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50-year Contract With Air Base Good News For Member Owners

Each time we publish an edition of The Nodak Neighbor, I take that opportunity to utilize some of the space to share information with our member-owners. Those topics vary from some sort of safety-related topic like “Call Before You Dig,” or what to do if your vehicle hits a power pole, to subjects like regulation, voting or getting involved. With this edition, I’m happy to say I get to share some long-awaited good news. On July 1, 2018, Nodak was awarded a 50-year contract to take over the maintenance, repair and replacement of the electric infrastructure at Grand Forks Air Force Base and Cavalier Air Force Station.

The takeover, or privatization, of the Air Base distribution systems should be fairly transparent to the government and to the families that live on the installations. Nodak has been serving the electric needs of both facilities on a bulk basis for quite a long time, and the government or their contractors have been responsible for their systems from the substations to the end users. With this new arrangement, Nodak will be responsible to maintain an adequate distribution system so we can deliver the power all the way to the end user.

We began this process approximately six years ago when we received notice that Grand Forks Air Force Base and Cavalier Air Force Station would be accepting bids for a 50-year contract to privatize their electric, water, and wastewater systems. With the assistance of a consultant that specializes in helping small businesses procure federal contracts, we submitted our proposal and were ultimately awarded the contract.

Over the next five months, we will go through a transition process where we finalize contracts and pricing and prepare personnel and equipment for working on the Bases. Dec. 1, 2018, will be the official start date of the new agreement. From that point on, Nodak will receive a monthly payment for keeping the Base distribution systems working properly. In essence, that means we will go from serving bulk electricity to the installations to doing essentially what we do for all our other members. We will not only provide the power needed, but we will also care for the systems that bring the power to the end user.

Overall, we believe this will provide a safer and more reliable electric service to the government and the families who live and work on the Bases. For our membership, what this means is additional revenue to help take pressure off electric rates and lessen the effect of rising costs. This is a significant event for our member-owners, and we are excited to share this news with you.

Have a safe and enjoyable summer.

Mylo Einarson
President & CEO

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Youth Tour Winner Visits Washington, D.C.

Sixteen North Dakota high school students returned June 14 from the 54th-annual Electric Cooperative Youth Tour in Washington, D.C. They joined more than 1,600 students from around the nation for a fast-paced, intensive week of learning about history and American government, visiting with their state’s congressional delegation, becoming more knowledgeable about the cooperative business model, and touring museums, national monuments and memorials. While on the tour, the students develop leadership skills and a national network of peers. Each year, high school students learn firsthand what it is like to be involved in politics, community development and today’s social issues.

Past participants have described this as “a once-in-a-lifetime” experience. The students are sponsored by their family’s electric distribution cooperative. This year’s participant, Lilly Bina, Park River, represented Nodak Electric Cooperative on the Youth Tour.

Coordination of the Youth Tour is handled by the North Dakota Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives (NDAREC). NDAREC serves as the liaison between the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) and the state’s distribution cooperatives. Year after year, the Youth Tour has been followed up with glowing praise from participants; this year was no exception.

Why does Nodak Electric offer this experience to our area youth? Because we realize it is more vital than ever that today’s young people understand and support the rural electrification program, for they are tomorrow’s leaders and consumers.

Education is a fundamental principle of electric cooperatives. Boards of directors and co-op leaders believe it’s imperative to help students understand the democratic process and gain the skills necessary to become leaders. Through the Youth Tour, co-ops across the country have made unforgettable impacts on students for more than half a century.

Every fall, Nodak issues the Youth Tour essay contest to local sophomores and juniors. By early February, submissions are collected and judged, and the winners are contacted in preparation for the trip in June.

For more information, visit,, or

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Derek Sondreal was promoted to foreman of the Grand Forks crew. He has been with Nodak for nine years.



Jared Stadstad was promoted to lead lineman with the Grand Forks crew. He has been with Nodak for seven years.



Ben Haarstad was promoted to journeyman lineman and interim crew foreman with the construction crew. He has been with Nodak for five years.



Travis Vatthauer was promoted to journeyman lineman with the Grand Forks crew. He has been with Nodak for three years.


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Nodak Electric Cooperative

Nodak Electric Cooperative is dedicated to being an efficient provider of quality electric service with leadership that demonstrates the highest regard for its members/owners.

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July/Aug 2018

The Official Publication of Nodak Electric Cooperative

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