Message To Our Members

Finding the proper blend of resources for our wholesale power mix can be a delicate task. Each source has pros and cons associated with it, such as varying costs, reliability, availability and environmental impacts. That is one reason we believe the best approach for our membership is what’s been termed an “all of the above approach.” Each of North Dakota’s various natural resources has unique benefits that the others may not, so utilizing all types of North Dakota’s bountiful natural resources, including coal, wind, natural gas and hydroelectric has long been our approach. This diversity in generation sources helps to insulate us from the impact of targeted environmental rules, unplanned outages and changes in market conditions.

Elsewhere in this report, you will see that 42 percent of our wholesale power mix now comes from renewable sources. At the end of 2016, our wholesale power provider, Minnkota Power Cooperative, commissioned an additional 100 megawatts of wind capacity from the Oliver III wind farm near

Center, N.D. With the addition of these 100 megawatts, wind now accounts for 34 percent of the generation capacity, hydroelectric from the Garrison Dam makes up another 8 percent and another 55 percent comes from North Dakota lignite coal. To take advantage of this diversity, we have begun offering our Infinity Renewable Energy Program to those members who would like to purchase up to 100 percent of their energy from these renewable sources.

The addition of more wind energy is in part a response to the strong federal government push away from coal. Although we believe that North Dakota’s bountiful coal deposits provide a great resource for clean, affordable electricity, the environmental push toward a more carbon-constrained world is a stark reality and one the nation will move toward. To keep rates low, reliability high and North Dakota’s economy strong, coal needs to remain part of the nation’s resource mix for the long term. The new administration’s approach to environmental regulation gives us hope that the Clean Power Plan regulation implemented under the Obama Administration will be redrawn in a more thoughtful, deliberate way, so we can maintain our “all of the above strategy” into the future.

When we look back on 2016 from an operational perspective, I think we would characterize it as one of mixed results. One of the warmest winters on record and a cool wet summer in parts of our service territory helped keep kilowatt-hour sales lower despite healthy growth in new services. Although we posted a net increase of 329 new members and 373 new service locations, we ended 2016 with kilowatt-hour sales down 2.3 percent from 2015. Consistent growth in membership leaves us optimistic that sales will be robust when weather patterns return to something we would consider more North Dakota normal.

In April 2016, we adjusted our rates by 5 percent in response to a wholesale power cost increase from April 2015. Since the end of 2014, we have been using our Revenue Deferral Plan to help stabilize your rates. Through long-term planning, we’ve been able to delay the impacts of millions of dollars in wholesale power cost increases to our membership. With wholesale power now accounting for more than 84 percent of our total expenses, managing how these costs are passed along is a critical part of keeping your rates affordable.

Technology is one of the ways we continue to work to provide better service at a reduced cost. Consequently, we are excited about the introduction of SmartHub in 2016. SmartHub is an app that allows member access to account information 24 hours a day. With SmartHub, members can now view and compare hour-by-hour usage, pay bills or interact with your cooperative right from your phone, tablet or computer. The availability of this data helps members analyze their own energy usage to confirm when and why power was used.

Cost is one of our most important performance measures; however, reliability is also an important aspect to providing a good value for membership. In this vein, we are happy to report that our wholesale power provider, Minnkota Power Cooperative, is planning $1.4 million in blink mitigation updates to their transmission system in Nodak’s service territory during the first quarter of 2017. These updates will help lessen the number of interruptions our membership have due to lightning activity and wildlife contacts.

In closing, we just want to point out that while 2016 wasn’t a record year by most measures, it certainly was a good one. We met all our financial requirements, we kept rates affordable, kept the power on and sent everyone home from work without serious injuries. Thank you for your patronage this past year and more importantly, all your support on issues important to your cooperative. It’s been an honor and a privilege to serve and work with you this past year.

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2016 Youth Tour

During the 2016 electric cooperative Youth Tour, Britton Bina joined 1,600 fellow youth representing cooperatives from across the nation June 11-17 in Washington, D.C. Nodak Electric sponsored Bina.

