Minutes

Minutes of the 794th Meeting

NEBRASKA POWER REVIEW BOARD

Minutes of the 794th Meeting

May 18, 2018

            The 794th meeting of the Nebraska Power Review Board (“the Board” or “PRB”) was held in the Liquor Control Commission hearing room, Nebraska State Office Building, 301 Centennial Mall, Lincoln, Nebraska.  The roll was called and present were Chairman Reida, Vice Chairman Morehouse, Mr. Grennan, Mr. Hutchison, and Mr. Moen.  Executive Director Texel stated that public notice for the meeting had been published in the Lincoln Journal Star newspaper on May 8, 2018.  All background materials for the agenda items to be acted on had been provided to all Board members prior to the meeting and a copy 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 was available in a three-ring binder on a table at the back of the room.  A copy of all materials that the Board would consider was available for public inspection on a table in the back of the room, as well as extra copies of the agenda.

 

            The Board first considered the draft minutes from its April 20, 2018, meeting.  The staff did not have any recommended changes.  Vice Chairman Morehouse moved to approve the minutes.  Mr. Hutchison seconded the motion.  Voting on the motion:  Chairman Reida – yes, Vice Chairman Morehouse – yes, Mr. Grennan – yes, Mr. Hutchison – yes, and Mr. Moen – yes.  The motion carried 5– 0.

 

            The next agenda item was acceptance of the expense report for the month of April.  In April, there was $22,713.41 in personal services, $16,375.24 in operating expenses, and $1,516.17 in travel expenses.  The total expenses for April were $40,604.82.  Vice Chairman Morehouse moved to accept the expense report for April.  Mr. Moen seconded the motion.  Voting on the motion:  Chairman Reida – yes, Vice Chairman Morehouse – yes, Mr. Grennan – yes, Mr. Hutchison – yes, and Mr. Moen –yes.  The motion carried 5– 0.

 

            The next item on the agenda was to consider withdrawal of formal complaint, C-53.  Mr. James Bensinger filed a formal complaint against the City of Lyons.  A Notice of  Hearing was sent to the City.  Mr. Bensinger sent a request to withdraw the complaint, citing “personal reasons” as the basis.  Since the request to withdraw was submitted prior to the City’s reply deadline, and the Complainant had made the City aware of the request to withdraw, the City did not submit a reply to the Complaint.  Under the Board’s Rules of Practice and Procedure, Chapter 3, section 14, a party shall not be permitted to withdraw a filed application or pleading without the Board’ approval.  The executive director stated that under the Board’s rules the Board needs to act to accept Mr. Bensinger’s request in order to withdraw the complaint.  Mr. Morehouse moved to accept Mr. Bensinger’s request to withdraw his complaint.  Mr. Grennan seconded the motion.  Voting on the motion:  Chairman Reida – yes, Vice Chairman Morehouse – yes, Mr. Grennan – yes, Mr. Hutchison – yes, and Mr. Moen –yes.  The motion carried 5– 0.

 

The next item on the agenda was to consider SAA 363-18-A.  This is a joint application submitted by the City of Hickman and Norris Public Power District.  The application was filed on May 8, 2018.  The amendment is based on an annexation.  The city annexed a tract of land on the northeast edge of the city.  Ordinance 2018-2 authorized the annexation.  A map designated as Exhibit A-1 shows the location and the outline of the new territory.  Mr. Clark, Hickman’s City administrator, was present at the Board’s meeting to answer questions.  He stated that there are no customers or facilities in the annexed area.  He also answered several other questions related to the development of the annexed territories such as taxing and bond authority and construction of other city services to the newly annexed area.  Mr. Clark told the Board the City issued bonds for the development and how the utilities (water, electric and sewer) were installed.  The annexation was completed in one ordinance, but the development of the area will be in two stages.  Mr. Grennan moved to approve SAA 363-18-A.  Vice Chairman Morehouse seconded the motion.  Voting on the motion:  Chairman Reida – yes, Vice Chairman Morehouse – yes, Mr. Grennan – yes, Mr. Hutchison – yes, and Mr. Moen –yes.  The motion carried 5 – 0.

