Watts News
 Published for the members of North Itasca Electric Cooperative
VOL. 18 NO. 4  -  April 2015

Cold Weather Rule Notification   |   Energy Assistance Programs

Co-op Connections Business Profile 

Laurel's Needlecraft Supplies and Gifts

by Sally Sedgwick

When Laurel Carlson began recreating Victorian era beaded crochet rope jewelry, she looked for a local consignment outlet. There were a number willing to carry her product, but the percentage taken by the stores meant the price would be high for customers.

There should be a place where handcrafters could keep more of the price, she thought, and where people who loved to knit and crochet like herself could find quality supplies.


Thank a Lineman

North Itasca Electric Cooperative celebrates National Lineman Appreciation Day 

America’s electric cooperatives have designated the second Monday of April as National Lineman Appreciation Day.

On April 13, 2015, North Itasca Electric Cooperative will honor the hard working men and women who often work in challenging conditions to keep the lights on.


Legislative update 

by Jared Echternach, CEO

Last year was a relatively quiet year for energy legislation at the state level. This session is turning out to be very busy and last month a contingent of your board of directors and staff traveled to St. Paul to meet with area legislators on energy issues and advocate on behalf of our electric cooperative members. The following paragraphs highlight some of the legislative issues being discussed and your cooperative’s stance on each of the issues.

State FEMA Reimbursement

HF484/SF599 would provide electric cooperatives with access to state disaster funds to help our communities rebuild after natural disasters, just as municipal utilities have access to these funds. Damage to electric co-op lines is included in the calculation that triggers FEMA Disaster Declarations and we are eligible for federal assistance. We support this bill.

Neutral-to-Earth Voltage Expert Witness

HF400/SF563 would require those providing expert testimony on the way a utility’s system is designed and engineered be licensed electrical engineers. The legislation would also require those providing expert testimony on neutral-to-earth voltage testing and measurements on a farm be licensed Master Electricians. We believe these common-sense requirements will deter some of the questionable “consultants” pushing neutral-to-earth voltage cases in Minnesota. In short, we believe that if someone is going to testify as an expert witness in a court of law, then they should truly be an expert in that field.


Roxanne’s Sales Talk  

by Roxanne Prather, sales assistant

Over the past couple of years I have had a few requests from members to carry another brand of appliances besides Frigidaire. We have been looking to see what would fit best for us as well as you. We have decided to go with the Samsung brand. Samsung offers a wide range of a quality appliances. With Samsung and Frigidaire together, I believe we will have a better variety to offer.

The other good news is that we can get them through the same company that we purchase Frigidaire appliances from, so we will get a break on the shipping charges. When we were carrying the GE and Frigidaire appliances it wasn’t working well for us because we had to have them shipped from two separate locations. Since we don’t have a lot of storage space, we were having trouble ordering enough appliances from each vendor to get free freight which drove the prices up. It will be nice now because we can mix and match between the two brands to come up with the amount of merchandise needed to get the free freight. This means more savings for you.

We are hoping to have these new appliances in the showroom before our Mother’s Day sale which is coming up fast. This year it will be held May 8th. Watch the WATTS News next month for the sale flyer. Mark your calendar so you can come in and see the new pieces. I hope to see you all here!

Districts 1, 2 and 3

Board nominations open 

The bylaws of the cooperative state that it shall be the duty of the Board of Directors to appoint a nominating committee prior to the annual meeting.

The committee shall propose and post at the principal office of the cooperative at least thirty (30) days before the annual meeting, a list of nominations for director, which said list shall consist of one or more candidates from each election district in which the term of the incumbent director shall expire at the next annual meeting of the members.


April 2015 Calendar of Events 

2 Storytelling, Marcell Town Hall, 2 p.m. Subject: April Happenings or any spring story of your choice. Everyone welcome, treats and coffee served.
3 No school, all schools. Spring holiday.
3 RoundUp® applications due for spring grantmaking: 4:30 p.m. in the NIECI headquarters.
5 Easter
6 No school, all schools. Spring holiday.
8 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.
8 Bigfork Lions Club meets second Wednesday, 6 p.m. at Golf on the Edge.
8 South Koochiching-Rainy River School Board meets at 7 p.m. in the Northome and Indus ITV Studios