The action-packed tour included visits to the Smithsonian Museums, Lincoln Memorial Museum, National World War II Museum, Korean War Veterans Memorial, Newseum, Thomas Jefferson Memorial, Arlington National Cemetery and Mount Vernon. Another highlight was a riverboat cruise along the Potomac River. In addition to sightseeing, Bina and the other 14 North Dakotans in his tour group had the chance to meet and ask questions of Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, Sen. John Hoeven and Rep. Kevin Cramer.

To earn a seat on the all-expense-paid Youth Tour, North Dakota students entered an essay-writing contest and answered the following question: “Pick one of the four Touchstone Energy™ Cooperative core values – innovation, integrity, accountability or commitment to community – and describe how you see this in action at your family’s electric cooperative.” The North Dakota Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives judged the entries.

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Treasurer’s Report 2016

As treasurer of Nodak Electric Cooperative, it is my honor to present the 2016 financial statements of the cooperative.

The financial year 2016 brought many months of kWh sales unpredictability due to unseasonable temperatures throughout most of the year. Weather patterns such as what we experienced in 2016 create issues with utility finances, but despite the weather uncertainty, we were able to meet our lenders financial requirements for the year. Revenue from electric sales totaled $95.5 million. Power costs for 2016 were $80.8 million. Total cost of electric service (less power costs) was 95 percent of the 2016 budgeted levels. We were fortunate to not have any severe storms during the year that would create an unusual amount of extra expenses.

Margins for 2016 were audited at $923,603. Of that amount, $134,463 came from operating margins and the balance of $789,140 from nonoperating margins.

For a more detailed look into the revenue, expenses and margins of your cooperative please feel free to contact Nodak at your convenience.

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The Right Energy Mix

Some people associate Nodak Electric Cooperative and our wholesale power supplier, Minnkota Power Cooperative, with coal-based energy.

And for good reason. Nodak continues to depend on coal to provide its baseload, 24-7 energy. Baseload energy is needed, after all, to keep homes warm and the lights on when intermittent energy resources such as wind energy are not producing any kilowatt-hours.

We are much more than coal, however. The amount of energy resources coming from baseload-coal declines every time we add a renewable resource. With the addition of 100 megawatts from the Oliver Wind Energy Center near Center, N.D., in late 2016, only about 55 percent of the electric generation capacity mix received by Nodak comes from coal.

Wind energy accounts for about 34 percent and hydroelectric from the Garrison Dam makes up 8 percent of the generation capacity. Other nonrenewable resources total 3 percent. Since hydro is a renewable energy resource as well, about 42 percent of our generation capacity mix comes from renewables.

Not enough for you? There is another alternative. Nodak members can now receive the equivalent of 100 percent of their electricity from renewable resources through the Infinity Renewable Energy Program.

With the program, you can increase the amount of renewable electricity you use without sacrificing your lifestyle or the comfort of your home. By enrolling through Nodak Electric Cooperative, you can choose a designated number of 100 kilowatt-hour blocks, or 100 percent of the electricity used to come from renewable resources. Nodak will allocate the appropriate amount of renewable energy through the program and indicate your purchases on your monthly bill.

While it is not possible to direct where electrons are specifically delivered on the electric grid, it is possible to ensure the renewable energy you have purchased is from a resource connected to your cooperative’s electric system. The record of purchase and the proof that it was reserved for you is done through a renewable energy credit (REC).

As one can see, we have come a long way since Minnkota put up the first commercial-scale wind turbine in the state in 2002. Minnkota and Nodak are among the leaders across the country in wind energy, as evidenced by Minnkota winning the 2010 Wind Cooperative of the Year Award from the U.S. Department of Energy.

At the time, Minnkota and Nodak had wind investments representing more than 30 percent of Minnkota’s total generation capacity.

That number climbed again when Minnkota added the Oliver III wind farm.

