- The Nov. 21, 2017, meeting was called to order by Chairman Tom Crowe at 9 a.m., and Jason Barnhorst kept minutes of the meeting.
- All members of the board were present, as well as CEO Brett Abplanalp and Karen Forshee, accounting and finance manager.
- Upon motion by Lawrence Young, seconded by Steve AmRhein, and carried, the agenda of the meeting was approved by unanimous vote.
- A proposed budget and work plan for 2018 was presented to the board of directors by Abplanalp and his staff. The 2018 budget proposal represents a 2.6 percent reduction in controllable expenses over the current budget and allows DCREMC to maintain operational goals, improve system reliability, and meet loan commitments. There are no long-term borrowings planned for 2018. After lengthy discussion by the board, the proposed budget was amended to include a $4,800 reduction in director compensation and a reduction in 2018 capital credit retirements, now set at $450,000. Upon motion made by Steve Gasper, seconded by Lawrence Young, and carried, the amended 2018 budget and work plan was approved by a vote of 7 to 1, the dissenting vote was cast by Jeff Lawrence.
- A financial report was given by Karen Forshee and was reviewed on Call to Order. Forshee indicated that the same factors continue to influence the LE (latest estimate) as in previous months. Controllable expenses continue to be lower for 2017, mostly due to lower payroll, benefits, training, and lower distribution and general plant expenditures.
- Upon motion made by Jeff Lawrence, seconded by Steve Gasper, and carried, the consent agenda of the meeting was approved by unanimous vote.
- Abplanalp gave his CEO, safety, and outage reports as prepared on Call to Order. He also gave an update on the faulty cutouts that are being found on the system. The cutouts are part of a batch issue from the porcelain manufacturer. They allow moisture to penetrate. With weather in Indiana, freezing and thawing, it can cause cracking issues. Abplanalp is checking with other REMCs and if they are pursuing any warranty retribution.
- The Hoosier Energy report was given by Dan Schantz. There continues to be a lot of CEO turnover across the system as many managers are eligible for retirement. Hoosier was able to maintain an “A” credit rating from Moody’s, which is favorable for future borrowing.
- IEC board update was given by Roy Friedersdorf. There was no meeting, but he attended a broadband symposium. The emphasis was on the importance of rural infrastructure. Some member REMCs are pursuing the installation of fiber to their membership, although it is very expensive at this point.
- Hometown Energy continues to work with Premier Companies on regulator safety checks. Hometown financials will be put on Call to Order, per the May 25 DCREMC meeting minutes.
- The cost of service study (COSS) is still underway. Prime Group now has all the updated data and this will take two weeks to process. Larry is going to investigate the need for separation within rate classes. The COSS committee will then transition into a rate forming committee, with the entire board being involved in the initial review.
- Abplanalp updated the board on the priority project list, giving updates on each active project.
- Policy 1-8 was discussed concerning directors’ fees. Upon motion made by Jason Barnhorst, seconded by Roy Friedersdorf, and carried, the monthly stipend for directors will be lowered to $700 by unanimous vote.
- Proposed changes to the director training policy were discussed. The amended policy will be presented at the next board meeting for review.
- There was discussion concerning the retirement of capital credits. The board reviewed what a 30-year payback looks like vs. the 25-year cycle currently being used. Abplanalp will present a proposal for the $450,000 capital credit retirement budgeted for 2018 at the next board meeting.
- Upon motion by Dan Schantz, seconded by Lawrence Young, and carried, the Hoosier Energy rebate will be given back to the membership through the power tracker in 2018. Half will be paid through the tracker in the first quarter, and the other half in the second quarter. Passed by unanimous vote.
Upon motion made by Roy Friedersdorf, seconded by Steve AmRhein, and carried, the published power tracker rates were approved as presented in appendix A for the first quarter of 2018 by unanimous vote.
- SP rate — .005643/kWh
- IPS rate — .005660/kWh
- IPTS rate — (.000859)/kWh
- DG rate — .005325/kWh
- Upon motion by Lawrence Young, seconded by Dan Schantz, and carried, the new vehicle use policy was approved by unanimous vote.
- Upon motion by Roy Friedersdorf, seconded by Steve AmRhein, and carried, the meeting was adjourned at 5:22 p.m.