71st Annual Meeting Highlights


Directors elected at 2017 annual meeting: (l to r) Richard Koski, Dave Charles, Kyle Hilken and Bill Patrie


Rodney Retires

Rodney Eckroth retires from the board after 9 years of service


Capital Electric Cooperative held its 71st annual meeting of the membership June 6 at the Ramkota Hotel and Conference Center in Bismarck. Almost 1,100 members, families and guests attended to learn about cooperative issues; to collect a capital credit check if they qualified; to enjoy entertainment from Shawn Oban and a free meal; and to elect four members to serve on the board of directors.

This year, the board of directors approved the retirement of co-op capital credits from 2000, totaling more than $1,291,000, which exclude capital credits allocated by the co-op’s generation and transmission providers. Employees distributed checks prior to the meeting. Unclaimed checks were mailed to members who were unable to attend.

During the business meeting, three members were elected to serve three-year terms and one member was elected to serve a two-year term on the board of directors. In District 1, Dave Charles was elected to serve a three-year term on the board. In District 2, Richard Koski was re-elected to fill a three-year term. In District 3, incumbents Bill Patrie (three-year term) and Kyle Hilken (two-year term) were also re-elected to the board. The cooperative congratulates these
members for being elected by the membership to serve on the board of directors. The cooperative also thanks District 1 candidates Terry Alveshere and Kayla Pulvermacher, and District 3 candidates Brent Bogar and Tim Geiger, for  vying for a board position and being active cooperative members.

During last year’s annual meeting, the membership voted to change the bylaws to reflect three districts, which was a change from two districts, with two sub-districts in District 2. The reason four members were elected to the board and one of the terms was only a two-year term this year was to stagger the terms so the co-op will elect one director from each of the three districts in future years.

After having served on the board of directors for nine years, Rodney Eckroth of Bismarck, who represented District 1, chose not to seek re-election. Capital Electric thanks him for the time, knowledge and experience he’s provided in the board room and at meetings across North Dakota and the United States over the years, representing electric cooperatives. We know this will provide Rodney and his wife, LuWanna, more time to enjoy retirement.

Business meeting highlights The Capital Electric membership was welcomed by Bismarck City Commissioner Nancy Guy. Matt Neir, a certified public accountant with the auditing firm of Eide Bailly LLP, presented the annual financial report.

Barb Handy-Marchello, board president of the Charitable Trust, gave a report on the cooperative’s Operation Round Up program and urged members to opt into the program if they do not currently participate.

The president’s and manager’s combined report was given by BoardPresident Dwight Wrangham and General Manager Paul Fitterer. They covered some of the past and current events and activities at Capital Electric, updated the membership on power supply issues, and gave an update on the progress of infrastructure improvements.

Updates on the transmission side included:

• Central Power Electric Cooperative, Capital Electric’s power provider, will be energizing a new substation near the intersection of U.S. Highway 1804 and U.S Highway 83 to help serve the growing needs of the co-op. Central Power Electric is also in the process of acquiring land for future 115-kilovolt substations in both east and northeast Bismarck, as well as rebuilding the Sterling substation.

• Basin Electric Power Cooperative, a power provider for Central Power, is reporting positive results from joining the Southwest Power Pool, a regional transmission organization. However, a decrease in activity in the Bakken, mild weather, and a reduction in natural gas and commodity prices caused a wholesale power rate increase. Basin Electric is also feeling less immediate pressure from the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan, which would have an immediate impact on the cost of power in North Dakota and across the United States. Even without that pressure, tax subsidies on wind and inexpensive natural gas are making both wind and gas contenders in the power market. The generation and transmission cooperative continues to develop renewable energy resources and invest in emissions control technology to make its already clean generation fleet even cleaner.

Updates on the distribution side included:

• An increase in kilowatt-hour sales of just under 1 percent in 2016.

• An increase of 559 new accounts in 2016, which represents an increase of 2.9 percent.

• An increase in revenue by more than 5 percent, with an increase to the cost of wholesale power of more than 11 percent.

• A reported power mix including 40.6 percent from coal, 20.8 percent from wind, 16.6 percent from natural gas and 15.3 percent from hydro power.

• Investments in technology, including SmartHub, the system that allows members to access their accounts by computer or mobile device. The cooperative also expanded its use of mobile technology by bringing real-time connectivity to employees in the field. Work is now done electronically from the office to the field, improving efficiency, data accuracy and real-time service information.

• An emphasis on load reduction through the use of various programs including a new peak time rebate program that will be launched Oct. 1. This program will encourage members to reduce their electricity usage during designated peak times and in return they will earn a rebate.

Fitterer concluded the annual report by noting the cooperative did not have any lost-time accidents during 2016. “We want to thank everyone for their dedication and effort to safety and efficiency,” he said.

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