Summary of May board meeting

Posted on Aug 08 2023 in Decatur County REMC

The meeting was opened by Chairman Steve AmRhein and Jason Barnhorst kept the minutes of the meeting. All board members were present, with Suzanne Parmer and Brian Scheidler attending virtually. Also present were CEO Brett Abplanalp and employees Matt Raver, Sam Ruf and Crystal Greathouse.

Dale Wernke moved to approve the agenda. Jeff Lawrence seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Member Request to Address the Board
A member addressed the board about transparency issues of not releasing the whistleblower investigation, election campaigning, board dysfunction and explained why it is good to be a cooperative. 

2022 Audit Report Out
Chris Hawkins of Monroe Shine presented the audit report to the board. The audit was a clean report with no adjustment. The financial statements are presented fairly in all material respects; the financial position of DCREMC as of Dec. 31, 2022, and 2021, and the results of its operations and its cash flows for the years then ended are in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America. A board member congratulated the staff on another great audit.

Dale Wernke moved to accept the audit report as presented. Jason Barnhorst seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously. 

Approval of Previous Meeting Minutes
Jeff Lawrence moved to approve the minutes from the April 27, 2023, board meeting. Clay Nuhring seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously. 

Safety Minute and Cool Moment
The cool moment was presented by Brett Abplanalp and included congratulating the board, management and employees for successfully mitigating the transformer supply chain risks. The executed plan allowed us to save money and never put DCREMC in a position where we had to delay or turn away getting a member powered up.

The safety moment was presented by Brett Abplanalp and included a reminder to not use cell phones while driving.

CEO Updates
Brett Abplanalp updated the board on strategic projects including progress on a new safety reward and recognition program. Brett Abplanalp then covered April company metrics as prepared on CTO. April’s median temperature was flat to our five-year average with heating degree days also flat to our five-year average. Our Hoosier purchased energy was up 5% compared to our five-year average with demand 2% higher than our five-year average. Year-to-date energy sales are -4.52% under budget YTD.

There was no major storm for the month of April. Lost consumer hours were 642 compared to our five-year average of 4,800. Outage causes for the month were: small animals.

Financial Updates
Matt Raver reported on April financials as prepared on CTO. Net utility plant decreased by $26,720 in April and our current equity is 62.34%. Revenues are over YTD budget and power costs are over, resulting in a gross margin under budget of $369,293 YTD. Controllable expenses are under budget by $246,239. The cash flow statement shows an April beginning balance of $577,925 and we ended the current month with a net decrease in cash of $122,966, resulting in an ending cash balance of $454,959. Matt Raver also covered the need to borrow coming in the near future. 

General Fund, Cash Position Discussion
Capital credit retirement will be deferred until the end of the year to coincide with retirement from Hoosier Energy. 

Accord Membership Discussion
Sam Ruf presented five options with Accord. The middle-mile grant awards will be announced in June, which Accord has already applied for. The deadline to join Accord at the discounted rate is July 30.

Candidate Bio Process
Sam Ruf presented the written process discussed at the April board meeting. The consensus of the board was to accept the SOP with the change to who approves bios. It will be the CEC, not the full board.

CyberSecurity Update
Sam Ruf presented education to the board on what REMC is currently doing and how the board is involved. 

Delinquent Write-Offs
Crystal Greathouse presented the 2022 write-offs as presented on CTO for $13,486.31.

Risk Management Report Out
Brett Abplanalp presented the 2023 Q1 report.

Smart Meter Opt-Out Discussion
Crystal Greathouse presented options and legal opinions. Board consensus was to accept management recommendation and not offer an “Opt-Out” policy on smart meters.

Policy/Bylaws Review and Report Out
Brett Abplanalp presented redlines and a review of the following policies with no material changes:

Policy 10-10: Establishment of Safety Policy

Policy 10-23: Cooperative Vehicle Use

Policy 10-21: Employee Health and Safety PPE

Jeff Lawrence moved to approve all changes as presented. Jason Barnhorst seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

The Chairman then reported out on policy 1-7; director education. The policy was reviewed, and not all directors are in compliance with this policy. The chairman stated that all directors have until the June meeting to comply or be prepared with a plan to address the board at the June board meeting.

CFC Delegate
Clay Nuhring moved to nominate and approve Matt Raver as the CFC voting delegate. Jeff Lawrence seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

The Hoosier Energy Board Update
Jason Barnhorst reported on the Hoosier Energy board meeting. Economic development direction at Hoosier is being worked on. Flexibility, small exception, on the “all power agreement” is also being worked on.

Jason Barnhorst moved to adjourn the meeting. Jeff Lawrence seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously, and the meeting was adjourned at 9:46 p.m. 

The board then went into executive session for a CEO update on a confidential project.