MOUNTAIN PARKS ELECTRIC, INC.
Regular Meeting of the Board of Directors
April 9, 2020
Present: Jeff Hauck, Carl Trick, Richard Zieff, and Mark Johnston in person. Mark Volt, Liz McIntyre, Justin Fosha, Kristen Taddonio and Levi Williamson via Zoom Meetings.
Call to Order
President Jeff Hauck called the meeting to order at 8:12 a.m.
Determination of Quorum
A quorum was declared.
MOTION: It was properly moved, seconded, and carried with Director Taddonio voting no to go into executive session for confidential discussion regarding Board issues, with the following in attendance: All directors present at the meeting, Mark Johnston and Attorney Williamson. It was properly moved, seconded and carried to exit executive session.
Scott Simmons, Rich Trostel, Stacie Dellamano, Rob Taylor, Michelle Kloss, Jessica Rahn and Joe Palmer joined via Zoom Meetings at 9:19 A.M. Michelle Kloss recorded the minutes.
President Hauck recessed the meeting at 9:19 a.m. due to technical difficulties and reconvened at 9:54 a.m. The meeting was not live to Facebook at this point, and, therefore, President Hauck tabled Public Comment until later in the meeting.
The Board reviewed minutes from the March 13, 2020 meeting.
MOTION: It was properly moved, seconded, and carried to approve the minutes as presented.
Attorney Summary Fees Report
The Board reviewed Attorney Williamson’s summary fees report.
The General Manager’s Report as prepared by Mark Johnston was reviewed. Johnston reported about the electrify everything tariff to be looked at in May. Johnston also reported that notice of the time of use rate has been noticed to all members and will go live June 1st. There will be a CCL article to let members know how to access their usage to determine if it is beneficial for them. March electric sales are down 11.4% and MPEI is working with members to make payment arrangement as well as sending people to Mountain Family Center if they are having difficulty paying their bills due to COVID-19.
Community Solar and broadband projects are still moving forward at this time.
Discussion/Action Item G: Auditor’s Report
Greg Gilbert, auditor, entered via Zoom Meetings at 10:06 A.M. Gilbert presented his firm’s audit of MPEI’s 2019 financials. MPEI received an unmodified opinion. Gilbert reported that the audit went well and there were no exceptions to report to RUS. Everything transferred correctly to NISC and it will be easier for the auditors going forward due to them being more accustomed to this system. Gilbert reported no instance of non-compliance and no deficiencies in the audit. Mark Johnston asked if any director wanted to enter executive session to discuss the audit.
MOTION: It was properly moved, seconded, and carried, with Director Taddonio voting no, to go into executive session for confidential discussion regarding the Auditor’s report, with the following in attendance: All directors present at the meeting, Mark Johnston, Michelle Kloss and Attorney Williamson. It was properly moved, seconded, and carried come out of executive session.
Director McIntyre clarified that the purpose of the executive session was to give directors and the auditor the option to discuss confidential matters related to the audit.
Gilbert left the meeting.
Discussion/Action Item A: B-10 Interconnection of Distributed Generation
Mark Johnston presented to the board that staff is still working on this policy with attorney Williamson and requested that this be tabled until the May meeting.
MOTION: It was properly moved, seconded, and carried to approve this be tabled.
Discussion/Action Item B: Annual Meeting
The Board voted via email before the Board meeting to change the date of the MPEI annual meeting to Thursday June 11th at 4 p.m. This meeting will be streamed if restrictions are still present due to COVID-19.
MOTION: It was properly moved, seconded, and carried to ratify the action of the Board taken via email to change the date of the Annual Meeting to June 11, 2020 at 4:00 p.m.
Discussion/Action Item C: Past Due Accounts
Mark Johnston discussed that the incorrect tariff section was listed so therefore asked that this be tabled until the May Meeting.
MOTION: It was properly moved, seconded, and carried to table this item.
Discussion/Action Item D: Educational Trust Fund
The Board reviewed the proposed Educational Trust Fund request to sponsor students to a Rotary camp. The Board discussed that due to COVID-19 this camp may be cancelled and needed further information.
MOTION: It was properly moved, seconded, and carried to table this request to gather further information.
Discussion/Action Item E: Mountain Family Center Grant
The Board voted via email before the Board meeting to grant $100,000 to the Mountain Family Center to help members of Jackson and Grand County to pay their electric bill.
MOTION: It was properly moved, seconded, and carried to ratify this Grant.
Discussion/Action Item F: Kremmling Wellness Gym Project
Mark Volt discussed that this project was brought to his attention and that they would like input on how MPEI can help them with this. The Board discussed that they should get an audit first and have staff reach out to the project managers to find out their needs.
