Watts News
 Published for the members of North Itasca Electric Cooperative
VOL. 24 NO.6  -  June 2020

CEO Report  

by Brad Dolinski, CEO

Good morning!

Here is "WATT's up?" as of the end of May. We are still here with you, even though our building is currently closed to the public. We have been discussing what it will look like when we can open. I need to put some safety measures in place before we can get back to "normal."

My plan is to focus on the safety of all employees and you, our Member-Owner. We will have some plexiglass at the front counter, like we are seeing pretty much everywhere we go. Traffic will be limited to the display area, currently we have that space converted into a large lunchroom with more than six feet between chairs. I will get a space prepared for any interactions you need to have with our employees where everyone will be safe moving forward.


Summer Building projects  

by Jerry Loney

Are you planning on a building project this summer? Maybe a garage, small cabin or even a larger building combining a garage and living space together?

Whether it is on a piece of property you just purchased or maybe already own, the requirements are the same. Do not overlook the many details that go along with such a project. Talk to the county office before starting. Along with a building permit, you may also need a permit for the driveway entrance. The county requires a setback distance from the center of the road of 110 feet and a 911 address (or fire number). These requirements are not without fees and inspections.


Roxanne's Sales Talk  

by Roxanne Prather, Member Services Representative

First of all, I want to thank everyone for ordering from our Mother's Day sale. It wasn't the same without the Open House, but we made it work. Thanks for all your patience, it is greatly appreciated!

I also want to tell you about a contest that Speed Queen is having from May 11 through June 12. All you must do is log on daily and register with your idea of what you would like to see washed in a Speed Queen machine.

The Legend of the TR
Speed Queen Contest


Message from the Board Chair
Maintaining our principles during the COVID-19 period  

by Larry Salmela, North Itasca Electric Board chair

There are many challenges in front of us during the strange and frightening COVID-19 period that we are going through now. One of the challenges is to make sure that we continue to follow the basic principles of being a cooperative. Those principles begin with member control of the cooperative as expressed though the annual meeting of members.

During this season, the members elect their representatives to the board. Also, the planning begins for the annual meeting to enable the members to stay in touch with their co-op. We have been holding elections and annual meetings annually since the co-op began. We cannot stop now, but how will we continue these essential activities during this unprecedented time of "...stay home, no large groups, social distancing, stay six feet apart from one another, stop nonessential group activities, etc."?


Official Notice
of the Annual Membership Meeting of
North Itasca Electric Cooperative Inc.
Bigfork, Minnesota 56628  

Notice is hereby given that the Annual Meeting of the Membership of North Itasca Electric Co-op., Inc will be postponed until further notice, provided that district elections will be held at the present time by mail. When the annual meeting convenes the following business will be transacted:

1. To hear, examine and approve reports of Officers, Directors and Committees.

2. And for the transaction of such other business as might lawfully be brought up before the members of this Cooperative and as may be deemed to be for the best interest of said Cooperative.

Elections will take place by mail-in ballots only. Ballots must be delivered to the Bigfork Headquarters by Thursday June 18th, 2020 by 3:30 p.m. Ballots will be opened and counted by Canvass committee on Monday June 22nd, 2020 per CDC guidelines.

Lloyd Kongsjord, Secretary

Walt Breeze retires  

Since 1990, Walt Breeze has been part of the North Itasca Electric board representing District 6 in the northwest corner of the cooperative service territory. This year he will retire after being part of many successes and changes in the cooperative and serving as its secretary for over 20 years of his tenure.

Walt returned to the area after 22 years in the Air Force. A Chief Master Sergeant, Walt served in Iceland, Alaska, the Philippines and Viet Nam.


June 2020 Calendar of Events 

Regularly scheduled meetings, most by teleconference, contact organization to participate:

1 ISD318 School Board meeting by teleconference, 7 p.m. Contact to submit Open Forum question at least one day in advance of the meeting. Email: jrasmussen@isd318.org or call 218‑327‑5704.
2 Bigfork Valley Hospital Board meeting, 9 a.m. Open to the public via videoconferencing: call 743-1772 for information.
2 Mizpah City Council, 7 p.m.
8 ISD317 School Board meets, 5:45 p.m.
8 Effie City Council meets, 6 p.m.
8 Blackduck ISD32 School Board meets, 7 p.m.