 

            The next item on the agenda was to consider SAA 186-18-A.  This was a joint application submitted by the City of Gothenburg and Dawson Public Power District.  The application was filed on May 9, 2018.  The City recently annexed a tract of land identified in Exhibit B.  Ordinance 964 describes the annexation.  Exhibit A describes another tract of land that was annexed and will be transferred, however that annexation occurred in 2004.  Dawson PPD has agreed to the application.  The Board asked if Dawson PPD has any infrastructure or customers located in the annexed area.  The staff said they were not sure.  The aerial maps of the area involved did not seem to indicate there were any facilities in the territory.  Mr. Hutchison moved to approve SAA 186-18-A.  Vice Chairman Morehouse seconded the motion.  Voting on the motion:  Chairman Reida – yes, Vice Chairman Morehouse – yes, Mr. Grennan – yes, Mr. Hutchison – yes, and Mr. Moen –yes.  The motion carried 5– 0.

 

The next item on the agenda was to consider PRB-3896.  This is an application filed by Loup River PPD for authority to construct 2.5 miles of 34.5 kV underground subtransmission line in Boone County.  The line would be located just east of the Village of Petersburg.  The application was filed on May 7, 2018.  It states that the overhead line needs to be replaced due to its age and that it has received numerous repairs due to damage caused by ice and wind storms.  The Board consulted with the Game and Parks Commission as required by Nebraska Revised Statute section 37-807(3).  A letter was received on May 10.  The Commission determined the project is in the range of the endangered Whooping Crane and in the range of the threatened Western Prairie Fringed Orchid and Northern Long-Eared Bat.  The Commission stated there are no records of those species in the project area, nor does there appear to be habitat for them there.  The Commission determined the project would have “no effect” on the any state listed threatened or endangered species and did not object to the PRB’s approval of PRB-3896.  Mr. Grennan moved to approve PRB-3896.  Vice Chairman Morehouse seconded the motion.  Voting on the motion:  Chairman Reida – yes, Vice Chairman Morehouse – yes, Mr. Grennan – yes, Mr. Hutchison – yes, and Mr. Moen –yes.  The motion carried 5– 0.

 

The next item on the agenda was the executive director’s report.  The first item discussed was an update on Southwest Power Pool (SPP) activities.  The Board discussed an issue described in Mr. Krajewski’s monthly activities memo where a committee rejected the recommendation of a task force or working group under its jurisdiction.  Board members said they would like to hear about the various SPP committees, task forces and working groups, how they are related, and their respective jurisdictions.  The Board discussed the possibility of having Mr. Krajewski come to a meeting to explain some details of the SPP groups and how they relate to each other.  The Board asked the executive director to ask Mr. Krajewski if he could provide the Board with a presentation on the SPP groups.  Mr. Grennan also talked about the upcoming SPP meetings of the Board of Directors and Regional State Committee in Omaha on July 30 and 31.

 

            Mr. Texel gave an update on a possible applicant for Vice Chairman Morehouse’s position.  An accountant had contacted him expressing interest in the position.  Vice Chairman Morehouse currently is the Board’s designated accountant members.  He has held this position for two-four year terms, which is the limit.  If the Governor appoints an accountant, the executive director said it is his understanding the new appointee would be seated either when the Legislation confirms his appointment or when Vice Chairman Morehouse resigns or otherwise leaves the Board.

 

            The executive director noted that the next meeting dates are June 22, July 27, and August 24, 2018.

 

            Mr. Hutchison moved to adjourn the meeting.  Mr. Grennan seconded the motion.  Voting on the motion:  Chairman Reida – yes, Vice Chairman Morehouse – yes, Mr. Grennan – yes, Mr. Hutchison – yes, and Mr. Moen – yes.  The motion carried 5 – 0.  The meeting was adjourned at 10:40 p.m.

 

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Timothy J. Texel

Executive Director and General Counsel