HOOSIER MEETING (5:30 – 6:15pm):
Virtual Meeting with Donna Walker, CEO from Hoosier Energy
The meeting was opened by Chairman Michael Brelage and Brian Scheidler kept the minutes of the meeting.
All board members were present. Also present was CEO Brett Abplanalp and employees Jennie Meyer and Crystal Greathouse.
Upon motion made by Dale Wernke, seconded by Jeff Lawrence, and carried, the agenda was approved.
Safety Minute and Cool Moment: Brett Abplanalp
Director Dale Wernke has earned his CCD Certificate and will now be working toward his Board Leadership Certificate. There was a member meeting and town hall on Jan. 26. Several members attended and there was good discussion on several topics. DCREMC was awarded the United Fund giving certificate for donations on behalf of the employees.
Approval of Previous Meeting Minutes: Michael Brelage
November Board Meeting
Upon motion made by Jeff Lawrence, seconded by Steve AmRhein, and carried, the minutes for the Nov. 24, 2020, Board Meeting were approved with amendments.
December Board Meeting
Upon motion made by Jason Barnhorst, seconded by Carl Riedeman, and carried, the minutes for the Dec. 22, 2020 Board Meeting were approved with amendments.
CEO Update: Brett Abplanalp
The CEO report was reviewed as presented on Call to Order. Abplanalp explained that the right of way contract has been completed with Asplundh winning the tree ticket and hot spotting work, Electricom winning the circuit bid work, and The Daltons winning the spraying.
Abplanalp and his staff spent quite a bit of time this past month meeting with individual members. These opportunities were responses to the members reaching out and asking questions. Abplanalp felt like these meetings were very beneficial for the members and DCREMC.
Expected timing for the 2021 strategic planning events was discussed and a metrics review was completed.
Financial Update: Brett Abplanalp and Jennie Meyer
The financials were reviewed as presented on Call to Order.
Operating margins were under budget by $11,934 in December 2020. The year to date (YTD) operating margin is $1,192,467 compared to a plan of $788,862. Revenues are under YTD budget by $1,901,483 but power costs are also under by $1,839,857 resulting in a gross margin below budget of $61,626. With a lower-than-expected Hoosier Energy capital credit allocation, total margins for 2020 were within $12,134 from budget.
Upon motion made by Suzanne Parmer, seconded by Jeff Lawrence, and tabled, paying off three existing RUS loans that do not have prepayment penalties. Discussion was tabled until further information could be given to the board.
Nominating Committee Candidate Approvals: Michael Brelage
Dale Wernke presented Jarrod Daeger and Angela Brewer as his nominating committee candidates.
Upon motion made by Jeff Lawrence, seconded by Carl Riedeman, and carried, the candidates were approved.
Board Training Equity Management: Michael Brelage
Michael Brelage addressed the need for the board to set an equity goal and that the entire board needs to be fully aware of what that means. To accomplish this, the entire board will participate in the course titled Equity Management and Boardroom Decision Making. The date of this training will be decided at a later meeting.
Policy Reviews: Michael Brelage
Redlines for policy 1-15, Director’s Electronic Communication, was presented.
Upon motion made by Jason Barnhorst, seconded by Jeff Lawrence, and carried, the redlines were approved with additional changes.
Policy 10-20, Employee Emergency Action and Fire Prevention Plan, and Policy 10-21, Employee Health & Safety (PPE), were reviewed without changes.
Hoosier Energy Annual Meeting Delegate and Director Nomination: Michael Brelage
Dale Wernke nominated Jason Barnhorst to be the Hoosier Energy director. No other nominations were made. Barnhorst was named the Hoosier Energy director.
Steve AmRhein nominated Dale Wernke as the Hoosier Energy voting delegate. No other nominations were made. Dale Wernke was named the Hoosier Energy voting delegate.
NRTC and NRECA Delegate: Michael Brelage
Upon motion made by Jason Barnhorst, seconded by Brian Scheidler, and carried, Brett Abplanalp was voted the NRTC voting delegate.
Upon motion made by Steve AmRhein, seconded by Jason Barnhorst, and carried, Abplanalp was voted the NRECA voting delegate.
Directors Communication: Michael Brelage
Gordon Smiley had emailed Michael Brelage with concern over information given to him about the PPP loans. He stated that what was said in the boardroom did not match what he was told at the concerned members meeting. Brelage then asked the board to please clarify what was said differently. Nobody had an explanation.
Hoosier Energy Board/Committee Update: Jason Barnhorst
The Hoosier Energy board met on Jan. 11.
Hoosier Energy has made progress with the required energy and capacity replacements prior to the retirement of Merom in 2023. Summer capacity is nearly completed with the addition of gas, solar, market buys and PPAs. Roughly 20% is remaining on the energy side with the addition of solar, market buys and PPAs.
With the replacements, Hoosier’s portfolio is changing, therefore, Hoosier is working on a cost-of-service study with the intensions of a new rate design rollout in 2023.
Broadband Committee: Brett Abplanalp
The committee’s proposal to adjust the billing of Via Sat was reviewed as presented on Call to Order. The options were discussed at length and it was decided to condense the options and present them at the next board meeting.
Upon motion made by Dale Wernke, seconded by Jeff Lawrence, and carried, DCREMC will not accept any new customers for ViaSat service that live outside of the six counties we serve with electricity.
Upon motion made by Dale Wernke, seconded by Steve AmRhein, and carried, the meeting was adjourned to executive session at 9:02 p.m.