Nebraska Rural Electric Association’s new General Manager attended the Dawson Public Power District’s Board of Director’s meeting on Wednesday March 14, 2018. Kim Christiansen assumed her role with the NREA last November. She moved to Nebraska from Kansas where she served with the Kansas Electric Cooperatives, inc. She told the DPPD Board that she had an excellent staff at the NREA and they meet weekly. She has also hired a third person in the area of job training and safety. The NREA has been involved in monitoring state legislation in the area of broadband and the pending bill on open records relating to a court decision affecting Nebraska Public Power District. Christiansen said the decision could subject public power districts and other agencies to disclosing some proprietary information or trade secrets of their vendors. Some vendors would then refuse to do business with them.
Christiansen also talked about other priorities including an NREA broadband task force of which DPPD General Manager Gwen Kautz is a member of. Kautz commented that farmers and ranchers need better access to broadband technology. She said public power districts support the promotion of more broadband but, the public power districts should not subsidize it’s development at the expense to customers.
Christiansen says young people want jobs in agriculture and ag suppliers if broadband was available. She said broadband also promotes rural economic development. Christiansen says the NREA is also involved in youth education through such activities as youth leadership camp.
A resolution was adopted by the Board recognizing DPPD linemen on National Linemen Appreciation Day on April 9, 2018. The resolution states:
“The Dawson Public Power District Board of Directors would like to extend its most sincere appreciation and admiration to the Dawson PPD linemen who work diligently to provide safe, reliable and affordable electrical power to its customers.
As set by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, the second Monday of April shall be designated as National Lineman Appreciation Day. On April 9, 2018, and every day of the year, the board recognizes the work that Dawson PPD’s linemen do typically under hazardous conditions and in the worst of
weather to ensure the modern-day comforts of electricity to all.”
The DPPD Board heard from staff attorney Bronson Malcom on a legal action by the bankruptcy trustee for the defunct Abengoa Bioenergy that operated an ethanol plant at Ravenna. He says the trustee is seeking a return of an electronic payment made by Abengoa in the months prior to their filing for bankruptcy and another claim submitted by DPPD following the bankruptcy filing.
The Board also heard from two customers during the Customer Comments portion of the meeting. Their issues are planned for further discussion at the next meeting.