The meeting was opened by Chairman Steve AmRhein, and Brian Scheidler kept the minutes of the meeting. All board members were present. Also present were CEO Brett Abplanalp and employees Matt Raver, Crystal Greathouse, Jeanne Loechle and Sam Ruf.
Jason Barnhorst moved to approve the agenda. Dale Wernke seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
MEMBER REQUEST TO ADDRESS THE BOARD
Former nominating committee chairperson Albert Armand and former nominating committee member Sandy Nieman presented their thoughts on the annual meeting and voting process. Nieman read a letter from nominating committee member Bill Wietlisbach.
SAFETY MINUTE AND COOL MOMENT
Abplanalp presented the safety minute by thanking all employees who worked long hours to restore power during the three-day storm event at the end of June. There were 113 outages affecting 1,212 members. The crews restored all power with no safety issues or injuries. For the cool moment, Abby Hartman reported to the board about her experience as Decatur County REMC’s summer intern.
APPROVAL OF PREVIOUS MEETING MINUTES
Suzanne Parmer moved to approve the minutes from the June 29 board meeting. Clay Nuhring seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Abplanalp updated the board on strategic projects; the broadband feasibility team spent the month working through feasibility work. Abplanalp then covered June company metrics as prepared on CTO. June’s median temperature was 5% cooler than the five-year average. Wholesale purchased energy was down 4.8% compared to our five-year average, with demand −6.5% lower than our five-year average. Year-to-date energy sales are −3.35% under budget. There was no major storm during the month of June, although we had back-to-back-to-back windstorms starting on June 29. Lost consumer hours were 2,131, compared to our 5-year average of 11,595.
Matt Raver reported on June financials as prepared on CTO. Net utility plant increased $255,798 and our current equity is 61.26%. Revenues are over the YTD budget and power costs are over, resulting in a gross margin under budget of $664,118 YTD. Controllable expenses are under budget by $200,600. The cash flow statement shows a beginning balance of $496,873 and we ended the current month with a net increase in cash of $177,920, resulting in an ending cash balance of $674,793.
FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT PLAN
Raver presented to the board the need to have board guidance within a financial management plan. This plan would set the management boundaries for capital credit retirement, yearly capital spending, borrowing philosophy and equity targets. Management recommendations were presented, and the board debated. The board consensus was to keep discussing the topic at the next board meeting.
Raver stated that we expect to receive the remainder of our emergency stock of transformers. With the cash outlay for the transformers, the remaining pole replacements and some larger projects coming later in the year, he explained the need to borrow funds. Barnhorst moved to approve borrowing $1.5 million. Steve Nobbe seconded the motion. The motion was approved unanimously.
POLICY/BYLAWS REVIEW AND REPORT OUT
Abplanalp presented a new safety reward and recognition program. The board consensus was to move forward with the program. Changes to policy 1-08: Director Fees and Expenses were discussed. Parmer moved to approve the proposed changes to policy 1-08. Nuhring seconded the motion. The motion passed with a 6-1 vote.
COLLECTIVE COMPANY VISION
Abplanalp presented why a vision statement is needed and the process he would recommend.
Scheidler reported on the Hometown Energy meeting. The new propane price was set at $2.399. The distribution amount was $60,000. The next meeting is set for Jan. 22, 2024. Barnhorst gave an update on work going on at Hoosier Energy.
Parmer moved to adjourn the meeting. Carl Riedeman seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously, and the meeting was adjourned at 8:34 p.m. The board then went into executive session.