MOUNTAIN PARKS ELECTRIC, INC.
Regular Meeting of the Board of Directors
March 10, 2022
Present: Jeff Hauck, Carl Trick, Richard Zieff, Mark Volt, Liz McIntyre, Kristen Taddonio, Justin Fosha, Mark Johnston, Rob Taylor, Jessica Rahn, Stacie Dellamano, Donn Finn, Scott Simmons, and Levi Williamson all via ZOOM.
Call to Order
President Jeff Hauck called the meeting to order at 8:00 a.m.
Determination of Quorum
A quorum was declared.
Ted Cherry, Town of Granby Town Manager, presented information to the Board regarding the Town’s residential development on Town of Granby owned property. The development will be a mix of apartments, duplexes, townhomes, and some single-family homes. Income restrictions will apply. Local businesses might be able to purchase units to provide affordable housing, so long as the employees housed within the units meet the income restrictions.
The Board reviewed minutes from the February 10, 2022 meeting.
MOTION: It was properly moved, seconded, and carried to approve the minutes for the February 10, 2022 board meeting as presented.
Attorney Summary Fees Report
The Board reviewed Attorney Williamson’s fees summary report for February 2022.
General Manager Johnston reported on the status of the community solar project. He reported that staff issued a request for proposals on March 4th with responses due April 1. The RFP is a power purchase agreement, whereby the developer owns the project and MPEI would purchase the energy output.
Johnston reported on the status of MPEI’s Winter Park property. Two potential buyers contacted MPEI regarding the property. Neither party has made an offer to date.
Johnston reported on the status of Tri-State FERC dockets. Tri-State reopened the open season for partial requirements applications. Tri-State will accept applications between May 9th and May 13th. Member co-ops must pay a fee to apply. The fee has fixed and variable components and varies depending on whether the co-op selects the MAX or MARS option. Under the MAX option the fee is $5,000, plus $1,000 per Megawatt. Under MARS the fee is $2,500, plus $500 per megawatt. The parties are close to a settlement regarding the partial requirements buy-down payment. The settlement would be subject to FERC approval.
Johnston reported that MPEI closed on the refinancing of all RUS debt on February 25, 2022. MPEI cancelled the RUS RESP loan as part of the refinance. Johnston is investigating whether MPEI can renew the RESP loan without the burdensome RUS requirements that come with RUS infrastructure loans.
The MPEI Annual Meeting will be at Middle Park High School. The gym can accommodate 2,000 people. The meeting will be held May 14, 2022.
Johnston reported on the status of the fiber project. Johnston continues discussions with third parties regarding potential business opportunities for the fiber backbone. Johnston met with attorneys from Keller and Heckman. Johnston recommends engaging Keller and Heckman to represent MPEI in negotiations with the third parties.
Johnston reported on the status of hiring a new safety coordinator. Management is working to fill this role as soon as possible but has not yet made an offer.
Johnston met with a microgrid vendor, PowerSecure, to discuss opportunities where MPEI may be able to use a microgrid. PowerSecure will provide analysis and MPEI will schedule another meeting after reviewing the analysis. Director Trick noted that the PVREA Redfeather Lakes microgrid project can supply 9 hours of backup battery power. It’s not a replacement for the grid but provides resiliency. The cost was approximately $590,000. The Department of Energy supplied $250,000, and PVREA supplied most of the remaining cost. Energy assets in the project include a 140-KW, 446-KWh Tesla Powerpack battery, 8-KW of solar photovoltaic, and a 130-KW propane generator.
Johnston reported that Tri-State will disclose to requesting members how much Tri-State has spent on legal fees. Johnston will request the disclosure on behalf of MPEI.
General Manager Johnston presented the Safety Report. There were two accidents in February, one of which resulted in lost work time. This is the first lost-time accident at MPEI in over three years. Johnston reported on consumer incidents.
MOTION: It was properly moved, seconded, and carried to accept the Safety Report.
Discussion/Action Item A: B- 3 Financial Management
President Hauck tabled consideration of Policy B-3 to allow staff and Attorney Williamson to review and revise the policy.
Discussion/Action Item B: B-4 Approval and Execution of Contracts
General Manager Johnston presented revised Policy B-4.
MOTION: It was properly moved, seconded, and carried to approve policy B-4 as presented and to make it public.
President Hauck recessed the meeting at 9:19 a.m. and reconvened the meeting at 9:36 a.m.
Manager Simmons presented the engineering report to the Board. Simmons reported on the status of the fiber backbone project.
Manager Finn presented the Operations Report. There were twenty-four outages in February, most of which were weather related. Finn reported on the status of the wildfire mitigation plan and avian protection implementation. Finn will serve as a director for the Grand County Wildfire Council, representing MPEI.
Manager Dellamano presented the Finance Report. Sales were up in January and February due to heating loads. Dellamano and staff are working with MPEI’s auditors on the 2021 audit.
Information Technology Report
General Manager Johnston presented the IT report. Johnston reported on MPEI’s cyber security procedures.
Human Resources & Administration Report
Manager Rahn presented the Human Resources and Administration report to the board. Rahn reported on her efforts regarding employee housing. She reported on Covid-19 related matters. Rahn and Dellamano reported on implementation of the state mandated family and medical leave.
Member Relations & Communications Report
Manager Taylor presented the Member Relations and Communications Report. In response to a question from Director Taddonio, Taylor reported on deadlines for Director election and how ballots are prepared for joint memberships.
Bill for Payment
The Board reviewed the list of cash disbursements for February 2022.
Board Open Forum
Director Zieff reported on his attendance at the NRECA Annual Meeting. He reported on resolutions.
Director Fosha reported on his attendance at an employment law seminar.
Director Trick reported on his attendance at the regular meeting of the Tri-State Board of Directors. Tri-State is pursuing funding for green hydrogen at Craig. Tri-State submitted its Clean Energy Plan to the Colorado PUC. Tri-State reduced its wholesale power rate by an additional 2%. MPEI is using the funds generated from the rate decrease for system hardening and wildfire mitigation. In response to a question about whether proceeds from member buyouts are used to pay down debt, Director Trick reported that Tri-State has not paid debt early because Tri-State would incur prepayment penalties. Tri-State’s CEO, Duane Highley, was invited to join the Keystone Policy Center.
Emergency / Urgent Business
Tri-State Annual Meeting Delegate
MOTION: It was properly moved, seconded, and carried to appoint Jeff Hauck as MPEI’s delegate, and Carl Trick the alternate, to the Tri-State Annual Meeting.
Agreement for Legal Representation
MOTION: It was properly moved, seconded, and carried to authorize General Manager Johnston to execute an engagement letter with the law firm of Keller and Heckman for representation regarding MPEI’s fiber backbone.
MOTION: It was properly moved, seconded, and carried to go into executive session for confidential discussion regarding employee housing, partial requirements membership, board expenses and equal pay matters.
Board Members were in attendance as well as Attorney Williamson, General Manager Johnston, Manager Simmons, Manager Taylor, Manager Dellamano, Manager Finn and Manager Rahn.
MOTION: It was properly moved, seconded, and carried to come out of executive session.