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Board of Directors Candidates

District 1 Candidates

Loren Estad
Loren Estad is a native from Crystal, N.D., where he is a fourth-generation farmer raising potatoes, edible beans, soybeans and wheat. Estad also operates a trucking company and is a partner in a couple of small businesses in the area.

Estad served on the Valley School Board for 12 years, the North Dakota Potato Council for six years and has currently been serving on the Park Township Board for 25 years.

Loren and his wife, Marge, have three grown daughters and one high school-aged son. Loren enjoys hunting and traveling with his family.

Gordon L. Johnson
Gordon L. Johnson a native of Langdon, N.D., grew up on the family farm west of Cavalier, N.D. He graduated from Cavalier High School in 1969, and then attended the University of North Dakota and North Dakota State College of Science-Wahpeton. In 1973, Johnson received an associate’s degree in civil engineering technology from NDSCS.

After graduating, he worked for KBM, Inc., in Grand Forks as a field engineer until he accepted a rural water manager position with the North Valley Water District in 1975. Johnson is in his 42nd year as manager of that water district – now renamed Northeast Regional Water District.

Johnson served 23 years as a supervisor on the Akra Township Board; served on the Cavalier School Board and has been active in a number of local committees.

He and his wife, Deb, have three children and 11 grandchildren.

Cheryl Osowski
Cheryl Osowski serves as special projects coordinator at the Red River Regional Council (RRRC) in Grafton, N.D., an economic and community development organization that serves the counties of Grand Forks, Nelson, Pembina and Walsh.

Osowski earned a bachelor of science degree from the University of Minnesota – Crookston. She spent 17 years working at the University of North Dakota, serving as a personnel officer and the outreach coordinator at the College of Engineering and Mines. In 2000, she was elected president of the Northeast North Dakota Human Resource Association. She also serves on the board of the Dakota Science Center.

In addition to working at the RRRC, Osowski is a part-time freelance writer for The Walsh County Record and is bookkeeper for her husband’s business, REO Truck Repair and Salvage, LLC.

Cheryl and her husband, Robert, live on their farmstead northeast of Voss, N.D.

Derek Roach
Derek Roach is a fourth-generation Nodak Electric member. He and his family reside next to his parents’ farmstead east of Mekinock, N.D., where his family has lived since the 1930s. He graduated from Midway Public School and attended Le Cordon Bleu for Culinary Arts in Las Vegas.

Roach has worked in the food service industry for more than 10 years. He managed and owned various restaurant and bar establishments. For the last six years he has worked for the Grand Forks Public Schools.

Derek and his family are very involved with Ness Lutheran Church. He has served on the council since 2013, and is treasurer/secretary for the church’s Men’s Club.

Thomas Vaughn
Thomas Vaughn Cavalier, N.D., native, is a farmer and rancher near Cavalier. A fourth-generation farmer, Vaughn and two of his sons run a seed stock operation with purebred Limousin cattle.

Vaughn has been a 4-H leader and was superintendent of the cattle barn at the Pembina County Fair for several years. A lifelong member of Cavalier Presbyterian Church, he served as an elder for many years.

He serves as vice president of the Pembina County Memorial Hospital/Wedgewood Manor Board. Other boards he has served on include the Pembina County Livestock Association, Heartland Limousin Association and the North America Limousin Foundation.

He belongs to the North Dakota Stockmen’s Association, National Cattleman’s Beef Association and the Pembina County Farm Bureau.

Tom and his wife, Rita, have three sons and six grandchildren.

District 2 Candidates

Paul R. Hanson
Paul R. Hanson lives on the family farm east of Mayville, N.D., along the Goose River. Hanson attended the University of North Dakota. He holds a bachelor of science degree with majors in biology and chemistry, along with a minor in mathematics.

Hanson farmed with his father, operating a farrow-to-finish hog operation along with cow-calf production and grain and sunflowers. He has worked as a chemist at American Crystal Sugar and is now employed at the UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences.

