Watts News
 Published for the members of North Itasca Electric Cooperative
VOL. 18 NO. 2  -  February 2015

Cold Weather Rule Notification   |   Energy Assistance Programs

Co-op Connections Business Profile 

Frontier Sports

by Sally Sedgwick

In 1984, Terry Schmitz came north from the Cities to wire his small cabin on Little Turtle Lake and noticed the local bait shop was for sale. Thirty days later he and his wife Karen were the new owners of Frontier Novelty, a bait/tackle and gift shop in Marcell.

After a winter spent remodeling, the store reopened in April. Shortly after that, the couple had their first child. It was an incredible few months, Schmitz recalled: new business, new home, first child.

There would be a lot of hard work ahead, but Schmitz had one great advantage. He was familiar with the area.


Electricity remains a good value 

by Jared Echternach, CEO

In today’s world, you won’t find many items that cost less than $5. You can purchase a gallon of milk, a gallon of gas or a Big Mac® meal from McDonald’s. But did you know that an average day’s worth of electricity costs less than $5?

Even in our country’s shifting energy climate, electricity remains a good value. In fact, electricity has the lowest cost per day of any of the items listed above. And not all of those items are necessary for daily life!


Capital Credits FAQ 

What are capital credits?

Because North Itasca Electric is a cooperative, owned by its members, it does not technically earn profits. Instead, any revenues over and above the cost of doing business are considered “margins.” These margins represent the members’ equity or ownership of the cooperative. This capital allows North Itasca Electric to finance operations and - to a certain extent - construction, with the intent that this capital will be repaid to you in later years.

What’s the difference between allocated and retired capital credits?

Allocated capital credits appear as an entry on the permanent financial records of the association and reflect your equity or ownership in North Itasca Electric. When capital credits are retired, a check is issued to you and your equity in the association is reduced.


Loney chosen chair of state Touchstone Energy group 

Jerry Loney, energy management specialist at North Itasca Electric Cooperative, has been selected as 2015 chair of the Minnesota Touchstone Energy Cooperatives.

There are 30 cooperatives in the state’s Touchstone Energy group, representing over 450,000 members. Working committees within the group include advertising, awards, outreach events/education and budget/recruitment.

As chair, Loney will set agendas and run meetings, facilitate decisions and keep all parties informed of activities. He will also chair the executive committee that oversees budget and recruitment.

Roxanne's Sales Talk 

by Roxanne Prather, sales assistant

How to check your freezer temperature

Every once in a while I get a call, and someone wants to know what a temperature should be in a refrigerator or freezer. And most people think you can just stick a thermometer in the unit and call it good, but that is not the proper way to check the temperature.

The ideal temperature for the freezer is about 5 degrees F. The refrigerator should be kept at about 36 degrees F. The temperature can be adjusted using the controls found inside the freezer or refrigerator.


February 2015 Calendar of Events 

5 Storytelling, Marcell Town Hall, 2 p.m. Subject: "Your brush with a celebrity." Treats and coffee served.
5 Bigfork Valley Hospital public input meeting for future planning, Marcell Fmaily Center 6:30-8:30 p.m.
7 Job Fair in Blackduck at St. Ann's Catholic Church, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
9 Women of the Woods meet at 10 a.m. at Sand Lake Community Center. Call Pat Sievertson at 659-2157 or Marlys Maki at 659-2901.
9 Blackduck School Board meets, 7 p.m.
9 VFW meets in Bigfork second Monday at 7 p.m.
10 Stop and Stitch at Marcell Family Center, 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Bring $1 for rent, project to work on and a sack lunch. Contact Rhonda 259-9220 or Judy at 832-3237.
10 Deer River School Board meets, 6 p.m., public forum before meeting. 246-2420