Summary of board’s meeting in February

Posted on May 01 2023 in Decatur County REMC

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

All board members were present. Also present was CEO Brett Abplanalp and employees Jeanne Loechle and Matt Raver.

A director made a request to modify the agenda to go into executive session at the beginning of the meeting. Jeff Lawrence moved to approve the amended agenda. Carl Riedeman seconded the motion. The motion passed seven to one.

The board went into executive session at approximately 6:32 p.m. The board came out of executive session and went back into general session at approximately 7:04 p.m. 

There were several questions, discussions and clarifications on management action items under the agenda item titled “For Your Information.”

The chairman brought attention to a board retreat opportunity coming up July 29-30 that he’d like the board to consider.

Safety Minute and Cool Moment
The cool moment was presented by Brett Abplanalp and included the member roundtable event at the REMC on Feb. 24. This was a successful member engagement event. The safety moment was presented by Brett Abplanalp and covered seatbelts. Not wearing your seatbelt is like not wearing your PPE when exposed to the most deadly and common hazards. 

Approval of Previous Meeting Minutes
Suzanne Parmer moved to approve the minutes from the Jan. 26, 2023, board meeting. Jason Barnhorst seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously. 

CEO Updates
Brett Abplanalp updated the board on work from the previous month including: 

  • 2023 company focus areas and goals 
  • Q4 risk management 
  • Two larger line extension/service upgrade projects 
  • Employee transition plan
  • Updates for meter pole replacements and pole replacement projects 
  • Broadband feasibility project

Brett Abplanalp then covered January company metrics as prepared on CTO.

2023 Company Focus Areas and Goals
Brett Abplanalp covered the draft proposal as prepared on CTO. The board asked to add two additional projects to the draft (ROW maintenance and capital credit estate retirement).

2022 Q4 Risk Management
Brett Abplanalp gave a report on the risk management process for Q4 and concluded DCREMC has mitigations in place to operate at an acceptable risk level. 

Financial Updates
Matt Raver reported on January financials as prepared on CTO.

OP’s Review (Department Metrics)
Brett Abplanalp and his staff reviewed the 2021 metrics including the key ratio trend analysis (KRTA) for the business. Our average single-phase user’s kwh per month is much higher than our peers, which we think could be contributed to larger users within the class. Our wholesale power cost as a percent of revenue is well above the state average, showing we run the business with much less than our peer groups. The annual meeting quorum continues to grow year over year. Outage metrics continue to trend down, which contributed to our ROW focus, although the number of outages is not declining. Controllable expenses continue to be well under the state average. 

Policy/Bylaws Review and Report Out
Policy 1-16: Director Conduct Policy was discussed with no changes made.

Distributed Generation (DG — solar) Tariff Review
The board reviewed the impacts of getting all DG members on the same tariff instead of a grandfathered tariff and the current tariff, paying two different rates for the purchase of energy. Carl Riedeman withdrew the motion tabled from the January board meeting. Jason Barnhorst moved to rescind the revision one DG tariff. Dale Wernke seconded the motion. The motion passed five to two. 

Hoosier Energy Director and Annual Meeting Voting Delegate
Dale Wernke nominated Jason Barnhorst as the Hoosier Energy director; no other nominations were made. Dale Wernke moved to approve the candidate. Brian Scheidler seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously. Jason Barnhorst nominated Steve AmRhein as the Hoosier Energy annual meeting voting delegate; no other nominations were made. Jason Barnhorst moved to approve the candidate. Suzanne Parmer seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously. 

Nominating Committee Candidates
Tim Nobbe was previously approved as a candidate for the nominating committee. Due to our nepotism policy, he will not be able to run. Previously approved candidate Anna Rayner has declined to run.

Carl Riedeman nominated Wayne Geis and Dave Moore as the candidates for District 2. Steve AmRhein nominated Robert DeHoff and Ed Hodson as the candidates for District 4. Dale Wernke nominated Jeff Evans and Joe Diekhoff as the candidates for District 6. Suzanne Parmer moved to approve the candidates. Jeff Lawrence seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously. 

The Hoosier Energy Board
Jason Barnhorst gave the Hoosier board update.

IEC Board/Committee Update
Steve AmRhein gave the IEC board update. John Cassady was named the new IEC CEO.

Suzanne Parmer moved to adjourn the meeting. Carl Riedeman seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously, and the meeting was adjourned at 9:10 p.m. The board then went into executive session.