All Seasons Garden Center

Temperatures are warming up, flowers are blooming and the planting season is upon us.

Whether you are looking to beautify your lawn this summer or simply want a bouquet of flowers, All Seasons Garden Center in Grand Forks is ready with a wide array of products and services. For nearly four decades, All Seasons, a Nodak Electric Cooperative member, has been providing the region with floral arrangements for fresh and silk flowers, landscaping and nursery services, a well-stocked garden store and an amazing gift shop. The family-owned business even offers community garden plots for you to do your own planting this spring.

As its name would suggest, All Seasons is a year-round operation that prides itself on producing its own annuals, perennials, the majority of its shrubs, and even decorative mums and poinsettias during the winter. The company is the only local florist with continuously running greenhouses.

In addition to a great selection, All Seasons boasts knowledgeable and personable service. That level of service attracts passionate and loyal customers from across North Dakota, Minnesota and other areas of the country.

Visit All Seasons at 5101 South Washington Street in Grand Forks, or learn more at www.allseasonsgardencenter.net.

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See Something, Say Something

There is a well-known proverb that says it takes a village to raise a child. What is meant by that is a child has the best ability to become a healthy adult if the entire community takes an active role in contributing to the rearing of the child. In all aspects the village takes an active role in teaching, nurturing and protecting the child.

In much the same way, we take that approach to electrical safety at Nodak. The idea is that safety is everyone’s business and their most important responsibility. Each employee needs to act in a safe manner so they don’t get injured and so they don’t hurt anyone else, but it’s also incumbent upon every employee to do the best we can to ensure our co-workers don’t hurt themselves. From this aspect, co-worker safety can come from seasoned employees properly training others by passing along the knowledge they’ve gained through experience, or it could come from a new employee speaking up about something they see as a potential hazard. Together we look out for each other’s safety.

It’s also a high priority at Nodak to do what we can to help our members stay safe. Electrical accidents and fires in homes across the country are responsible for thousands of injuries and electrocutions annually. To do our part to bring those numbers down, we frequently provide safety content in our newsletters and our social media. We also take great care to construct and maintain an electrical distribution network that meets all codes and requirements and is as safe as possible from the public’s perspective.

Thisis where you come in. Although we continually watch for potential hazards on our system, sometimes you may notice an issue before we do. Vehicles can damage electrical equipment without de-energizing it, or sometimes nature can cause overhead wires to hang lower than they should, or even fall to the ground. We would like you to join the village and help us keep everyone safe by contacting us if you see any potentially dangerous situation. With your help, we can make sure everyone goes home safely.

Electricity doesn’t have to be unsafe, but it is unforgiving. As long as we treat it with the caution and protocol it demands, it is safe and it does its job to better our lives. If we don’t treat it properly, its unforgiving nature can have disastrous consequences. In short, that is why we continually try to raise awareness about the dangers of electricity. We all depend on electricity to power our lives, but accidents can happen. With your help, we can reduce those numbers and enjoy the benefits of safe, reliable and affordable electricity.

Thank you for doing your part to stay safe and promote electrical safety.

 

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Grant Program Opportunity

The Rural Development Finance Corporation (RDFC) is pleased to announce it has approved a 2017 grant allotment of $2,000 available to Nodak Electric Cooperative, Inc., to be used to support community-owned entities, non-profits and community-based projects.

  • Eligible projects: include community-owned businesses (café, grocery store, motel, other); community facilities (such as ambulance services, fire districts, recreation, hospital/clinic, community center, etc.); or community-based projects (such as school/youth projects, other) that benefit rural areas.
  • Matching funds: $4 of other funds to every $1 of RDFC funds.
  • Maximum/minimum grant amounts: The minimum grant amount is $500; the maximum is $2,000 for year 2017.

For more information or to apply, please call Gretchen Schmaltz at 1-800-732-4373.

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Youth Tour Winner To Visit Washington, D.C.

Isaac Joerger was selected to represent Nodak Electric Cooperative at the 2017 Washington, D.C., Youth Tour. Isaac is the son of Bob and Melanie Joerger of Mayville, N.D., and is home schooled. He will join other North Dakota Youth Tour contestants and more than 1,600 other students from across the country in D.C. the week of June 10-16. The Youth Tour educates students about electric cooperatives, the cooperative business model and the legislative process. He will have an incredible experience visiting unforgettable historic monuments, museums and the U.S. Capitol.

