MOUNTAIN PARKS ELECTRIC, INC.
Regular Meeting of the Board of Directors Granby Colorado
January 13, 2022
Present: Jeff Hauck, Carl Trick, Richard Zieff, Mark Volt, Liz McIntyre, Kristen Taddonio, Justin Fosha, Mark Johnston, Joe Palmer, Michelle Kloss, Rob Taylor, Donn Finn, Scott Simmons and Levi Williamson all via ZOOM.
Call to Order
President Jeff Hauck called the meeting to order at 8:02 a.m.
Determination of Quorum
A quorum was declared.
There was no public comment.
Special meeting minutes and December meeting minutes were presented to the board.
MOTION: It was properly moved, seconded, and carried to approve the minutes for the December 29, 2021 Special meeting and December 9, 2021 regular meeting.
Attorney Summary Fees Report
Attorney Williamson provided a summary report by email prior to the board meeting and had no additional updates during the open session.
General Manager Mark Johnston reported on the following:
- MPEI held two local events this week. Rocky Mountain Roastery in Granby offered $5 off orders as well as a chance to win an electric snowblower. Approximately 40 people attended. This is the second of three coffee events. The next is in Grand Lake on February 11th. Tri-State representatives and Director Fosha attended. Tri-State recorded the event for a presentation at MPEI’s annual meeting. MPEI held a ribbon cutting event for the electric vehicle chargers and rebate check presentation at Winter Park Resort. The EV chargers have seen activity every day since they were turned on.
- Tri-State end user survey to forecast load is included in packet. The survey included five MPE specific questions and includes information regarding member energy use, appliances age, and comparison to other utility providers that can be used to target future incentives. MPEI members’ preferred communication is still CCL.
- Johnston reported on the status of the Tri-State FERC docket related to the contract termination payment. A hearing related to discovery was held on December 22nd. The judge issued a verbal order and followed with a written order to clarify the discovery process. The hearing will take place May 3rd.
- Johnston will be attending a Tri-State meeting to discuss the CTP methodology. He will also attend the Manager’s meetings next week.
- CREA’s microgrid bill was introduced with bi-partisan support. GM Johnston will send out legislative updates
- On December 30, 2021 Mountain Parks Electric (MPE) assisted Xcel Energy with rolling blackouts to help them maintain line pressure to prevent an extended outage of 3-4 days. GM Johnston would like to recognize Don Finn, Stacie Dellamano, Rob Taylor, Amanda Rosenbergh, Adam Paulson and Mitch Acker for their action during this emergency.
There were no accidents, incidents, near misses, or damage reported in December. MPEI will Meet with Altitude next week to make sure it is still safe for them to work. Work will be halted until a later date if it isn’t safe.
MOTION: It was properly moved, seconded, and carried to approve the safety report.
Discussion/Action Item A: B-1 Board of Directors and General Manager
Manager Johnston presented Policy B-1 to the board with no changes.
MOTION: It was properly moved, seconded, and carried to approve B-1 and make it public.
Discussion/Action Item B: B-2 General Manager’s Vehicle
Manager Johnston presented Policy B-2 to the board with no changes.
MOTION: It was properly moved, seconded, and carried to approve B-2 and make it public.
Discussion/Action Item C: Community Solar
Manager Johnston reported on the details of the community solar project. The Community Solar project has been discussed in prior board meetings. If board members feel that staff isn’t communicating clear enough speak to Mark and an action item will be created with reference documents to address in open session. The first draft of the agreement with ISI was based on CoBank’s agreement used with Sifers and Whiskey Hill. The agreement was sent back and forth between ISI and MPEI with revisions. Mountain Parks had several items that were necessary and in several revisions ISI changed those essential items. After several attempts to reach agreement, MPE terminated negotiations on January 3rd.
Mountain Parks staff will create and issue a RFP to competitively bid the community solar project. Director Taddonio volunteered to help with grant process for this project.
