February 2023 Board Meeting Summary
SDCEA Board of Directors meeting highlights, February 27, 2023
Rate restructure proposal – The SDCEA Board of Directors will consider restructuring rates charged at the cooperative during their March 29, 2023, meeting.
Geothermal development – Board member Dan Daly said SDCEA will take the lead in securing possibly several million dollars in grant funding for a geothermal energy test drill project east of Rodeo Road in the Mount Princeton area south of Buena Vista.
A meeting was convened in January by the Colorado State University Center for the New Energy Economy and facilitated by former Colorado Governor Bill Ritter and Public Utilities Commissioner Tom Plant of Buena Vista. Public officials from Buena Vista, Chaffee County and across Colorado attended the meeting Jan. 17 at Mt Princeton Hot Springs. Daly indicated the entities attending support pursuing this project and potential development of a geothermal plant at the site. He, SDCEA Board Chairman Joe Redetzke and CEO Paul Erickson will head up the measure on behalf of SDCEA.
Electronic Voting – The board approved amending the SDCEA bylaws to allow electronic voting. Previously, the bylaws required voting by mail.
Preliminary Capital Credit Allocation – Manager of Finance Sarah Crites recommended $679,600 as the preliminary allocation of 2022 SDCEA margins. The figure is preliminary because it is subject to review when the cooperative’s financials are audited in March. The amount to be allocated back to members for 2022 will be finalized at the March board meeting. Allocated margins are called capital credits. The SDCEA’s board of directors’ reviews and votes on paying back prior year capital credits every Fall if the co-op is financially able to do so.
Scholarship Awards – The SDCEA scholarship committee made the following awards to applicants for the 2023-24 school year: SDCEA 4‐year/$2,000 per year: Makenna St John, BVHS. SDCEA $2,000 Employee Dependent: Shea Moss, BVHS. SDCEA $2,000: Ethan Flavin, BVHS; Aspen Stearns, BVHS; Ella Coates, BVHS; Emma Wilkins, SHS; Cameron Penkoff, Custer CO HS; Royal Lundy, BVHS; Samuel Hillegas, SHS; Izayah Baxter, SHS; Lila Philips, BVHS; Elizabeth king, SHS; Autumn Wingo, BVHS; Ison White, Salida/Monte Vista online.
Franchise Agreement – The final franchise agreement between SDCEA and the town of Buena Vista was received for SDCEA board approval. The 15-year agreement includes SDCEA’s collection of 2 percent of monthly revenue from the sale of power to residents and businesses located in the town of Buena Vista to be remitted to the town through 2024. That amount will increase to 3 percent in 2025.
SDCEA also is granted a non-exclusive right to acquire, construct, install, locate, maintain, operate, and extend into, within and through the Town all Facilities necessary to furnish, sell and distribute electricity within and through the Town and a non-exclusive right to make reasonable use of the streets and other public rights-of-way and public easements as may be necessary to carry out the delivery of electrical energy in the city limits.
Finance Report (Year-to-Date, January 2023) – One month into the new year, revenues are 7.1% over budget, due to higher energy sales in January. This is an example of the fluctuation of revenues to SDCEA that can occur because of warm or wintry weather patterns.
Expenses are over budget by 4.3%. Primarily due to contracted tree trimming not slowing down in the winter months as budgeted.
Operations Report – Approximately 60 work orders are on hold until the ground thaws.
Phase I of the Tommy Young line rebuild has begun.
Length – 7.9 miles
Contractor – Altitude Energy
Contract Price – $694,347 (labor only)
Duration – 32 weeks (about 7 and a half months).
As part of another construction work plan project, SDCEA will install three self-supporting steel poles on a new overhead line in the Westcliffe area.
Vegetation management progress (Year-to-date, January 31, 2023)
Total Overhead Line Miles in System: 750
Estimated miles to be cut/trimmed: 264
Total miles cut/trimmed: 92.8
Percent Complete: 35
Estimated Project Cost $9,000,000
Spending Year to date (2023) $141,650
Total Project Spend $2,954,070
Total Trees Removed – 7674
Total Trees Trimmed – 2045
Hazard Trees Removed – 119