019
  January, 2019
  December, 2018

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Watts News
 Published for the members of North Itasca Electric Cooperative
VOL. 22 NO.12  -  December, 2019
Cold Weather Rule Notification   |   Energy Assistance Programs

CEO Report  

by Brad Dolinski, CEO

Happy December North Itasca!

I say it on a regular basis, wow how time flies. This article will wrap up the 2019 WATTS. Thanksgiving is right around the corner and we’ll mail this edition out the first week in December. That means the Christmas sale is coming soon! I hope the kids have had chance to work on their lists for Santa, because we’ve asked him to come to the office on December 13th. I hope you can make it! For those of you that haven’t had the chance to visit for the Christmas open house, please come check it out. We always have treats, warm cider, coffee, great conversations, door prizes, hat/mitten tree, and gifts for the kids. This event is made for the communities that created North Itasca Electric Cooperative Inc. We will have Capital Credit checks available at the Christmas open house, adding a little cheer to the holiday season.

Speaking of capital credits, some of us understand them very well, others do not. I would like to take a minute to explain just what we are talking about. In the most basic of explanations, we are fulfilling our promise to return revenues to our Member-Owners. The roughly $250,000 we will be returning this year is from the Cooperative operations in 1996. This means that you had to be a member back in 96 to see a return this December. We’re doing what we can to return these past revenues to you on a 20-year cycle.


Message from the Board Chair: Our Most Important Obligation  

by Larry Salmela

Every winter most of the directors of the North Itasca Electric Co-op attend the annual meeting of the Minnesota Rural Electric Association (MREA), the state-wide organization of the electric cooperatives. There are many items of business to be discussed and resolved, but one of the more informative and inspirational presentations is the annual review by Mr. Phil Irwin of the Federated Rural Electric Insurance Exchange, which provides insurance coverage of various types for the co-ops. Focusing on the workmen’s compensation claims by injured co-op employees, Mr. Irwin discusses a graph of the experience over the previous 20 years of contact injuries, which means the incidents where a lineman has come into contact with an energized (hot) wire or conductor on electrical equipment. His graph includes all clients covered by Federated Insurance, and it sends a chill down my spine.

To avoid getting lost in the injury experience statistics, I will point out only a few. First, the injury record indicates that the safety practices in the electric co-ops are slowly improving. The average number of contacts during the five years 1999 through 2003 was about 28 per year, and the average improved to about 21 contacts per year during the five years 2014 through 2018.

That small improvement over the long period of time should not comfort anyone. Electrical contact injuries are potentially very serious. They result in serious, often crippling burns and lost fingers and hands. Sometimes the injury is fatal; the lineman does not go home that day. The experience reported by Federated Insurance is an average of about one fatal injury per year over the past 20 years. Mr. Irwin’s point is that this is unacceptable, and I’m sure every reader of this article will agree.


December 2019 Calendar of Events 

2 ISD318 Truth in Taxation meeting 6:30 p.m. School Board meeting, Admin. Board Room Grand Rapids, 7 p.m. Via telepresence at Bigfork School.
2 Bigfork Valley hosts a public meeting on the 2020 levy, 7 p.m. in the board room.
3 Mizpah City Council meets in Mizpah Community Center, 7 p.m.
5 Northern Lights Trio with special guest Harold Boege entertain at the Grace House fundraiser, "Home is Where the Heart Is” dinner and dance at TimberLake Lodge, Grand Rapids, 5-10 p.m. Info,
6 Grand Lighting at the light display, Bigfork Assembly of God Church, 5 p.m., followed by an open house from 5-8 p.m.
7 Effie American Legion Auxiliary 12th annual Bake and Craft Sale, 10 a.m.-2 p.m at the Effie Community Center.
7 Festival of the Nativity at Sand Lake Community Center, 4-7 p.m. followed by a Christmas sing-along. Refreshments, live music and over 150 nativities on display. Hosted by Sand Lake Alliance Church.
7 The Edge Center in Bigfork hosts Jake Rahier’s Christmas Show, 7 p.m.
9 Women of the Woods meet at 10 a.m. at Sand Lake Community Center. Call Pat Sievertson at 659-2157.
9 Deer River ISD 317 School Board, King Elementary Media Center, 6 p.m. Public forum 5:45 p.m.
9 Blackduck ISD 32 School Board meets, Media Center, 7 p.m. Truth in Taxation, 6:30 p.m.
10 Stop and Stitch at Marcell Family Center, 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Bring $1, sack lunch and a project to work on. Come and go.