Engineering has modified designs to assist members and developers meet State Inspector requirements. This was done in response to the temporary inspectors that have different requirements. The State of Colorado is working to hire a permanent inspector for our service territory.
MPE has begun installing current limiting fuses as appropriate for wildfire mitigation.
The fiber backbone project is progressing, but experiencing weather related delays. MPE will be working with Connexon to issue contracts for Phase II of project.
Attorney Williamson and GM Johnston will schedule a meeting with a telecomm specific attorney to discuss next steps with the possibility of fiber to the home provider contracts.
FEMA allocated over $700,000 to the state for MPE wildfire restoration projects. The Marshall Fire is slowing the review and disbursement process. Mountain Parks will need to submit similar documents supporting expenditures to the state to receive disbursements.
Bitcoin operation in Jackson County has installed three large generators to provide power. The generators will use excess natural gas from the D90 field.
Fleet vehicle report. MPE continues to experience supply chain issues with vehicles that are extending delivery times as long as 600 to 800 days.
Don Finn presented information on MPE fleet and replacement protocols. Finn discussed industry standards for fleet replacement and specifics on MPE’s fleet. Finn reviewed MPE’s criteria for replacement including maintenance costs, mileage, fuel savings, and safety features. MPE closely reviews utilization of fleet and when necessary disposes of under-utilized vehicles. MPE set at an 8% annual vehicle/equipment replacement budget.
The written finance report was reviewed by the board. It was noted that Green Power had more rebates than they have ever had.
The IT report was submitted by Manager Palmer. The recent ransomware attack on a Colorado Cooperative was discussed. Multi-factor authentication is still on hold due to supply chain issues related to key fobs. Palmer continues to investigate other options if fobs are not available.
Human Resources Report
The written Human resources report was reviewed by the board. No questions were asked by the board.
Member Relations and Communications Report
Director Taddonio inquired if Whole House Time of Use (Time of Use) rate has reduced MPE peak. Staff will gather information and report back in February. Rob Taylor discussed an application that will allow members to use their historic usage to determine if the Time of Use rate would save them money.
The next coffee event will be on February 11th at The Hub in Grand Lake, which will include another drawing for a snow blower as well as $5 off orders.
Bills for Payment
The Board reviewed the list of cash disbursements for December 2021.
Director McIntyre reported that the committee is short two members, one in the western part of the county and one in Grand Lake.
Director McIntyre will be attending the Tri-State Rate Committee to discuss formula rates. Discussion ensued regarding how formula rates could impact MPE, the benefits potential as well as the risks.
Director Taddonio inquired about MPEI district boundaries and how they are set. She specifically asked if districts were designed to evenly disperse members among the districts and how often the districts are reviewed. This will be a line item of discussion at next month’s board meeting.
Director Zieff is running for Treasurer for Western United. He will be attending the annual meeting at the CREA meeting in February.
Director Trick sent out the report from Tri-State. The Tri-State Board passed a budget adjustment for the eastern transmission line.
Tri-State will be reopen partial requirements Open Season in February. Interested cooperatives will have 90 days to provide notice of interest. Tri-State is still investigating the use of formula rates. The Rate Committee will review all options and submit a recommendation to the Board prior to June 2023. Rate Committee meetings are open to Cooperative Board members and staff that would like to attend. Tri-State is working to provide a virtual option.
Director Hauck mentioned micro-grid that was brought up by GM Johnston. Director Hauck thanked all employees for their communication as to what goes on at MPE and for all of the follow ups during the rolling blackouts.
MOTION: It was properly moved, seconded, and carried to go into executive session to discuss:
- Employee housing
- Winter Park land
- RUS financing
- Legal advice
Board members were in attendance as well as Attorney Williamson, GM Johnston, Manager Simmons, Manager Taylor, Manager Palmer and Manager Finn.
MOTION: It was properly moved, seconded, and carried to come out of executive session at 1:02pm.
Reconvened public session at 1:03pm
MOTION: It was properly moved, seconded, and carried to authorize staff to pursue a buyout and refinance of MPEI’s RUS debt.