Watts News
 Published for the members of North Itasca Electric Cooperative
VOL. 21 NO. 7  -  July 2018


Annual Meeting 

by Sally Sedgwick

“This meeting belongs to the members,” said North Itasca Electric Board President Larry Salmela. “It’s your opportunity to determine the health of the cooperative.”

The 78th annual meeting of North Itasca Electric Cooperative followed a breakfast by Shining Light Café of Northome and music by Jason Waldron and two members of his band, Shane Kingsland and Greg Kaczor. Members were also invited to browse displays by organizations receiving recent grants from the Operation Round Up® program, consumer electrical displays by the cooperative and equipment used by linemen. Members could try out Great River Energy’s Energy Bike, where pedal power was turned into electrical power to light different types of light bulbs. Outside, Janice Ward had driven in her all-electric Tesla car to share as a display.

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CEO Report  

by Brad Dolinski, CEO

Good Morning North Itasca Electric Cooperative Member-Owners!

Thank you to those of you who took the time to come to the annual meeting. I enjoyed visiting with everyone and listening to some awesome music. I caught myself just itching to dance to a couple of the songs. The food was great, and our community organizations had wonderful information for all of us.

I want to thank everyone that had part in making the day a success, Jerry and Roxanne put a lot of time into the meeting. I will say I’ve been shopping since the meeting. I’m looking for a good PA system to make the sound better. We’ve discussed a few things to make next year even better.

For those of you that missed the Annual Meeting, we will have financial information in the WATTS. We recently met with the audit firm of Eide Baily. I was very pleased to hear from them we were given a clean audit. The auditors also spoke very highly to the board about the response and the ease of working with North Itasca Electric office employees. Thank you for all the hard work that went into this year’s audit!

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Renewables becoming the norm  

by Jerry Loney

The world’s view on energy has been changing the last few years. No longer are alternative energy sources an interest to many but they have now become the norm. With the increase in wind and solar, the cost of these renewable energy sources has dropped dramatically.

Not too long ago, government mandates to use more renewables increased the cost of energy when power plants needed to stay on line because the wind doesn’t always blow and the sun doesn’t always shine. Because electricity cannot be stored, power plants needed to be ready to provide for the demand when renewable sources could not meet the demand.

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A very fun way to get around  

by Larry Salmela

My neighbors over on Pickerel Lake, Sheila and Galen Vorland, surprised me on a beautiful, sunny afternoon in mid-June. With no more noise than the sound of tires on gravel, whoosh, they have arrived at our front door. They’re on electric bicycles!

“Let’s talk about these machines,” I say. “How do they work?”

I can see pedals, a chain and a sprocket cluster on the back wheel. Looks like some pedal effort is required. But Sheila whirls around in a circle in the yard without pedaling. She points to the battery below the seat. It’s about 16 inches long and between 3 and 3 ½ inches in width and thickness. The electric motor is wrapped around the rear axle. It looks similar in size to a one pound coffee can. Galen explains that the rider can use as much or as little personal effort, muscle power through the pedals, and as much or as little electric motor assist as desired.

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Roxanne’s Sales Talk  

by Roxanne Prather, member services representative

First off, I want to thank everyone who attended North Itasca Electric Cooperative’s 2018 annual meeting which was held on June 9. It was held at the Bigfork School with breakfast served by the Shining Light Café owned and operated by Teener Swang - Thank you Teener.

We invited those organizations which received grants through Operation Round-Up® to explain the projects they have underway. Vicki Gullickson (the chairperson of Operation Round-Up) spoke on behalf of the trustees and received a check in the amount of $1,000 as a donation from by Great River Energy. Thank you, Great River Energy, for your donation.

Along with many other displays was a Tesla all electric-car. It was very interesting and I think it was my most favorite display.

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July 2018 Calendar of Events 

1 Reception for “Art on the Edge,” the 14th Annual Juried Exhibition at the Edge Gallery, Bigfork, 5-7 p.m. Exhibit runs July 5-28. The Edge Gallery is open Thurs.-Sat., 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
3 Mizpah City Council meets in Mizpah Community Center, 7 p.m.
4 Independence Day. North Itasca Electric headquarter offices CLOSED
4 Turtle Lake July 4 Dock Food Pixkup benefitting the Bigfork food shelf.
5 Storytelling at Marcell Town Hall, 6:30 p.m. Subject : “Fishing stories.” Coffee and treats will be served.
6-8 Deer River Lions’ Wild Rice Festival. Highlights include (Fri.) Midway begins 5 p.m., Pow Wow 630 p.m., live music 8 p.m.; (Sat) Wild Rice Run 7 a.m., Bike Rodeo, 9 a.m., open air concert 9 p.m., Fireworks 10 p.m.; (Sun) parade 1 p.m., kids tractor pull 3 p.m., live music 4:30 p.m. See wildricefestival.com
7 Riley’s 12th annual Pig-Eye Memorial Scramble, 9 a.m. Blueberry Hills Golf Course. Limited number of teams, $30/person. Call Jon, (218) 832-3656 to sign up.

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