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  • A Lineman’s Guide to Good Eats!

    P8-9

    MARCH 2017 VOL. 17 NO. 11

  • 2 March 2017 • COOPERATIVE CONNECTIONS

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    Co-op News

    Lake Region electRic’s seRvice teRRitoRy suf- fered terrible damage as the ice storm rolled through on Dec. 25, 2016, and didn’t cease until late Monday, Dec. 26. At one point during this time frame more than 2,700 meters were without power. Roughly 450 poles were broken and one substation lost power.

    On Christmas Day, Mother Nature gifted the members and employees of LREA an unexpected and truthfully, an unwanted gift. The 2016 Christ- mas Day Ice Storm left a good portion of LREA members without power. As the number of outages increased any employee that could report to work was asked to do so. As crews began patrolling the lines and restoring power to some members, they quickly realized the storm was causing bigger issues than initially anticipated.

    The Grenville Substation in Day County had the most damage. There were more than 300 poles down in Day County, mainly in the Pickerel Lake, Grenville, Eden and Buffalo Lake Areas. Along with the damage that LREA had to repair, the transmis- sion line between East River Electric’s Summit Substation and the Grenville Substation had more than 30 transmission poles down. And to top it all off, the Summit Substation had lost power, be- cause one of the power suppliers to that substation, Western Area Power Association (WAPA), lost more than 10 poles. This created the “perfect storm,” for not only our members served by the substation, but for our neighboring cooperative, Whetstone Valley Electric Cooperative, and OtterTail Power Com-

    2016 Christmas Day Ice Storm

    pany. Any household, farm or business that receives power from this area was out of power for at least five days.

    Lake Region Electric had 48 additional linemen report to our area and assist in restoration efforts. The linemen came from: Central Electric Coopera- tive (Mitchell, S.D.), Southeastern Electric Coop- erative (Marion, S.D.), Dakota Energy Cooperative (Huron, S.D.), Clay-Union Electric Corporation (Vermillion, S.D.), Northern Electric Cooperative (Bath, S.D.), Calhoun County Electric Cooperative (Rockwell City, Iowa), Midland Power Cooperative (Jefferson, Iowa), and Karian Peterson, LLC Power Line Contracting (Montevideo, Minn.). LREA ap- preciates all the linemen that assisted for their hard work and time dedicated to restoring power to our members.

    During the 2016 Christmas Day Ice Storm, some members were only out of power for a few hours on Christmas Day, while others rang in the New Year with celebrations that their electricity was restored.

    Lake Region Electric has you, our member/own- er, to thank through this whole process for your pa- tience and cooperation. Also, for any member that assisted the crews with snow removal or brought goodies for our crews, we are extremely thankful. We are here to serve you, our member/owner, and are truly grateful for your cooperation during our restoration efforts!

    See Pages 6 and 7 for a photo gallery of the storm.

    Below: Trucks parked to the west of head- quarters in Webster every morning while the linemen received their daily tasks, sup- plies and lunches.

  • COOPERATIVE CONNECTIONS • March 2017 3

    (USPS 018-904)

    ColumnManager’s

    Board of Directors Kermit Pearson, President Rodney Tobin, Vice President Thomas Steiner, Secretary Jason Medhaug, Treasurer Amy Kuecker Roger Kulesa Neil Bien Danny Smeins, LREA Attorney

    General Manager Tim Mc Intyre

    LREA Staff Members Trudy Smith, Manager of Office Services Jim Grimes, Manager of Operations Brett Kwasniewski, Manager of Member Services Tim Gaikowski, Manager of Technology Services

    Lake Region Electric Association, Inc. is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

    Like us on Facebook: Lake Region Electric Association Inc.

    LAKE REGION RIPPLES COOPERATIVE CONNECTIONS is the monthly publication for the members of Lake Region Electric Association, Inc., PO Box 341, 1212 N Main St., Webster, SD 57274. Lake Region Electric Cooperative Connections’ purpose is to provide reliable, helpful information to members on electric cooperative matters and better living.

    Subscription information: As part of their membership, Lake Region Electric members devote 50 cents from their monthly electric payments for a subscription. Nonmember subscriptions are available for $12 annually. (USPS 018-904) Periodicals Postage Paid at Webster, SD 57274 and at additional mailing offices.

    POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: Lake Region Ripples Cooperative Connections PO Box 341, Webster, SD 57274 Telephone 605-345-3379; Toll Free 1-800-657-5869; Fax 605-345-4442 E-mail: lakeregion@lakeregion.coop

    Design assistance by TDG Communications and SDREA.

    24 hour Dispatching/Outage Line 1-800-657-5869

    BEFORE YOU DIG, CALL SD ONE-CALL 8-1-1

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    Tim McIntyre General Manager

    No Rate Increase for 2017

    I hope this message finds you doing well in the New Year and recovering from the 2016 Christmas Day Ice Storm. All of us at LREA have recovered well from the ice storm. However, there is still much cleanup to do in our area.

    I would like to thank our members for your assis- tance with moving snow and/or providing goodies to the crews, for your patience and cooperation dur- ing the restoration process and during our cleanup efforts. After the harsh storm, we do have some

    ‘light’ to bring to our membership by announcing that our board of direc- tors have put the stamp of approval on the 2017 budget and I’m pleased to announce that there will be no rate increase for the upcoming year.

    However, Lake Region Electric will have a wholesale cost of power increase. Basin Electric Power Cooperative’s Board of Directors approved a permanent 13 percent increase in August 2016. That is a big impact to LREA when our wholesale power costs are currently 72 percent of the total operating expense of the cooperative.

    You may be wondering how we are able to keep the rates stable for the next fiscal year since our power providers had an increase. We are

    able to keep rates steady because of our revenue deferral plan. The revenue deferral plan was introduced in 2014 and we have continued to reap the benefits. The deferral plan must be approved by the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) and our cooperative must meet the financial requirements. Defer- rals are only allowed in the event of unexpected increased margins. The years we were able to set aside margins in the deferral plan, we had growth in electric sales primarily due to fluctuations in the weather, along with a few seasons of increased grain-drying.

    Since we had the revenue deferral in place, we can now reintroduce the margins to help offset the rate increase from our power provider. The rev- enue deferral plan is setup to set aside excess margins for the “rainy days” and that is exactly how it is working for our cooperative.

    Since we are a member-owned cooperative, we use these revenues to hold down electric rates to our membership, while still preserving the cap- ital credit allocation in the year the revenue was generated. This is just one of the many benefits of being a member-owner of Lake Region Electric.

    All of us at Lake Region Electric look forward to serving you this year. Please, don’t hesitate to give me a call at any time to discuss any questions or other concerns you may have.

    Have a great month and God Bless! Tim McIntyre

    We are able to keep rates steady because of our revenue deferral plan.

  • 4 March 2017 • COOPERATIVE CONNECTIONS

    Safety Tips

    Protect Your Family According to the National Fire Protection Association, electrical cords and tem- porary wiring account for more than 25 percent of the estimated 81,000 electrical system fires that occur each year. These fires can be prevented by following these essential home electrical safety tips.

    Extension cord safety • Don’t use extension cords as a substitute for repairing building wiring. • Inspect extension cords for broken connectors, damaged insulation and missing

    hardware before each use. • Do not run extension cords through walls, over beams, around corners or

    through doorways. • Only use extension cords approved for the environment and loads expected. • Equip extension cords with ground fault interruption (GFI) devices. • Don’t use coiled extension cords. • Discard damaged extension cords; Don’t try to repair them. • Use only surge protected power strips. Inspect the power strips regularly for

    damage or signs of overloading.

    Temporary wiring • Don’t substitute temporary and flexible wiring for repairing building wiring. • Use temporary wiring only when needed for maintenance, repair or demolition

    activities. • Limit temporary wiring for holiday or ornamental

    lighting to no more than 90 days. • In outdoor settings, use only outdoor approved tempo-

    rary wiring and extension cords. • Don’t route temporary wiring across floors, around doors or through walls. • Locate temporary wiring at least 7 feet above any walking or working surface. • Protect temporary wiring from sharp edges, heat and sunlight to avoid break-

    down of the insulation.

    Equipment power cords • Inspect equipment cords for damage before each us

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