As a farmer, he served and presided on the boards of Mayville Township, the Mayville Farmers Co-op Elevator and Gran Lutheran Church. As a nationally Registered EMT – Intermediate, he worked toward organizing and training Traill County’s rural EMS system.

Hanson has three adult children and enjoys four-wheeling and hunting along the Goose River, as well as playing instruments with the KEM Shrine Band.

Peter Naastad
Peter Naastad has been on the board since June, filling the unexpired term of Roger Diehl. Pete is an excavation and utilities contractor from Traill County. He has lived in rural Hatton all of his life. Naastad and his brothers started Naastad Brothers, Inc., in 1974. Though Pete’s brothers left the company, he and his wife, Karen, continue to work at Naastad Brothers. Now their sons have joined them at the company.

Naastad is a past member of the Hatton School Board and the Bethany Church Council. He was also on the board of the Land Improvement Contractors Association, the Community Club Apartment Board, Hatton Prairie Village Loyalty Club and was past president and a current member of the Hatton Men’s Club.

Naastad has two sons and a daughter, three goddaughters and eight grandchildren.

District 3 Candidate

Steven Smaaladen
Steven Smaaladen became a Sheyenne Valley Electric Cooperative board member in 1997 and a Nodak board member after the merger between Nodak and Sheyenne Valley in 2001. He was re-elected in 2002 and has held several positions on the board.

Smaaladen attended Minnesota State Moorhead and Trinity Bible College. He farmed with his father and brother until 1997 and then worked construction until 2004. For the past 13 years he has been a rural mail carrier and is currently employed at the Northwood Post Office. He is secretary-treasurer for the Griggs-Steele unit of the Rural Letter Carriers Association and has served on the North Dakota Rural Letter Carriers’ Association Financial Committee.

Smaaladen is a member of the Finley Assembly of God Church, where he serves on the board and teaches Sunday school. For the past 24 years, Smaaladen and his wife, Marsha, have operated Country Greenhouse on their farm north of Aneta. They have two sons, Zachary, 19, and Zane, 10.

How to vote

Members may vote in person at the Alerus Center
Thursday, April 6, 6:30 p.m.,

– or –

by mail.
Ballots will be mailed out prior to the meeting. Voting instructions will be included.

Attention corporate members

If you are a member Corporation, Cooperative, School, Church or Township (or other nonnatural person) of Nodak Electric Cooperative, Inc., and want to be represented at members’ meeting(s), please request a Designation of Voting Representative form and one will be mailed to you. The form must be completed and signed by an authorized officer of the organization. This form must be completed annually.

In order for the member corporation, etc., to participate in business matters, this form must be received by the secretary of Nodak on or before the date of the members’ meeting(s). This form may be mailed with your ballot to Nodak or presented at registration at the members’ meeting(s).

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Notice Of Annual Meeting

To the members of Nodak Electric Cooperative, Inc.:
You are hereby notified that the 77th annual meeting of Nodak Electric Cooperative will be held Thursday, April 6, 2017, at the Alerus Center, 1200 42nd Street South in Grand Forks beginning at 6:30 p.m., for the following purposes:

1. To pass upon reports covering the previous fiscal year, including acting upon reports of directors.

2. To elect three directors:
Listed below are candidates either nominated by petition or selected by the Committee on Nominations. The members of the Committee on Nominations are appointed by the board of directors.

District 1
(one 3-year term)
Loren Estad, Crystal
Gordon L. Johnson, Cavalier
Cheryl Osowski, Grafton
Derek Roach, Mekinock
Thomas Vaughn, Cavalier

District 2
(one 3-year term)
Paul R. Hanson, Mayville
Peter Naastad, Hatton

District 3
(one 3-year term)
Steven Smaaladen, Aneta

3. To transact business that may come before the meeting.
Voting by mail. The board of directors has authorized the mailing, for the election of directors, each member an absentee ballot. Your ballot will be mailed to you prior to the annual meeting with a list of the candidates and a postage paid return envelope. Completed ballot must be received by Survey & Ballot Systems, an independent election service, no later than April 5, 2017, to be counted as a vote of the absent member.

