Aug 12, 2010
The regular meeting of the Board of Directors of the Omaha Public Power District was held at the Syracuse Service Center on August 12, 2010, at 7:00 p.m.
Present were Directors N. P. Dodge Jr., J. K. Green, G. C. Hall, A. L. McGuire, J. R. Thompson, F. J. Ulrich, and D D. Weber. Also present were W. G. Gates, President and S. M. Bruckner and T. F. Meyerson, General Counsel for the District. Mr. Green, Board Chair, presided, and Ms. Emerson, Corporate Secretary, recorded the minutes. Other members of Management present were D. J. Bannister, T. J. Burke, M. I. Doghman, E. E. Easterlin, J. T. Hansen, A. J. Minks, J. J. Hanson, and T. G. Tampke. Others present included Mayor Lavern Bartels, Mayor Dan Whitney, Mrs. J. Thompson, and Mr. Glen Royal.
The Corporate Secretary read the following:
“Notice of the time and place of this meeting was publicized by notifying the area news media; by publicizing same in the Omaha World-Herald and Outlets; by displaying such notice on the Arcade Level of Energy Plaza since August 6, 2010; and by mailing such notice to each of the District’s Directors on that same date.
“A copy of the proposed agenda for this meeting has been maintained, on a current basis, and is readily available for public inspection in the office of the District’s Corporate Secretary.
“Additionally, a copy of the Open Meetings Law is available for inspection in the public meeting book located in this meeting room.”
It was moved and seconded that the Board reviewed the June 2010 Comprehensive Financial and Operating Report and that the minutes for the last meeting be approved. The vote was recorded as follows: Hall – Yes; McGuire – Yes; Thompson – Yes; Ulrich – Yes; Weber – Yes, Cavanaugh – Absent; Dodge – Yes; and Green – Yes. The motion carried.
Thereafter, the Corporate Secretary read the following:
“Persons wishing to address the Board on a particular item are asked to approach the microphone as that agenda item is discussed. Comments will be heard following Board discussion of the item and prior to a vote by the Board.”
The following resolutions were then read, and upon motion duly seconded, were placed on roll call. The vote on each resolution is indicated following the description of that resolution.
RESOLUTION NO. 5830 authorizes to proceed with preparation to issue and sell up to $300 million of series 2010 Electric System Revenue Bonds on a negotiated basis. Director Thompson led the discussion stating that over the past four months, Management has been closely monitoring the bond market as rates continue to improve. In addition, looking ahead to the next two years, to obtain the best rates possible and invest the District’s money wisely, it seems appropriate to move forward with financing. Mr. Thompson indicated this resolution also encompasses the District’s Commercial Paper program that is now used as an emergency fund. Mr. Thompson then called upon Vice President Easterlin to provide additional information. Mr. Easterlin indicated that tax exempt bonds are at an historical low of 4.5%. Mr. Easterlin also discussed an additional opportunity for the District to purchase Build America Bonds which are currently at 3.6%. The Build America Bonds program will terminate at the end of 2010 and there is a possibility it will be extended into 2011. Mr. Easterlin advised the Board that the authorization that is requested allows management to consider the option to increase the bond issue to include part or all of the financing for 2010 and 2011. The only reason OPPD would finance 2011 expenditures in 2010 is if it is economically feasible and the program is not extended or the extended terms are not favorable. Mr. Easterlin also discussed the Commercial Paper Program line of credit that it is set to expire October 1, 2010. OPPD is in the process of negotiating with Bank of America to put in a replacement line of credit. However, if something happened with negotiations or something happened in the financial markets, OPPD would have to come up with funds by October 1 to take the commercial paper out. To accomplish that, OPPD could do a short term note issue in the form of a revenue bond. Due to the uncertainty of the market, OPPD felt it was necessary to build the contingency of this large amount into the requested authorization of this resolution. The base plan is $100 million in 2010 and if Commercial Paper proceeds as planned, it would only involve an approval of a line of credit and not the issuance of a revenue bond. Director Hall asked if this authorization would give OPPD the flexibility they require based on the markets, and Mr. Easterlin indicated it would give OPPD authorization to put together a team of bankers and develop a flexible plan and also to prepare the documents if need be. Director Ulrich asked when a decision would need to be made on the Commercial Paper line of credit and Mr. Easterlin responded the line of credit terminates October 1, 2010 and management will come back to the Board in September for approval of a new line of credit or to issue bonds. Following the discussion, the vote was recorded as follows: Hall – Yes; McGuire – Yes; Thompson – Yes; Ulrich – Yes; Weber – Yes; Cavanaugh – Absent, Dodge – Yes; and Green – Yes. The motion carried.
