Watts News
 Published for the members of North Itasca Electric Cooperative
VOL. 20 NO. 4  -  April 2017

Cold Weather Rule Notification   |   Energy Assistance Programs

See GRE Headquarters, Renewables, More in this year's member tour  

by Jerry Loney

Instead of the traditional Coal Creek Station Tour North Itasca Electric offers its members each year, we have developed an alternative tour. Our tour will demonstrate renewable energy sources and conservation methods which reduce our need for fossil fuels when generating electricity.

North Itasca Electricís member-owners will view and learn about electric generation using renewable energy resources such as wind, solar, RDF (refuse derived fuel), biomass and methane to create electricity for the grid.

We will be departing North Itasca Electric Cooperativeís office building on July 20 at 6 a.m. heading to Elk River, Minnesota,where we will tour Great River Energyís (GRE) Elk River Resource Recovery Project. (Note: GRE is our generation and transmission provider.)


CEO Report  

by Chris Corradi, CEO

As I write my article this month the sun is coming in through the windows and the temperature is pushing 50 degrees. Itís hard to believe itís only mid-March but thatís the type of winter itís been. While I realize weíve had some beautiful weather lately, Iíve also lived in northern Minnesota long enough to know that it can change quickly.

As mentioned in previous articles, your cooperative has been going through a lot of change itself. The primary area of change for North Itasca Electric is a major software conversion. In early 2016 we made the decision to utilize National Information Solutions Cooperative (NISC) as our computer software provider. We completed approximately 40 percent of the software conversion in late November 2016 with the remaining to be finished in June of this year. One feature that weíve had many compliments on is the new billing layout. Your electric bill should now be much easier to read and offers more data than we were previously able to provide.


GreenTouch, May 6  

This year marks the 17th year that Minnesotaís Touchstone Energy Cooperatives will join together to spruce up our state parks for project GreenTouch. GreenTouch Day, when electric cooperative employees and members volunteer in various parks throughout the state, is set for Saturday, May 6. Participants will help fix existing structures, brush trails, plant trees, remove invasive plants and provide general cleanup.

Locally, North Itasca Electric employees and customers will work together at Scenic State Park south of Bigfork, raking, cleaning trails and providing general maintenance.


Order in April for Itasca County Native Plant Sale  

Native plants are ideal for stabilizing shoreline, filtering runoff and creating an attractive wildlife habitat. The Itasca County Soil and Water Conservation District annually offers residents the opportunity to buy native tree or shrub seedlings (some with edible berries), wildflowers and grasses.

This year there are eleven tree species, 12 shrub varieties, 14 wildflowers and 5 grasses being offered along with three mixes: upland seed, wetland seed and a wildlife packet. Also offered are two types of deer repellent and tree shelters.


North Itasca Electric Scholarships available  

North Itasca Electric scholarship applications are now available to children of members or adult members returning to school. Applications may be picked up at the North Itasca Electric office in Bigfork as well as Bigfork, Deer River, and Grand Rapids high schools. Scholarships are awarded by the Northome School scholarship committee, but applicants do not have to live in the co-opís service territory.

Applications can also be requested by contacting Christine at clundin@northome.k12.mn.us or 218-897-5275 x157, as well as on the Northome School website. Go to www.northome.k12.mn.us, click on "Our Staff," then "Office," then "Counselor" and you'll be taken to the school counselor page with "Scholarships" link on the left-hand side. Awards given out vary from year to year depending on quality and number of applications, but are generally between $250 and $1,000. Deadline is April 21, 2017.

April 2017 Calendar of Events 

4 Mizpah City Council meets in Mizpah Community Center, 7 p.m.
5 ISD 363 South Koochiching-Rainy River School Board Special Meeting, 3 p.m. held in Northome and available in Indus ITV studio.
6 Storytelling at Marcell Town Hall building, 6:30 p.m. Subject of your choice. Coffee and treats served.
10 Lineman Appreciation Day for the country's electric cooperatives.
10 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.
10 Deer River ISD 317 School Board, DRHS Media Center, 6 p.m. Public forum 5:45.
10 ISD 318 School Board meets via telepresence at Bigfork School, 7 p.m. Public forum 6:30 p.m.
10 Blackduck ISD 32 School Board meets, Media Center, 7 p.m.
10 VFW meets in Bigfork second Monday at 7 p.m.
11 Stop and Stitch at Marcell Family Center, 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Bring $1, sack lunch and a project to work on. Come and go. Contact Rhonda 259-9220 or Judy 218-832-3237.