Les Windjue, Secretary/Treasurer
March 13, 2017

77th Annual Meeting Agenda
April 6, 2017

5 p.m. – Doors open and registration begins at the
Alerus Center, Grand Forks

  • Complimentary beef rouladen dinner served from 5 p.m. to 6:15 p.m.

6:30 p.m. – Call to order of the 77th annual meeting
Paul Sigurdson, chairman, presiding

  • Reading of Notice
  • Declaration of Quorum
  • Nominating Committee Report
  • Election
  • Nodak Business Report Paul Sigurdson and Mylo Einarson|
  • Question and answer period
  • Old and new business
  • Drawing for grand prize
  • Adjournment
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Beware of scammers posing as Nodak employees

Scammers go to great lengths to try to dupe victims. Nodak Electric Cooperative knows this firsthand.

Nodak Electric Cooperative has been made aware of scammers who have called some of you, our member-owners, to tell you about a past-due bill that needs to be paid immediately or their power will be disconnected. Sometimes the caller instructs members to purchase a prepaid debit or credit card and share the card information for payment.

These incoming calls might be displayed as local numbers. In fact, it’s possible that they might even display Nodak Electric’s real phone number. “Spoofing” occurs when a caller deliberately falsifies the information transmitted to your caller ID display to disguise their identity.

There have even been reports of those numbers mimicking Interactive Voice Response systems, making it seem even more like the caller is a legitimate representative if you hang up and call back. Sadly, this is all part of an effort to steal your money and financial information.

When you’re dealing with a suspicious caller, keep a few things in mind. Nodak will not disconnect an account without first issuing notices to the member. The cooperative’s collection policies provide for a reasonable timeline to make payment arrangements before power is disconnected, if that action becomes necessary. Nodak does not require or strongly recommend a specific payment method or type. We offer a variety of payment options and members can choose which best meets their needs.

Members who think they are dealing with a suspicious call are advised to hang up immediately and call Nodak Electric at 1-800-732-4373 or 701-746-4461 to verify their account status and report this illegal activity.

We encourage you to be alert and protect yourself.

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Open Director Position In District 1

While the national elections of the past November may be fading from your memory, voting for politicians is not the only way we as co-op members can practice democracy.

Every co-op, whether it’s Nodak Electric Cooperative, your credit union, or a farm cooperative, follows the basic principle of democratic member control. Cooperatives are democratic organizations controlled by their members who actively participate in setting policy and making decisions. All these cooperatives work on the same system of one member, one vote. Most often, you are asked to vote and elect individuals who will represent you on the board of directors. These folks are your friends, neighbors and may even be you!

Any member in good standing of the co-op can run for the board. Of our nine board members, three are elected each year at our annual meeting in April, which means with only a few exceptions all members have the opportunity to run for the board each year. This year, we again have three director positions up for election; however, one of our incumbent directors has chosen not to seek reelection. That means we will certainly have at least one new board member when the election is finished. Will it be you?

Being a member of the co-op’s board is an incredibly important position. A director’s decisions impact issues such as service, rates, work plans and bylaws. These positions hold great responsibility and require men and women who understand our communities’ needs and serve the cooperative members’ best interests.

If you or someone you know is interested in hearing more about how to run for a seat on your cooperative’s board of directors, contact us at the headquarters in Grand Forks and we’ll help you through the process. Even if you choose not to have that level of participation, you should all feel empowered to reach out to current board members and candidates, or encourage your friends and neighbors to participate. When our members are actively involved with the cooperative, we are all better off.

As a cooperative, we invite our members to take an active role. In fact, it is critically important to the survival of the cooperative business model that we use our voices to be heard on the issues that matter to us.

