Watts News
 Published for the members of North Itasca Electric Cooperative
VOL. 17 NO. 7  -  July 2014

Co-op Connections Business Profile

Sleepy Hollow Resort 

by Sally Sedgwick

When Kirk Petersen visited the closed Sleepy Hollow Resort near Northome in the middle of winter, he looked at the cabin layout on Island Lake and thought it might be perfect.

For 20 years, owning a resort had been on the family’s bucket list, but a growing business in Iowa, a new home and four active children had taken priority. Now, with the business established and the children grown, it was possible.

“If you like it,” said his wife Mari when she answered his call, “go ahead and buy it.”


Annual Meeting Summary 

The 74th annual meeting of North Itasca Electric Cooperative, Inc. was called to order by Terry Schmitz, president. An invocation and Pledge of Allegiance was led by Jim Cox, and the Canvassing Board convened in a separate room with Attorney Andy Shaw to count ballots for District 4, 5 and 6 board positions and bylaw revisions.

CEO Report

Jared Echternach welcomed the membership and guests. Last year was a good year, he said, with strong energy sales, improved system reliability and a positive net margin of over $432,000. There was no rate increase for the cooperative members in 2014. This year has also started out well with strong electricity sales and year to date margins at $257,000. The safety record for the cooperative was excellent during 2013 with no lost time due to injury. To date there have been 80,000 work-hours without a lost-time incident.


Your Cooperative's Annual Meeting 

by Jared Echternach, CEO

Thank you to all who attended your cooperative’s annual meeting June 7 at the Northome School. Nearly 300 members and guests attended the event that featured a catered breakfast, energy information booths, CFL Charlie and LED Lucy, the Touchstone Energy balloon, bucket rides, raffle prizes, business reports and of course the election.

I’d like to congratulate Jim Cox (District 4) and Walter Breeze (District 6), on their re-election to the cooperative board. I’d also like to congratulate Lloyd Kongsjord who was elected in District 5, replacing Ed Shearen who did not seek re-election after serving 12 years on the board. I would like to thank Ed for his exemplary service to the members of North Itasca Electric Cooperative. Ed brought thoughtful consideration to the many issues facing North Itasca Electric and the utility industry. He offered a broad perspective and always acted in the members’ best interest. Thank you, Ed, for your dedicated service to North Itasca Electric Cooperative.


Local July Events 

Health Expo, Rodeo, Lions Fly-in in July

The annual Health Expo at Bigfork Valley will be held on Saturday, July 19 from 1-4 p.m. offering access to area health and fitness resources. Visitors can tour an air ambulance (weather and emergencies permitting), tour the new construction at Aspen Circle, learn to use a fire extinguisher (and recharge or purchase one), meet Lambo from the K9 unit at the Sheriff's Department and enjoy the traditional root beer floats. Information will also be available from area companies and agencies which promote community health and fitness.



Connecting A Portable Generator is Now Safe and Easy with GenerLink™

North Itasca Electric is now offering Generlink transfer switches and installation for members who use portable generators during power outages. It is a meter collar device which automatically detects when a generator is running and disconnects from the utility grid for safety.

  • A new meter collar device that makes connecting a portable generator safe and easy.
  • Eliminates the use of extension cords and other connections that can be hazardous to members and utility personnel.
  • Detects when a generator is operating and automatically disconnects from the utility grid, eliminating dangerous back feed.
  • equipped with GenerLok™, a unique interlocking power cord system that provides a quick and easy connection of a portable generator.
  • installed in 20 minutes or less by utility personnel and does not require the member's presence.
  • easily installed behind a member's electric meter and requires no rewiring of the member's electrical system.
  • Members have the flexibility to run virtually any appliance, up to the capacity of their generator by simply energizing appliances from their breaker panel.

North Itasca Electric Cooperative has these devices available to members wishing to use portable generators during power outages.
The cost of 30 amp devices: $799.99 including installation by our lineman.
The cost of 40 amp devices: $899.99 including installation by our lineman.

July 2014 Calendar of Events 

3 Storytelling at Marcell Town Hall, 6:30 p.m. Subjects: "Name a favorite scientific invention and tell how it influences your life," or "What advice would you give to a newly married couple?"
3 Suomi Area Lakes Association Picnic, noon-3 p.m. Sandy Beach, north end of Grave Lake. Potluck: bring a dish to share and utensils.
8 Stop and Stitch at Marcell Family Center. Bring sack lunch, project and $1, come and go. 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Contact Rhonda 259-9220 or Judy at 832-3237.
8 Evergreen Friendship Club meets at 5 p.m. at the Sand Lake Community Center. For more info, call 659-2683.
9 Interested in the logistics of a total knee or total hip replacement surgery? Come to Bigfork Valley's comprehensive program to learn about replacement surgery. Board Room, 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. RSVP required: (218) 743-4135.
9 Northome School Board meets, 7 p.m.
9 Bigfork Lions Club meets second Wednesday, 6 p.m. at Golf on the Edge.
Aug 16
Juried Art Show at the Edge Gallery in Bigfork. Opening Reception 5 -7 p.m. on Friday, July 11. Awards ceremony 6:15 p.m. Voting for People's Choice July 10-11 until ceremony.