Summary of board’s meeting in February

Posted on Apr 29 2021 in Decatur County REMC

The meeting was opened by Chairman Michael Brelage and Brian Scheidler kept the minutes of the meeting.

All board members were present with Jason Barnhorst attending virtually. Also present was CEO Brett Abplanalp and employees Jennie Meyer and Crystal Greathouse. 

Upon motion made by Dale Wernke, seconded by Jason Barnhorst, and carried, the agenda was approved with Jeff Lawrence dissenting.

CFC Utility Debt – Brian Stavish from CFC

Member Request to Speak – Kenny Peters

  • The nominating committee wants to do away with online voting and to have the nominating committee count all of the mail-in ballots the night of the annual meeting. It was determined that there is already a contract with a survey company and that doing away with online voting would be a step backwards. It was discussed that our election participation has sharply increased with the early and online platform and this process was selected from the input of our membership. 

Safety Minute and Cool Moment – Brett Abplanalp

  • Brett Abplanalp shared some positive feedback from community events including: “Great job with your Round Up program,” “Tree trimming is making an impact,” “Thanks for getting our feedback,” “Reliability has been wonderful,” and “Wonderful information sharing.”
  • Approval of Previous (January Board Meeting) Meeting Minutes – Michael Brelage  
  • Upon motion made by Steve AmRhein, seconded by Dale Wernke, and carried, the minutes for the Jan. 28 board meeting were approved with amendments.

CEO Update – Brett Abplanalp

  • The CEO report was reviewed as presented on Call to Order.
  • Brett Abplanalp went over the proposed strategic 2021 company goals and asked the board for approval.
  • Upon motion by Brian Scheidler, seconded by Dale Wernke and carried the goals were approved unanimously.

Financial Update – Brett Abplanalp and Jennie Meyer 

  • The financials were reviewed as presented on Call to Order. 
  • Energy was down 3.8% due to January’s median temperature being down one degree from our five-year average. Power cost followed down causing our gross margins to be within one percent of our budget. 
  • Our expenses were down from budget due mainly to ROW timing. Our cash increased month over month and will continue to grow until April-May timeframe when we start getting invoices on our construction.

RUS Loan Motion – Michael Brelage

  • The board discussed the current loans we have and how we would have to borrow money to pay off current loans. 
  • Motion: Payoff the three RUS loans that do not have prepayment penalties. Motion introduced by Susan Parmer. Motion seconded by Jeff Lawrence. Vote was 5-3 against; motion failed. 

DCREMC Fiber Discussion – Michael Brelage

  • This discussion was about our communication to the membership around fiber.
  • The board asked Brett Abplanalp to get an understand of what other co-op boards were looking at when they made the decision to do FTTH. 

Nominating Committee Candidate Approvals   – Michael Brelage

  • Candidates presented were District 5: Chris Morrow and Albert Armand, District 7: Tim Huguenard and Joe Dwenger, District 8: Joyce Kessens and Dan Schantz.
  • Upon motion by Jeff Lawrence, seconded by Dale Wernke and carried, the candidates were approved unanimously.

CRC Voting Delegate and Alternate – Michael Brelage 

  • Dale Wernke nominated Jeff Lawrence as the voting delegate and Carl Riedeman as the alternative, seconded by Steve Amrhein and carried. The candidates were approved unanimously.

Policy Review

  • Policy on Selection of Employee: Upon motion by Steve AmRhein, seconded by Brian Scheidler and carried, the policy changes were approved unanimously.
  • Rules & Regulations Rule 25 Line Extensions: Brett Abplanalp asked the board for their appetite to change the line extension true-up process to not include a 30-month true-up for loading. Abplanalp will work on putting together the data requested. 

Hoosier Energy Board/Committee Update – Jason Barnhorst 

  • The Hoosier meeting was held on Feb. 8 and the next one will be March 29. The annual meeting will be in April. The issue in Texas was discussed and highlighted the value of MISO. 

IES Board/Committee Update – Steve AmRhein

  • The IEC meeting was on Feb. 17 and the next one will be April 28. John Gastrom will attend a DCREMC board meeting in March or April. He asked that we ask ourselves what our co-op will look like in 10 years and give him our thoughts when he is here.

EV/Broadband Committee – Brett Abplanalp

  • It was discussed that we would leave ViaSat pricing alone and spend $2,000 on marketing from the budget earmarked for Project Indiana. 

Board Governance Issues – Michael Brelage

  • Dale Wernke handed out a resolution to publicly censure and place sanctions on Jeff Lawrence (resolution attached). It was read in entirety. All board members except Carl Riedeman and Suzanne Parmer were provided and had knowledge of censure resolution prior to the meeting. Jeff Lawrence then excused himself from the meeting. There was no further discussion and a roll call vote was requested. 
  • Motion: Approve the resolution with a roll call vote. Motion introduced by Dale Wernke. Motion seconded by Jason Barnhorst. The voting went as follows, Dale Wernke – Approve, Jason Barnhorst – Approve, Susan Parmer – Disapprove, Carl Riedeman – Disapprove, Michael Brelage – Approve, Brian Scheidler – Approve, Steve AmRhein – Approve. Vote was 5-2 for; motion passed.

Director Training Report Out – Michael Brelage 

  • Steve AmRhein attended BLC 905.1 assessing governance.
  • Upon motion by Steve AmRhein, seconded by Dale Wernke and carried the meeting was adjourned to executive session at 9:55 p.m.