The cooperative business model is a great one – it fosters engagement and creates strong communities. Over 100 years ago, President Theodore Roosevelt recognized this value when he said, “The cooperative is the best plan of organization. Under this plan, every business is governed by a board, every person has one vote and only one vote. Everyone gets profits based on their use of the cooperative. It develops individual responsibility and has a moral, as well as financial value.”

Those words are more true today than ever before. Let your voice be heard and take the time to participate in your cooperative’s election and your cooperative’s board of directors.

In closing, I’d like to thank Director Lee McLaughlin for his 25 years of dedication to the Nodak board of directors. His countless contributions have been invaluable in making Nodak what it is today. We wish him luck in his next adventure, and extend our heartfelt thank you for his service on our board.

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Vern Dubuque
Engineering Representative

After 42 years of employment at Nodak Electric, Vern Dubuque has retired. Born and raised on a farm west of Grand Forks, Vern started working part time at Nodak in May 1975. He was promoted to full-time status in January 1976 as an engineering representative, a position he held for his entire career.

Vern and his wife, Pam, have two children and two grandchildren. In his spare time, Vern enjoys deer hunting, fishing and UND hockey. He is looking forward to traveling and spending more time at the lake in the summer.

Lee McLaughlin
Director, District 1

Lee McLaughlin, a Nodak board member since 1991, is retiring.

McLaughlin also represents Nodak on the Minnkota Power Cooperative board and represents Minnkota on the North Dakota statewide board. Through the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, he became a cooperative credentialed director and attended board leadership classes.

McLaughlin earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics from North Dakota State University. He is a former board chair of the Walsh Rural Water District and Walsh County Farmers Union. A former county fair board member, he served 14 years as a 4-H leader.

McLaughlin spent 11 years as vice president of agricultural lending at Bremer Bank in Grafton before returning to the family farm in 1982. In 2008, NDSU honored McLaughlin and his wife, Judy, with the Outstanding Agriculturist Award. The McLaughlins retired from farming in 2011.

They are members of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Lankin, where Lee has served in leadership positions. The McLaughlins have three grown children and seven grandchildren.

Wayne Rocksvold

Wayne Rocksvold, warehouseman, has retired after 31 years of service.

In September 1986, Wayne started at Nodak as a warehouseman, which was a job of many duties.

Retirement for Wayne will include spending more time with his wife, Julie, two kids and playing with his two young grandkids. He will also enjoy cleaning his fleet of motorcycles, a trip to Sturgis and spending every day with his dog, Walter.

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Three director positions open

Nominating committee members appointed
The board of directors has appointed the committee on nominations. At its meeting scheduled for 10 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017, at the Nodak headquarters building, 4000 32nd Ave. S., Grand Forks, the committee shall prepare and post a list of nominations for the director positions slated for election.

Committee members are: Richard English, Grafton, 701-352-3266; Daniel Flanagan, Edinburg, 701-993-8544; Jason Hanson, Webster, 701-395-4317; Richard Hanson, Grand Forks, 701-739-0950; Lawrence Kadlec, Pisek, 701-284-6289; Neal Klamm, Thompson, 701-559-2198; Julie Lemm, Hillsboro, 701-636-5465; Glenn Rethemeier, Larimore, 218-779-3222; and Paul Retzlaff, Aneta, 701-326-4235.

Three director positions open
Three director positions will be open at the annual meeting on April 6, 2017. The directors whose terms expire in 2017 are:

  • District 1 – Open
  • District 2 – Pete Naastad
  • District 3 – Steve Smaaladen

Nomination by committee
If you are interested in being nominated or would like to nominate an individual, you may contact a committee on nominations member.

Nomination by petition
Nominations may also be made by petition signed by at least 15 cooperative members. The signed petition must be received at Nodak’s headquarters by Monday, Feb. 20, to verify nominee qualifications and allow sufficient time for voting by mail.

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New year. Same great rebates!

Add home comfort and energy efficiency to your New Year’s resolutions with help from Nodak Electric Cooperative

New electric water heater rebates

Enjoy reliable hot water and save money at the same time with Nodak Electric Cooperative’s electric water heating rebate program.

