Board meeting summary for July

Posted on Sep 30 2022 in Decatur County REMC

NOTE: All board meeting minutes are available on our website,, once approved. 

The meeting was opened by Chairman Steve AmRhein. Brian Scheidler kept the minutes of the meeting. 

All board members were present. Also present was CEO Brett Abplanalp and guests Clare Spreckelson and Sandy Nieman.

Upon motion made by Dale Wernke, seconded by Clay Nuhring, and carried, the agenda was approved. 

Cool Moment 

Clare Spreckelson, Youth Tour participant, shared details about the DCREMC-funded trip to Washington, D.C. Spreckelson went over all the different monuments seen and people she met while on the trip. 

Executive Session

The board went into Executive Session from 6:51 p.m. until 7:15 p.m. 

Safety Minute 

Brett Abplanalp talked about traffic laws and safety for the crews. He talked about the importance of slowing down when orange signs are present and crews are at work.

Approval of Previous     Meeting Minutes 

Upon motion by Dale Wernke, seconded by Suzanne Parmer, and carried, the minutes for the June 28, 2022, board meeting were approved unanimously with amendments. 

Member Addresses Board 

Sandy Nieman shared her perspective on the annual meeting event and director election process. 

CEO Update 

Brett Abplanalp reported on focus areas from the past month and gave strategic company project updates. 

He also reported on June metrics. June’s median temperature was flat to our five-year average with cooling degree days 1% below our five-year average. Our Hoosier Energy purchased energy was down 1% compared to our five-year average with demand flat to our five-year average. Year-to-date energy sales to budget went from -3.3% under budget to -2.47%. There were no major storms for the month of June. Lost consumer hours were 60% below our five-year average. The number of outages were 50 compared to our five-year average of 93. Outage causes for the month were “wind, not trees,” then “trees – other.” 

Financial Update 

Brett Abplanalp reported out on June’s financials. 

Balance sheet, net utility plant increased $333,520 in June due to closing some of the construction work plan project work orders. Revenues are under YTD budget by $193,299 but power costs are also under by $296,596, resulting in a favorable gross margin of $103,297 YTD. Controllable expenses are over budget $303,979, mainly due to tree trimming being ahead of schedule. The cash flow statement shows a June 

beginning balance of $1,319,871 and we ended the current month with a net decrease in cash of $567,337 resulting in an ending cash balance of $752,534. 

Director Compensation Study 

Steve AmRhein went over the state survey results and no changes were made to director compensation. 

Director Election Bio Formula 

Brett Abplanalp reported that several years ago, DCREMC created a template for director and nominating committee candidate biographies. This was done to provide consistency and fairness to all candidates. There have been times when candidates have wanted to deviate from the template. Management would like the board to establish guidelines in a policy. This will allow the board to use its fiduciary duty of care and loyalty to ensure candidates represent the company and industry without negative connotations on employees and the company. It will then allow management to carry out the standards the board creates to continue uniformity and impartiality for all candidates. 

Policy/Bylaws Reviews and Report Outs 

The following policies were reviewed by the board: Policy 10-5: Employee Vacations, Policy 10-8: Employee Education, and Policy 4-8: Adequate Rate Levels. The redline changes were to change the title from general manager to CEO. Upon motion made by Jeff Lawrence, seconded by Carl Riedeman, the changes passed unanimously. 

Board Strategic Initiative – Board Governance 

Steve AmRhein referred the board back to meeting minutes and the resolution where the board agreed from strategic planning to complete a board competency report and board self and external assessment report. He asked the board for support to complete this commitment. 

Affiliated Organizations 

Hometown Energy 

Brian Scheidler discussed that prices have been set for this heating season. The next meeting will be in January 2023. 

Hoosier Energy Board/Committee Updates 

Jason Barnhorst discussed the industry pressures on fuel cost and the energy market prices.


Upon motion made by Clay Nuhring, seconded by Suzanne Parmer, and carried, the meeting was adjourned to executive session at 9 p.m.