Watts News
 Published for the members of North Itasca Electric Cooperative
VOL. 20 NO. 3  -  March 2017

Cold Weather Rule Notification   |   Energy Assistance Programs

RoundUp® spring grant applications open  

RoundUp® is a program that rounds up participating member bills to the next dollar, providing an opportunity for community organizations to apply for funding for worthwhile projects. Over 80 percent of North Itasca Electric members support the program, allowing about $10,000 to be distributed by the North Itasca Electric Community Trust Board twice a year.

This spring applications are due in the headquarters office by Friday, March 31 at 4:30 p.m. Grants will be determined at a trust board meeting in mid-April.


CEO Report  

by Chris Corradi, CEO

Recently, a contingent of your board of directors and I traveled to St. Paul for the Minnesota Rural Electric Association annual meeting. This meeting is a great opportunity to visit with electric cooperatives from across the state. Most importantly, this meeting provided us the chance to meet with area legislators to advocate on behalf of cooperative members. Combining our efforts with neighboring electric cooperatives, we urged our Senators and Representatives to help keep electric rates affordable and ensure that cooperatives retain their democratic control.

There was a lot of change in the House and Senate in the November election. The visit to St. Paul gave us the opportunity to meet face-to-face with our local legislators. While there, we were able to visit with Senators Bakk, Utke, Eichorn and Tomassoni. We also met with Representatives Grossell, Ecklund, Bliss, Layman and Sandstede.


MNTEG: Minnesota Touchstone Energy® Group  

by Jerry Loney

To many, MNTEG (Minnesota Touchstone Energy Group) may be a new abbreviation. MNTEG started with Minnesota Cooperatives which are members of Touchstone Energy working together to uphold Cooperative values. These values include: Innovation, Integrity, Accountability, and Commitment to Community. Partnering with Touchstone Energy, this group was formed to help and educate Minnesota cooperative members as to what a cooperative is and the benefits of being a cooperative member. As the saying goes "Many hands make for light work"; with all our cooperatives working together, the work becomes lighter and, with more resources available, greater things can be accomplished using professionals aiding in member education.


Area events in March  

Empty Bowls Thursday, March 16

The 12th annual Empty Bowls project will be held at Our Lady of the Snows Catholic Church from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. on Thursday, March 16. Community cooks supply a rich assortment of soups, breads and desserts for a supper to support the North Itasca Emergency Food Shelf in Bigfork. The Wanigan cafeteria at Bigfork Valley will also be serving a soup meal for a free will donation to the NIEFS.

Last year almost $17,000 was needed to keep the food shelf stocked for the needs of the area. Last year about 260 people were helped, from over 90 households.

Empty Bowls is a major fundraiser for the food shelf; all proceeds from the event go directly to the NIEFS.


March 2017 Calendar of Events 

4 White Oak Sled Dog Race: 46, 23 and 12 mile (big dog) races between the White Oak Historical Site just north of Deer River and the Itasca County Fairgrounds. Race begins 9:30 a.m. Spaghetti dinner Friday, 4-7 p.m. breakfast Saturday 7-9 a.m. Each $5, open to the public. Info, www.whiteoakhistoricalsociety.org.
6 ISD 318 School Board meets at the Bigfork School, 7 p.m. Public forum 6:30 p.m.
7 Mizpah City Council meets in Mizpah Community Center, 7 p.m.
8 ISD 363 South Koochiching-Rainy River School Board, 7 p.m. in Indus and at Northome ITV studio.
8 Bigfork Lions Club meets second Wednesday, 6 p.m. at Golf on the Edge.