Summary of board’s meeting in October

Posted on Jan 04 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 Rachel Sullivan.
  • Upon motion by Jason Barnhorst, seconded by Dale Wernke, and carried, the agenda of the meeting was approved by unanimous vote.
  • Scott McGlynn from McGlynn & Associates did a brief review of Hometown Insurance Policy noting there are exclusions in place to help shield the REMC from the possibility of crossover lawsuits. He also noted that only being the administrators of Hometown provides some protection for the REMC.
  • Bennett Fuson from IEC gave a brief review of what ACRE & FORE have accomplished in the past year including truck weight limit law changes, additional grant monies for broadband and intimidation on an utility worker.
  • Rachel Sullivan reported on the 2019 Annual Meeting Surveys. Overall members attending had a good experience, but many noted that the ice cream line was too long, that they would like there to be more booths, and to possibly have giveaways. Upon a motion by Jason Barnhorst and seconded by Dale Wernke it has passed unanimously that next year’s annual meeting will be held on June 12 at the Decatur County Fairgrounds.
  • CEO Brett Abplanalp reported that they are currently working with residents in the Lake Santee area on right of way tree trimming within the easement. He also reported on a possible joint venture in broadband. Then he noted that we currently have two positions open one being the Accounting and Finance Manager and the other is in Technology Administrator. Risk-benefit analysis was completed by management on other options and determined to backfill both positions.
  • The financial report was given by Jennie Meyer and reviewed as presented on Call to Order. In a mostly uneventful month, we are still experiencing positive margins. The replacement operations truck was paid off. Discussion then moved to pole replacement numbers, costs, how much was planned vs. unplanned (wrecks etc.) and how it shows up on the work orders when billed and paid by insurance or individual. Meyer explained how the accounting works into the pole replacement cost which is in our financials. Also, there was discussion on how pole replacements are currently being shown on the plant investment worksheet. The financials were accepted by the board as presented and filed for audit.
  • Gordon Smile briefly spoke about the LCP Rate.
  • A motion was made by Brian Scheidler, seconded by Jeff Lawrence, and carried, approving the consent agenda by unanimous vote.
  • Abplanalp reviewed the work that has been in process to create department and company metrics (yearly/monthly). In the dashboard review the Board requested that the key indicators report remain a part of the consent agenda.


  • New memberships:
    • Dustin Stoner, Nathan L. Littrell, Tara A. Vanest, Rebecca J. Burkhead, Kathleen Gatewood Estate, Richard L. Lozier, Olivia J. Atherton, Walter L. Speer, Jerry A. Lusk, Katherine J. Benton, Joshua G. Sparkman, Brandi L. Bishop, Jerame E. Applegate, Emma E. Carter, Adam C. Shelton, Jake H. Whitt, Kayla M. Romero, Taylor A. Campos, Giancarlo C. Bautista, Ethienne J. Hernandez, Willard A. Dashiell Jr., Aaron D. Jackson, Bryce Folsom, Morgan C. Meyer, Stephanie L. Ray, Christina B. Vanosdol, Melinda J. Mozingo, Clayton M. Johnson, Brian M. Billings, Chris M. Prickel, Ryan W. Crabtree, Melonie M. Stephenson, Dirk J. Ricke, Jack E. Lyons, April S. Jordan, Blake Z. Crain
  • Rescinded memberships:
    • Clifford E. Shinolt, Holly G. Reel, Amanda L. Littrell, Ronald D. Sanders, Allen Cobler, Jonathan D. Polanka, Shawn T. Ledwinka, Millstone Farm, Leon Harris, Jamin E. Guthrie, Joann Davis, Peter A. Quintana III, Hardesty Horse Farm LLC, Joseph S. Brooks, Ashley A. Capper, Eric S. Lusk, Joseph C. Stuart, Coby W. Greenlee, Han K. Chung, Donald W. Whipple, Disney C. Shrader, Christina M. Foster, Jennifer G. Holcomb, Rylee N. Brannin, Rick R. Gilmore, Amanda L. Tongay, Todd W. Crabill, Kenneth L. Schultz, Paulanne T. Hampton, Stanely E. Moore Js., Eija Takaya, Linda J. Devore, Pamela S. Folsom, Eric C. Manka, Demetrius J. Thomas, Joseph N. Springmeyer, Jeff W. Carlson, Paul D. Wolfe, Courtney D. Clemons, Barbara Rau, Mary M. Young, Loretta P. Goodall, Abby J. Morehead, Nicolas R. Hatfield, Mary Koetter, Cassie L. Laker, William H. Fee, John M. Tice, Michael D. King, Pamela J. Austin, Brian S. Collins, Heidi Gross, Joyce A. Davidson
  • Hoosier Energy Board update was given by Jason Barnhorst. Barnhorst reported on the John Hancock lawsuit. Hoosier stated its payoff will not affect rates. He also showed the board that if Duke’s full proposed rate increase is approved, DCREMC‘s rates will be cheaper than Duke’s. He then reported that Hoosier is looking at their energy profile as a part of their long-term resource planning.
  • IEC update was given by Steve AmRhein. IEC goals were discussed including dues structure, value of board meetings, G&T relationships and broadband. 
  • Brett Abplanalp reported out on 2019 projects. The Prepay Program has been implemented, office hours changed and Ivue Connect installed. Abplanalp also reported on the pole contact project.
  • Upon a motion by Dale Wernke and seconded by Michael Brelage and passed Policy 11-5 Insufficient funds checks was amended as red lined.
  • The following DCREMC policies were reviewed and discussed by the board, Red line to be presented next month;
  • Policy 11-2 Testing Metering Equipment


  • Open action items were reviewed including the pole replacement project.
  • The Board Accountability Strategic Initiative Committee brought two items to the board for consideration. First changing the wording on all nominated positions from two candidates to at least one candidate. Second, they proposed the possibility of going down to seven directors if a current director ever decided not to run for reelection.
  • In other business Abplanalp was not told to pursue information on power factor penalties by substation for the first three quarters of the year from Hoosier as we don’t need this information to help our members improve their power factors. The decision on power factor revenue was discussed and approved by the board last year. Capacitor bank saving was also discussed, and we were informed the banks are being reprogrammed as the original settings needed adjustments.


  • Email voting on board topics was discussed, and it was decided not to change the current policy at this time.
  • Upon a motion made by Michael Brelage and seconded by Dale Wernke the meeting was adjourned to Executive Session at 9:20.
  • Moving out of Executive Session upon a motion by Dale Wernke, seconded by Brian Scheidler and carried by a 5-3 vote the board will extend Brett Abplanalp’s a contract for 2 years at the current base salary. Additional compensation for his services will be formed by a committee to be brought back to the board using the same matrix.