Summary of board’s meeting in April

Posted on Jul 03 2020 in Decatur County REMC
  • Chairman Steve AmRhein called the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m. and Michael Brelage kept minutes of the meeting.
  • All members of the board were present. Also present were DCREMC CEO Brett Abplanalp and DCREMC staff members Jennie Meyer and, via conference call, Rachel Sullivan, Crystal Greathouse and Eric Busch.
  • A motion by Jason Barnhorst, seconded by Dale Wernke, and passed moved all financials out of the consent agenda.
  • A request was made to investigate changes into bylaws section 1.05 to remove the requirement of the board to accept and rescind membership.
  • Upon motion by Dale Wernke, seconded by Brian Scheidler, and carried, the agenda of the meeting was approved.
  • Rachel Sullivan presented recommendations for the 2020 annual meeting. Taking the recommendations into consideration, a motion by Michael Brelage, seconded by Dale Wernke, and passed adapted changes to the bylaws as recommend by DCREMC attorney Wickens and Wickens. Also, the annual meeting will be held virtually on the same day and time and all votes must be submitted by June 10 via mail or electronic options.
  • Jason Barnhorst presented the 2019 Hoosier Energy bill, breaking it down by substations and each industrial member, showing the different rates DCREMC is charged from Hoosier Energy for substations and metering points including peak and non-peak months. These costs are then billed proportionately, maintaining a fair and equitable distribution of costs and rates.
  • Discussion moved to the cost of service study (COSS) and Jeff Lawrence was given permission to meet with our rate consultant in order to work out perceived issues with the rate base calculations used in the COSS to create the current rates. Consultant fees will be incurred by Jeff Lawrence with the possibility of the board voting to reimburse him.
  • The financial report for February was given by Jennie Meyer and reviewed as presented on Call to Order. The financials were reviewed by the board as presented and filed for audit.
  • A motion was made by Jason Barnhorst, seconded by Michael Brelage and carried, approving the March consent agenda by unanimous vote.
  • CEO Abplanalp reported Eric Busch was hired as the accounting and finance manager. Abplanalp also attended union labor negotiation training and worked on the COVID-19 response.
  • The financial report for March was given by Jennie Meyer and reviewed as presented on Call to Order. She noted gross margins are behind budget $92,000 due mainly to loses directly related to COVID-19 and expects margins in the coming month to also be affected. Unpaid bills are also up due to COVID-19. The financials were reviewed by the board as presented and filed for audit.
  • A motion was made by Brian Scheidler, seconded by Jeff Lawrence and carried, approving the April consent agenda by unanimous vote.
  • CEO Abplanalp reported he has worked on the plan to bring employees back in. Also, he worked on annual meeting plans and had a successful virtual Breakfast with Brett.
  • The dashboard review showed lost consumer hours due to high winds. Also, expenses are up due to tree trimming being ahead of schedule but should even up as the year continues.
  • In project reviews, pole replacement is on hold due to COVID-19 but is still projected to be complete by the end of the year. The bill reprint has been moved up to October.
  • Hoosier Energy canceled the annual meeting. Jason Barnhorst reported that they had a conference call meeting and are looking at options to assist members affected by COVID-19.
  • IEC Director Steve AmRhein reported that the IEC meeting was canceled. 

Old Business

  • Abplanalp reported that the Operation Round Up marketing review is being pushed back due to COVID-19.
  • The board accountability committee reported on plans to bring a directive to the May meeting recommending that all board members be required to attend either a Hoosier Energy or IEC event each term of office. They also discussed a plan to penalize board members who do not attend board functions.
  • Jason Barnhorst shared his appreciation for Hoosier Energy sending him to the NRECA Annual Meeting and highlighted many ideas he took way from the meeting.

New Business

  • Member concerns were discussed including an error that had the wrong month’s minutes printed in a recent issue of Indiana Connection magazine. It was noted that, while this was the case, all approved minutes are posted on the website.
  • It was then discussed that the distributive generation and the security light/streetlight rates are due for review.
  • Upon a motion made by Jeff Lawrence and seconded by Suzanne Parmer, the meeting was adjourned to executive session at 9 p.m.