Watts News
 Published for the members of North Itasca Electric Cooperative
VOL. 23 NO.1  -  January 2020
Cold Weather Rule Notification   |   Energy Assistance Programs

CEO Report  

by Brad Dolinski, CEO

Good morning North Itasca Electric Cooperative Inc. Consumer-Owners;

You should be getting this shortly after the first of the year. This is a good time to reflect on 2019 and set our sights on 2020.

This past year our crews were busy! We are continuing work on the Scenic Substation; with any luck we will finish that project in the fall of 2020. This substation will distribute load from both Jesse Lake and Bigfork Substations. We will have more control in an outage situation, this provides safer working conditions for our crews and better response imes. Related to the substation work we were able to convert two miles of overhead to underground along the proposed transmission route.

We continue to work on load balancing and reliability across the system. The new Scenic Substation will help with line loss; this saves all of us in the long run. The crews also converted roughly two and a half miles of overhead to underground cable along the Alder Road. This conversion retires a section of line that ran through some of our finest swamps. The new underground line will be much easier to service, also avoiding issues with wind and rogue trees during storm events.


Generator and disconnect sales  

by Jerry Loney

During last October’s storm, nearly half of North Itasca Electric’s system was out of power and many experienced inconveniences waiting for the power to be restored. During this time, I received many calls on our Briggs and Stratton whole house generators along with Generlink transfer switches for portable generators. Those who purchased a whole house generator considered that the peace of mind outweighed being without one.

For most, a 12 KW generator is large enough to provide enough energy for normal daily activities, but if more energy is desired, one can upsize. The Symphony II transfer switch North Itasca Electric recommends helps keep members from upsizing. This transfer switch monitors loads automatically, shutting down certain devices until enough power is available.

The 12 kW Briggs and Stratton whole house generator is the smallest home generator North Itasca Electric will sell for reliability. These generators can be purchased with either a 6-year or 10-year warranty. The most commonly purchased warranty is the 6-year with a Symphony ll transfer switch.


Winners of Christmas contests!  

Mug Photo Contest
    Susan Tollefson with a picture of skis and poles in the snow.

Kids Coloring Contest
    Kindergarten: Lexi Connell
    1st grade – Elliot Danielson
    2nd grade – Hadassah Treat
    3rd grade – Peyton Strand

Cookie/CandyRecipe Contest     (Stop by the office to pick up your booklet!)     First Place (tied) - Shirley Koester, Frosted Molasses Cookies     First Place (tied) - Helen Oestreich, Christmas Wreath Cookies     Second Place - Viola Johnson, Date Wiches cookies     Third Place - Jo Ann Powell, Strawberry or Lime Drops

Use a transfer switch!  

Always use a transfer switch when connecting a generator to your home’s electrical system.

Generators come in various shapes and sizes. They can be free standing, portable or even connect to a farm tractor’s power takeoff system; regardless, they all have the same function (to produce electricity).

Their use does not come without responsibility. If in any way your generator is connected to your home’s electrical system, you MUST have a transfer switch separating the electricity provided by North Itasca Electric’s distribution system from that produced by the generator.



Bringing cross country skiing to kids (and adults)

Scenic State Park cross country ski trails will be the venue for EOWSKI! this year.

Started as a way to bring the fun and skills of cross country skiing to children in the area, it has developed into a ski meet up for all ages and abilities as well as a Minnesota Youth Ski League school site. Hot cocoa and a roaring fire in the historic lodge are waiting for those cold toes!

MYSL lessons start Saturday, Jan. 11, 1-3 p.m. at the park and run through Saturday, Feb. 8 and are for 4 year old through teen learners. Families need to sign up for these either by calling or texting Sarah Stone at (218) 387-5012, or online at mysl.org under EOWSKI! club. Adult cross country ski lessons – introduction and orientation – are also available on request.


January 2020 Calendar of Events 

6 Deer River ISD317 School Board, King Elementary Media Center, 6 p.m. Public forum 5:45 p.m.
6 ISD318 School Board organizational meeting, Admin. Board Room Grand Rapids, 7 p.m. Public forum 6:30 p.m. Via telepresence at Bigfork School
7 Mizpah City Council meets in Mizpah Community Center, 7 p.m.
8 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.
8 “The Club I Never Wanted to Join” breast cancer support group meets at Grand Rapids Area Library Group Study Room 3:30 and 5:30 p.m. More info: Lynn Ettl, 832-3612 or lynn_ettl@msn.com
8 Bigfork Lions Club meets second Wednesday, 6 p.m. at golf course.
8 ISD 363 South Koochiching-Rainy River School Board Meeting, 7 p.m. Northome ITV studio.