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August Board Meeting Minutes


Regular Meeting of the Board of Directors

Walden, Colorado

August 10, 2017

8:00 A.M.



Present: Greg Norwick, Richard Zieff, Carl Trick, Jeff Hauck, Justin Fosha, Liz McIntyre, Peggy Smith, Tom Sifers, Scott Simmons, Rich Trostel, Rob Taylor, Maura Ransom, and Bryson Fredregill.  Members Joe Smythe and Barbara Vasquez were also present.


Call to Order

President Greg Norwick called the meeting to order at 8:00 a.m.


Determination of Quorum

A quorum was declared.


The Board reviewed the meeting minutes from the July 13, 2017 meeting.

MOTION: Director Zieff moved to approve the minutes of the July 13, 2017 meeting as presented.  The motion passed unanimously.


Bills for Payment

The Board reviewed the list of cash disbursements for July 2017.

MOTION: Director Trick moved to ratify the July 2017 cash disbursements from general funds per the cash disbursement list presented to the Board.  The motion passed unanimously.


Attorney Summary Fees Report

The Board reviewed Attorney Williamson’s fees summary report for July 2017.

MOTION:  Director Hauck moved to approve Attorney Williamson’s report.  The motion passed unanimously.


Member Relations and Communications Report

The Member Relations and Communications Report as prepared by Taylor was reviewed. Taylor reported changes to Colorado Country Life based on input from member surveys.  Going forward, the magazine will include more local information.  Taylor reported on the impact of social media communication.  For example, MPEI achieved 1,700 Facebook reaches for a recent project. 


Manager’s Report

The General Manager’s Report as prepared by Sifers was reviewed.  Sifers presented a spreadsheet showing the Norther Colorado Water Conservancy District’s Granby Hydro Plant production over the last 12 months.  The total average Policy 115 and 117 payments per kWh was $0.06171.  Sifers reported on ongoing discussions to lease a site for a solar array.   Sifers reported on the notice of increase to MPEI’s medical plan.   Sifers reported on his attendance at the Tri-State Managers Meeting.  Sifer’s reported that Tri-State is not anticipating a rate increase for 2018.  Sifer’s estimates that MPEI will not see a rate increase in 2018.  Sifer’s presented Tri-State’s Preliminary 5 Year Look at rates.  Sifers reported that MPEI’s property tax assessment went down by 6.7%.


Finance Report

The Finance Report as prepared by Dellamano was reviewed.  Sifers reviewed the 2017 financials through June.  Margins are below budget, which Dellamano attributes to a 3.84% YTD reduction in residential kWh sales. 

MOTION:  Director Zieff moved to approve the Finance Report as presented.  The motion passed unanimously.

The Board reviewed the June financials for the Charitable Trust, the Education Trust, Green Power Fund, and Mountain Parks Services. 


Office Services Report

The Office Services Report as prepared by Ransom was reviewed.  Ransom reported that Office Services is seeing an increase in rebates, and they are keeping up.  They continue to work on implementing the net metering billing software.


Engineering Report

The Engineering Report as prepared by Simmons was reviewed.  Simmons reported that the RFP for a meter data management system is almost complete.  Simmons updated the board on ongoing pole attachment negotiations.


Public Comment

Sifers introduced Grant Hewins and Kevin Healey of Sandridge Energy.  Hewins reported that Sandridge is looking to begin the conversation about partnership opportunities. Hewins reported on the activities of Sandridge Energy since 2015 in MPEI’s service territory.

Healy discussed the status of Sandridge’s assets in MPEI’s service territory.  Sandridge is looking for a partner willing to provide power in exchange for excess gas.  Healy explained the process of oil and gas development.  The Board questioned Hewins and Healy regarding the  impacts on local economies, length of Sandridge’s play, partnership timeline, and prevention of risks associated with fracking.


Operations & Safety Report

The Operations and Safety Report as prepared by Trostel was reviewed.  Trostel discussed the value of near miss reporting.  There was one incident in July.  It did not result in any lost-time.  There was one near miss in July.   As of July 30, 2017, MPEI employees have worked 75, 104.75 hours without a lost time accident.

MOTION: Director Trick moved to accept the Safety Report.  The motion passed unanimously.


Information Technology Report

The Information Technology Report as prepared by Palmer was reviewed.  Palmer discussed the status of the Forest Service Permit for Grouse Mountain.


Human Resources and Administration Report

The Human Resources and Administration Report as prepared by Kayci Green was reviewed.  Sifers reported on the division of duties during Green’s absence.


Board Open Forum & Associated Board Reports

Director Trick reported on his attendance at the regular meeting of the Tri-State Board of Directors.  Policy 118 was approved at the meeting, and Tri-State is eager to get a qualifying contract.  No one has taken advantage of a Policy 118 contract yet.  Tri-State does not anticipate a rate increase in 2018.  The Board received the 2018 budget.

Director Trick reported on his attendance at a Vistabeam Presentation.  The performance and proposed fee structure were discussed at the presentation.

Director Hauck reported that there was no CREA meeting this month.  CREA is currently drafting broadband legislation.

Director McIntyre reported on her attendance at the regular meeting of the Green Power Fund Board of Directors.  She reported that the impacts on MPEI and member costs of various types of behind-the-meter generation were discussed.  She reported that incorporation of a demand component was also discussed.


Public Comment

Sifers introduced Jim Dustin, Mayor of Walden.  Dustin reported on Walden’s floating solar array, which will power the water treatment plant.  Dustin also reported on attempts to rebuild McNamara Park and potential partnership opportunities.

Sifers introduced Matt Schuler, school board member, who presented MPEI with a R.O.A.R in recognition of MPEI’s contributions to the district.

President Norwick recessed the meeting at 12:05 p.m. for lunch and reconvened the meeting at 1:10 p.m. 


Action Item #1

Review MPEI Administrative Policies A-6 and A-7

Sifers presented MPEI Administrative Policies A-6 and A-7.  Sifers recommended approval of the policies as presented.

MOTION: Director Trick moved to approve MPEI Administrative Policies A-6 and A-7 as presented. The motion passed unanimously. 


Action Item #2

CO-Bank Loan - Amended

Sifers presented proposed amendments to the CoBank Credit Agreement and associated Promissory Notes.  Sifers reported that one of the proposed amendments was to measure Debt Service Coverage Ratio on best two out of three years, but that amendment did not appear in the revised Credit Agreement

MOTION: Director Trick moved to approve the amendments to the CoBank Credit Agreement and associated promissory notes, contingent on the approval of counsel regarding the Debt Service Coverage Ratio amendment.  The motion passed unanimously.    


Action Item #4

RUS Form 219 Approvals

Sifers presented the Work Order Inventory Approval for December 2016, January 2017, and February 2017.

MOTION: Director Fosha moved to approve the work orders, as presented.  The motion passed unanimously. 


Action Item #3

Broadband Proposals

Sifers presented bids for construction of a backbone-only broadband system.  Sifers and Simmons proposed soliciting bids for a full broadband system from each bidder before acceptance of a backbone-only bid.  Full system proposals from each bidder would better facilitate comparison of the proposals.  The Board directed Simmons to put out an RFP for the whole project.


Executive Session

MOTION: Director Zieff moved to go into executive session for attorney-client privileged advice regarding potential litigation matters, with the following in attendance: All directors present at the meeting, Tom Sifers, Maura Ransom, Rich Trostel, Scott Simmons, Joe Palmer, and Attorney Fredregill.  The motion passed unanimously. 

MOTION: Director Zieff moved to come out of executive session.  The motion passed unanimously. 


Old Business



New Business



The Meeting adjourned at 2:28 p.m.

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