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Your Small Change Makes A Big Difference!

Operation Round Up® is a program that rounds up members’ monthly electric bills to the next whole dollar amount. The resulting funds are put into a special account to assist others in need. The funds collected through Operation Round Up are used for a variety of projects, programs and items throughout the Nodak service area.

The Round Up board meets quarterly and considers each application that has been received since the previous meeting. It awards funds to the applicants based on how well the application fits the original funding guidelines: 1. Individuals or families in crisis; 2. Services – ambulance and fire; 3. Community youth needs with emphasis on permanent benefit; 4. Scholarships with emphasis on re-education of displaced agricultural people; 5. Senior needs with emphasis on permanent benefit; and 6. No requests for funding of utility and space heating energy will be accepted.

Operation Round Up is a voluntary program with roughly 60 percent of the 14,386 members participating. Since the program started, a total of $778,384 has been distributed to individuals  and organizations throughout the Nodak Electric service area.

2016 Recipients and Dollar amounts

Doug Clifton  1,000
Jaxon Dietz 490
Jordan Haydon 145
Leslie Hensrud 500
Francine McClendon 600
Christian Nelson 1,137
James Ottem 458
RayAn Osowski 1,000
Lalo Perez 1,000
Luke Riley 2,000
Linda Schwols 1,000
Linda Scott 280
BreAnn Ziegelmann 2,000
Altru Ambulance Service 125
Aneta Ambulance Service 125
Binford Ambulance Service 125
Cooperstown Ambulance Service 125
Drayton Ambulance Service 125
Finley Ambulance Service 125
Fordville Ambulance Service 125
Hillsboro Ambulance Service 125
Hoople Ambulance Service 125
Hope Ambulance Service 125
Lake Region Ambulance Service 125
Lakota Ambulance Service 125
Larimore Ambulance Service 125
McVille Ambulance Service 125
Michigan Ambulance Service 125
Northwood Ambulance Service 125
Pembina County Ambulance Service 125
St. Ansgar Hospital Ambulance Service 125
Valley Ambulance & Rescue Squad 125
West Traill Ambulance Service 125
Grafton HS After Prom Party 50
Devils Lake HS After Prom Party 50
Cavalier HS After Prom Party 50
Central Valley HS After Prom Party 50
Finley-Sharon-Hope-Page HS After Prom Party 50
Park River HS After Prom Party 50
Red River HS After Prom Party 50
Dakota Prairie HS After Prom Party 50
Midway HS After Prom Party 50
Larimore HS After Prom Party 50

Northwood & Hatton HS After Prom Party 50
Edmore HS After Prom Party 50
Thompson HS After Prom Party 50
Valley-Edinburg HS After Prom Party 50
Minto HS After Prom Party 50
Drayton HS After Prom Party 50
Fordville-Lankin HS After Prom Party 50
GF Central HS After Prom Party 50
Myron Anderson 500
Ryan Erickson 165
Alexis Everson 500
Austin Gray 480
Earl Grise 773
Owen Hayden 165
Leslie Johnson 500
Shane Krom 70
Hunter Landreville 750
Carlene Peltier 500
Jazmyn Raysor 650
Connor Soeby 250
Orin Soli 1,000
Kari Spivack 380
Frank Votava 910
Janet Werven 270
Gary Woinarowicz 750
Donnada Aipperspach 1,195
Garrett Barclay 460
Christie Carlson 1,000
Jared Carpenter 2,000
Emiliano Contreras 1,000
Donald Jensen 1,500
Archer Lemer 1,000
Tami Ostlie 500
Tobiason Ripley 630
Nicholas Titus 500
Anthony Wagner 2,000
Leo & Lenore Beauchamp 1,700
Community Violence Intervention Center 1,000
Sylvester Grabinski 550
Robert Laney 284
Gail Nash 135
Debra Nygaard 285
Harlan Strand 1,000

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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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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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SCAM ALERT

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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Retirements

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
Warehouseman

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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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:
Facebook: www.facebook.com/GardarNDTownshipHall
GoFundMe: https://www.gofundme.com/2gn322c

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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