Discussion/Action Item H: Emergency Small Business Fund
The Grand Foundation requested funds for the Emergency Small Business Assistance Fund to help small businesses with their needs during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Board discussed offering assistance in $30,000 increments to the Grand Foundation up to $90,000 to help small businesses in Grand and Jackson Counties pay their electric bills.
MOTION: It was properly moved and seconded, to approve a $30,000 contribution to The Grand Foundation to help small businesses pay their electric bill with the provision that funds come back to Mountain Parks Electric if they are not utilized. The motion also authorized staff to specify additional requirements, including that all funds be used for electric bills in MPEI’s service territory.
Amendment to Motion: It was properly moved, seconded and carried to amend the motion to increase the contribution amount to $90,000, in $30,000 increments.
The original motion, as amended, carried.
Discussion/Action Item I: North Park Technology Grant
The North Park School District technology grant request was reviewed by the board.
MOTION: It was properly moved, seconded, and carried to approve a $10,000 grant to the North Park School District.
The Engineering Report as prepared by Simmons was reviewed. It was reported by Mark Johnston that social distancing and use of masks were being used due to COVID-19.
Operations & Safety Report
The Operations and Safety Report as prepared by Trostel was reviewed. He reported that Mapwise was delayed due to COVID-19 and lack of ability for in person training.
MOTION: It was properly moved, seconded, and carried to approve the Safety Report as presented.
The Finance Report as prepared by Dellamano was reviewed. Dellamano presented that revenue is down 10%-15% but staff is tracking this every day. She presented that MPEI has a strong financial foundation. Due to COVID-19 MPEI is not doing disconnect, reconnect fees, $2 credit fees or late fees for members experiencing hardship due to COVID-19. Disconnects not related to COVID-19 are still being completed. Dellamano reported that the legislature is talking about helping rural power cooperatives.
Information Technology Report
The Information Technology Report as prepared by Joe Palmer was reviewed.
Human Resources and Administration Report
The Human Resources and Administration Report as prepared by Jessica Rahn was reviewed. Rahn presented that a Canadian employment candidate has passed all immigration hurdles. Drug testing has been an issue for all new hires due to COVID-19. Rahn and Trostel are discussing the intern program due to difficulties due to the pandemic.
Member Relations and Communications Report
The Member Relations and Communications Report as prepared by Rob Taylor was reviewed. Taylor discussed the driver’s education program at North Park and East and West Grand School districts. The Board discussed developing a plan on how to use the Model 3 to encourage electric vehicles. Taylor discussed creating a rebate to reduce the payback period for the electrify everything campagn.
Bills for Payment
The Board reviewed the list of cash disbursements for March 2020.
Board Open Forum
McIntyre reported that solar cares would be presented in New Business
Carl Trick reported that he was missing the Tri-State board meeting due to this board meeting. He missed the vote on the “Make Whole Payment/ Buy Out”. Tri-State is working on a methodology to come up with a number. Tri-State would eventually have to present this to FERC.
Jeff Hauck reported on his attendance at the regular meeting of the board of directors of the Colorado Rural Electric Association via short conference call. They are working remotely, providing support as they can. Their May regional meeting scheduled in Grand Lake may be delayed.
Hauck reported that the Care Committee is on hold due to COVID-19.
There was no public comment.
The Board discussed the need to change Educational Trust in the MPEI by-laws to Educational Fund as discussed in the previous board meeting.
Liz McIntyre reported that the Green Power Committee is looking at doing a new program called Solar Cares to help a non-profit build a solar project using their capital credits towards their down payment where profits are shared between the non-profit and Green Power to do more good than just a one-time rebate. This project would also help Green Power become self-funded.
MOTION: It was properly moved, seconded and carried that Green Power do the Solar Cares program contingent on Electrify Everything passing at the May board meeting.
Liz McIntyre also presented on the Kinsa Thermometer program and requested that the board approve $5,000 from the Education Fund to buy thermometers to help with COVID-19 response and partner with an outside entity to determine who these thermometers would go it.
MOTION: It was properly moved, seconded and carried that $5,000 for thermometers would be given out of the Education Fund.
MOTION: It was properly moved, seconded, and carried to go into executive session for confidential discussion regarding Quorum guidelines, variable work schedules, employee benefits and capital credits with the following in attendance: All directors present at the meeting, Mark Johnston, Jessica Rahn, Rich Trostel, Joe Palmer,Michelle Kloss and Attorney Williamson. It was properly moved, seconded, and carried to come out of executive session.
MOTION: It was properly moved, seconded and carried that due to extenuating circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic, all attendees at the board meeting are considered in attendance and entitled to the regular meeting per diem.
MOTION: It was properly moved, seconded and carried that to authorize General Manager Johnston to determine when to pay capital credit refunds this year at his discretion.