Watts News
 Published for the members of North Itasca Electric Cooperative
VOL. 19 NO. 1  -  January 2016

Cold Weather Rule Notification   |   Energy Assistance Programs
Touchstone Energy Award

Marcell Family Center wins local Touchstone Energy Community Award  

North Itasca Electric Cooperative names Marcell Family Center of Marcell, as the winner of the local 2015 Touchstone Energy Community Award.

“Marcell Family Center clearly demonstrates a strong commitment to community that we at North Itasca Electric Cooperative value highly,” CEO Jared Echternach said. “We are very pleased to recognize all contributions to our local community.”


Paul Bunyan Communication Voyageurs Classic Sled Dog Race  

by Sally Sedgwick

“This race is so very, very exciting for the area,” said Race Director Ellen Bogardus-Szymaniak.

She was describing the Voyageurs Classic Sled Dog Race which attracts teams of 8 dogs to travel 78 miles from Northome to Barney’s Resort near Spring Lake and back, and more teams to travel a second, 28 mile race from Northome to Squaw Lake. This year’s roster includes teams from around Minnesota, Michigan and Canada.

Mushing brings history to life, she explained, representing how the Voyageurs traveled this area getting furs out and supplies in.


Sharing Success

Sharing Success  

The Koochiching County Agricultural Association was recently awarded a $1,000 matching grant from CoBank’s Sharing Success program. The money will be used to upgrade and expand the electric service at the Koochiching County Fairgrounds. North Itasca Electric Cooperative is a member of CoBank, a lending cooperative headquartered in Greenwood Village, Col., whose Sharing Success program helps improve the quality of life in rural communities. Koochiching Country Agricultural Association representative Don Lukenbill (left) accepts the check from North Itasca Electric CEO Jared Echternach who made the presentation on CoBank’s behalf.

Board approves 2016 budget, rate adjustment needed in March  

by Jared Echternach, CEO

Your Board of Directors approved the 2016 budget at its December meeting and a rate adjustment is needed to maintain financial stability, achieve target financial ratios and satisfy our lenders.

Your Board of Directors does not take this responsibility lightly and strives to maintain fair and equitable rates designed to provide sufficient margins. Wholesale power costs will increase roughly 3 percent in 2016 and operational costs are projected to increase between 5 percent and 6 percent. Wholesale power costs account for roughly 60 percent of our total costs. In other words for every dollar you spend on electricity, 60 cents goes to the cost of wholesale power.


Roxanne's Sales Talk 

by Roxanne Prather, Member Services Representative

I wanted to take a few minutes to thank all of you who took time out of your busy day to come to our Christmas Open House this year. It was great to see all of you.

I think the nice weather might have had something to do with the good turnout. Last year it was around -15 degrees on Friday night for the sleigh rides and this year it was around 35 above. The nice weather sure made it a lot nicer for people to get out and about. I was starting to wonder where all the kids were on Friday night because I hadn’t seen very many kids in the showroom early in the evening, then all at once they started to pour in the door, everyone was out riding the hay ride. In years past when it was so cold, the kids would go on one ride and then have to come in and warm up for a while, but this year they just stayed on the wagon since it was so warm.


Marathon Water Heaters

Marathon water heater warranty terms are changing 

Effective November 1, 2015 all new Marathon MR, MHD, and MTS models installed in residential, single-family dwelling applications must be registered within 90 days of installation to qualify for Marathon's Limited Lifetime Warranty.. If the water heater is not registered within 90 days of installation, it is automatically covered by a 10-year limited warranty.

In order to register a unit used in a residential, single-family dwelling application for the Limited Lifetime Warranty, please visit Rheem.com/warranty.

January 2016 Calendar of Events 

4 ISD 318 School Board meets, 7 p.m. (6:30 p.m. public forum). Via teleprescnce at Bigfork School.
6 Burning of the Greens at Suomi Lutheran Church, County Road #48, 5:30 p.m. All welcome whether you have a tree to burn or not. Chili feed follows.
6 South Koochiching-Rainy River School Board meets 7 p.m. at Indus.
7 Storytelling at Marcell Town Hall, 2-4 p.m. Everyone welcome, treats and coffee.