Water heating is one of the largest energy expenses in most households, making it a smart area to try to improve efficiency. New electric water heaters are among the most efficient and durable products in the market today. With great new incentives from your cooperative, it has never been more affordable to upgrade.

All rebate-qualifying water heaters must be on the off-peak program, which allows your water heater to draw electricity during times of low demand, such as late at night, when it’s less expensive. The water heater is temporarily turned off during high demand periods, both saving energy and money on your monthly bill. Participants in the off-peak program also receive a lower monthly rate for the electricity their water heater uses.

Rebate requirements:

  • Must be new purchased electric water heater installed on Nodak Electric’s system.
  • Must be on off-peak/load control.
  • Must be 240 volts and hard-wired.
  • Tankless water heaters do not qualify for rebate.
  • Hybrid heat pump water heaters do not qualify for rebate.
  • Rebate limit of $500 per member-account.
  • Maximum $300 rebate for coupling of two water heaters in parallel or series.
  • Multifamily dwellings do not qualify for rebate; exceptions considered on case-by-case basis

Contact Nodak Electric Cooperative today to find out more about the water heater rebate program!

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Nodak awards $2,000 in grants through RDFC funds

Thriving, prosperous communities and nonprofit organizations are essential to the strength of our region. To build that strength in its service area, Nodak Electric Cooperative awarded $2,000 in grants to Gardar Township Hall and Adams Rural Fire District through the Rural Development Finance Corporation (RDFC).

RDFC provided the grant funds in order to make more people aware of its larger loan program that funds community-based projects and nonprofit entities with low-interest financing.

The Gardar Township Hall project received $1,000 through Nodak Electric that was used for expenses related to a major renovation effort on the 100-year-old building. The building was moved this fall to a new, structurally sound foundation where several projects are set to begin.

As a lifelong resident of the township, Nodak board chairman Paul Sigurdson is happy to see the town hall being brought back to life. He remembers when the building was bustling with community dances, civic organizational meetings and school basketball games.

“I’m afraid there wouldn’t be anything left of Gardar if the township hall had gone,” Sigurdson said. “It’s kind of a nostalgic place. We would use it for all sorts of community events and clubs.”

Residents believe the building can once again be the heart of the community. So far, about 75 percent of the $50,000 fundraising goal for Phase 1 of the project has been reached. In addition to moving and stabilizing the building, funds will be used to install new doors and windows, re-side the building and replace the roof.

Phase 2 of the project, which is estimated at $55,000, would include the installation of bathrooms, kitchen facilities, electrical upgrades and a heating system.

The project wouldn’t be possible without countless volunteers who stepped up to provide expertise, labor, materials and other services. Resident Dawn Eckhardt has been coordinating donations for the project locally and through a GoFundMe page. She is also keeping people informed through Facebook.

“It’s been amazing to see the number of people not just locally but all over the country who are connecting with the project and sharing stories,” Eckhardt said. “We already have people contacting us about when it will be ready to start holding events.”

To donate to the project, visit:

New Adams fire department

The Adams Rural Fire District also received a $1,000 grant to help construct a new 6,250-square-foot fire hall on Main Street. Nodak Director Luther Meberg presented the check to Fire District Board President Jody Erickson this fall.

“Every little bit helps,” Erickson said. “It keeps our costs down, and we’re very thankful for that.”

The $300,000 project replaces the town’s existing fire hall that was built in the 1960s. Space limitations were a driving factor in building new, a decision that received strong support from the community, Meberg said.

“There were height issues with the fire trucks,” Meberg said of the existing building. “They could barely get them inside the door. The place was jampacked.”

The new fire hall will have plenty of room to work on vehicles and has a dedicated training area for the 15-20 volunteers and the associated quick response team. The new building provided an added bonus to the community, as a new mechanic shop will soon open in the old fire hall.

“It’s a very cool project,” Erickson said. “Filling a hole on Main Street in a small town with something like this doesn’t happen very often.”

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