Watts News
 Published for the members of North Itasca Electric Cooperative
VOL. 16 NO. 1  -  January 2013

Cold Weather Rule Notification   |   Energy Assistance
Jared Echternach

North Itasca Electric Co-op CEO Jared Echternach  

by Sally Sedgwick

Jared Echternach is a true child of the northland.

He enjoys the outdoors, hunting, fishing, spending time on the lake…and hockey.

Raised in Bemidji, he attended college at Miami University, Ohio on a hockey scholarship, later earning an MBA from the University of Phoenix.


A Difficult Year for your Cooperative 

by Jared Echternach, CEO

2012 was a difficult year for your cooperative. We experienced the loss of a great leader, friend, and community member who dedicated his life to the cooperative. I had the good fortune of getting to know Jeff Ortman over the last two years through a collaboration between North Itasca Electric Cooperative, Itasca-Mantrap Cooperative and Beltrami Electric Cooperative. The collaboration was designed to further develop a member-focused culture in each of the respective cooperatives. Working together we were able to learn from each other and take those experiences back to our cooperatives to create additional value for our membership. Jeff was a leader in this effort and true to his nature he and the staff made many improvements designed to provide better service to you, our members.


Voyageurs Classic Sled Dog Race Jan. 11-12  

Plans are finalized for this year’s Voyageurs Classic Sled Dog Race. This year’s race will be held Jan. 11 and 12. Race activities will be held at the Northome School.

"We are excited to have the race in a new format this year with all races starting at Northome," said Race Marshall, Dan Bergerson. "Since safety of the mushers and dogs is our primary concern, we needed this last bit of snow to ensure the race could be held."


Rate Changes Effective with January and March Billing Cycles 

The North Itasca Electric Cooperative Board of Directors approved rate changes effective with the January and March billing cycles. The monthly fixed charge will increase $2 with the January billing cycle. The first step energy rate will decrease to $.109 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for the January and February billing cycles and then return to $.119 per kWh with the March billing cycle. To the right are charts reflecting the costs associated with the changes based on varying levels of energy use. The top chart shows our 2012 rates followed by the interim reduction of $.01 per kWh scheduled for January and February. Unfortunately, these interim rates cannot remain. Beginning with the March billing cycle the energy charge for the fist 700 kWh will return to $.119 per kWh with excess energy at $.109 per kWh. During the months of June, July and August (as every year), energy rates will increase $.02 per kWh to cover the additional wholesale power costs.


Public Hearings for New Endangered/Threatened Listings  

by Sally Sedgwick

In 1984, the first list of animals and plants that were threatened, endangered or of special concern in Minnesota was published. There are currently 437 species listed on the list last revised in 1996.

Now it is being revisited. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has proposed increasing it by over 150 species; deleting 29 and adding 181. Within the list, 92 species would change their status.


New Effie Street Lights 

North Itasca Electric crews put the finishing touch to Effie’s new streetscape with a new street lighting system.

North Itasca Crews working on the Street lights

More Pictures...

January 2013 Calendar of Events 

3 Storytelling, Marcell Town Hall, 6:30 p.m. Subject: "The First of Anything."
6 Suomi Church Epiphany Service (burning of the greens), 5:30 p.m. followed by a chili feed. All welcome! For more info, call Debbie Poenix 246-2740
8 "Stop & Stitch" at Marcell Family Center, 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Bring bag lunch, $1 donation for rent and a project to stitch. More info, call Judy at 832-3237 or Rhonda at 832-3597
8 Evergreen Friendship Club meets at a local restaurant, 12 p.m. For more info, call 659-2683
9 Seminar: Investing 101 at Bigfork Valley in the Commons conference room, 5 p.m. Light complimentary meal, presented by Edward Jones. Free. RSVP 743-4356.
9 Northome School Board meets, 7 p.m. School phone: 897-5275