Note: These minutes are in draft form pending approval by the Board at its next public meeting.
Minutes of the 780th Meeting
December 16, 2016
The 780th meeting of the Nebraska Power Review Board (“the Board” or “PRB”) was held in the Liquor Control Commission Hearing Room, 5th floor, Nebraska State Office Building, 301 Centennial Mall, Lincoln, Nebraska. The roll was called and present were Chairman Lichter, Vice Chairman Reida, Mr. Grennan, and Mr. Morehouse. Mr. Haase informed the Board on Thursday that he had the flu and would not attend. Executive Director Texel stated that public notice for the meeting had been published in the Lincoln Journal Star newspaper on December 6, 2016. All background materials for the agenda items to be acted on had been provided to the Board members prior to the meeting via e-mail and a copy of the materials was in each Board member’s notebook. The executive director announced that a copy of the Nebraska Open Meetings Act was on display on the north wall of the room for the public to review, and another copy of the Open Meetings Act was available in a three-ring binder on a table in the back of the room. A copy of all materials the Board would consider was available for public inspection on the table in the back of the room, as well as extra copies of the agenda. Executive Director Texel announced that the Bluestem Energy Solutions application, PRB-3835-G, which had been on the agenda earlier was removed due to a continuance. The Applicant requested a continuance due to a death in the family of one of the expert witnesses. The hearing is rescheduled on April 21. Unfortunately, the parties had conflicts in every month prior to the April date.
The Board first considered the draft minutes from its October 28, 2016 meeting. The PRB staff had no changes to recommend to the draft minutes. No one from the public suggested any changes. Mr. Grennan moved to approve the minutes. Vice Chairman Reida seconded the motion. Voting on the motion: Chairman Lichter – yes, Vice Chairman Reida – yes, Mr. Grennan – yes, Mr. Haase – absent, and Mr. Morehouse – yes. The motion carried 4 – 0 with one absent.
The next agenda item was acceptance of the expense report for the months of October and November. The expenses for October were $21,619.71 in personal services, $16,805.79 in operating expenses, and $830.27 in travel expenses. The total expenses were $39,255.77. The expenses for November were $23,600.45 in personal services, $16,485.55 in operating expenses, and $3,835.92 in travel expenses. The total expenses were $39,255.77. Executive Director Texel explained that the travel expenses for November were high because the reimbursements for himself and Vice Chairman Reida to attend the American Public Power Association’s Legal and Regulatory Conference in Long Beach, California were paid during November. Mr. Morehouse moved to accept the expense reports for both October and November. Mr. Grennan seconded the motion. Voting on the motion: Chairman Lichter – yes, Vice Chairman Reida – yes, Mr. Grennan – yes, Mr. Haase – absent, and Mr. Morehouse – yes. The motion carried 4 – 0 with one absent.
The next item on the agenda was to consider the Petition for Charter Amendment 8 filed by the Southern Public Power District. Southern PPD filed the petition on October 25, 2016. The amendment would restate the District’s chartered territory, as well as numerous administrative clean-up changes such as updating dates and the list of directors. Southern PPD follows county lines for its subdivisions, therefore under Nebraska Revised Statute section 70-612 the District is exempt from the normal requirement that the population in each subdivision be substantially equal. The changes to the chartered territory are needed to correct errors in the District’s chartered territory, such as where the charter claims territory that belongs to another district, or territory that is served by the District but is not included in the chartered territory. The PRB is required by law to publish notice in a least two local newspapers for three consecutive weeks prior to acting on a charter amendment, then waiting three weeks before acting on the petition. The notice was published on November 9, 16, and 23 in the Hastings Tribune and the Grand Island Independent. The notice stated that any interested party could file a protest or objection by close of business on December 14. The Board did not receive any protests or objections. Ellen Kreifels, an attorney representing the District, was available to answer any questions about the amendment. The Board asked if the need for corrections was discovered as a result of the Board’s online digital service area map, which Ms. Kreifels confirmed. Executive Director Texel recommended the Board waive the hearing and approve the amendment. Mr. Morehouse moved to waive the hearing and approve Southern PPD’s petition for Charter Amendment 8. Vice Chairman Reida seconded the motion. Voting on the motion: Chairman Lichter – yes, Vice Chairman Reida – yes, Mr. Grennan – yes, Mr. Haase – absent, and Mr. Morehouse – yes. The motion carried 4 – 0 with one absent.
The next item on the agenda was to consider reimbursing Vice Chairman Reida for travel expenses to attend the Energy Summit hosted by the Lincoln Electric System in Lincoln on November 16. His expenses would be mileage for his travel to and from the summit. Chairman Lichter moved to approve reimbursement of the expenses. Vice Chairman Reida seconded the motion. Voting on the motion: Chairman Lichter – yes, Vice Chairman Reida – yes, Mr. Grennan – yes, Mr. Haase – absent, and Mr. Morehouse – yes. The motion carried 4 – 0 with one absent.
The Board then went to the executive director’s report. The first item discussed was the monthly update report on Southwest Power Pool (SPP) activities provided by the Board’s SPP consultant. Mr. Grennan stated that there was not much new information to discuss. Chairman Lichter believed that Mr. Grennan would be able to easily transition onto the RARTF committee to take his place.
The Board’s next meetings are scheduled for January 27, February 24, and March 24, 2017. The meetings are scheduled for the Liquor Control Commission Hearing room, 5th floor, State Office Building, 301 Centennial Mall South, Lincoln, Nebraska, unless otherwise specified on the agenda. The February 24 meeting is scheduled to be held in the City of Grand Island council chambers.
Vice Chairman Reida moved to adjourn the meeting. Mr. Morehouse seconded the motion. Voting on the motion: Chairman Lichter – yes, Vice Chairman Reida – yes, Mr. Grennan – yes, Mr. Haase – absent, and Mr. Morehouse – yes. The motion carried 4– 0. The meeting was adjourned at 9:46 a.m.
Timothy J. Texel
Executive Director and General Counsel