Copies of the foregoing resolutions are filed in the District’s Corporate Records file.
The next order of business was an Operations Update presentation by Vice President Adrian Minks. The Essential Services business unit consists of: Information Technology, Facilities Management, Material Management, Government Affairs, Environmental & Regulatory Affairs, Business Strategy & Analysis, and Sustainable Energy & Environmental Stewardship. Ms. Minks discussed the following four areas: Accomplishments, performance measures, budget performance, and future activities.
Replaced 4 of the 8 managers that report to Adrian
Material Management: Implemented a joint pilot test with NPPD to purchase materials; initiated the use of an on-line truck auction; recovered $450,000 in disposing of unneeded equipment; managed 5,000 purchase orders, 12 sealed bids and 800 non-sealed contract bids; manage storing and issuance of warehouse items as well as providing emergency response for requested materials and equipment during outages
Government Affairs: Continued close work w/Nebraska congressional and senate delegations as well as state legislators, failure of the Cap and Trade legislation; alignment with OPPD’s position on state passed legislation
Business Strategy & Analysis: Secured approximately $200,000 received through grants, strategic plan work; as well as initiated work on a single-performance scorecard methodology for our corporate strategy.
Environmental & Regulatory Affairs: On-going support for EPA data requests; maintaining appropriate permits as well as handling the increased regulation requests.
Information Technology: Redesign of customer bill; support new CIS software modification and implementation; redesign of on-line outage maps; installed a new version of purchasing and work management system; supported new NERC security requirements; daily support of approximately 300 servers and 2900 work stations as well as data security; and maintain critical systems up time of over 99%.
Facilities Management: Managing construction of the new Omaha Center; support of physical facilities and general maintenance; maintain 1300 fleet vehicles and equipment as well as provide support for OPPD vehicles involved in storm restoration; and manage physical security for all locations except Fort Calhoun Station
Sustainable Energy & Environmental Stewardship: Support and monitor the wind farm construction; coordinate the test burn of biofuels at the North Omaha Station; plan, test, and measure energy efficiency programs; and support of OPPD internal Green team
Keeping inventory and costs minimal; complete and move into the new Omaha Center; implement project management principles consistently across OPPD; closing and plugging the Jones Street intake and discharge tunnels from the river per the Corps of Engineers; working w/City of Omaha and others to sell the Jones Street property; backup and restoration of data; meeting increased needs for EPA information; managing and reducing budgets; and work to support or deflect increasing legislation initiatives that impact OPPD.
Currently running $4.0 million under our O&M budget; and will manage to that for the rest of the year.
Biggest challenge is to receive a high score on internal customer service during times of budget reductions
Director Thompson asked if the District is gathering too much data and Ms. Minks indicated we are saving too much data, and Ms. Minks indicated a study to address this would be initiated. Dr. Weber commented that Ms. Minks has a huge span of control and asked what her biggest concern is in her work. Ms. Minks said government requirements that are beyond OPPD’s control is a constant concern for her groups. Chairman Green asked Ms. Minks to comment on her year outside of OPPD, and Ms Minks talked about the opportunity she had to chair the ICAN Women’s Conference.
The next item of business was the opportunity for those in attendance to address the Board on any items of District concern. Mayor Lavern Bartels of Tecumseh, NE approached the microphone and said that he was pleased to be associated with OPPD and has always appreciated the good relationship that he and his town have had with OPPD. Mayor Bartels inquired if there would be relief for rates, and Director Thompson indicated that any regulations that impact OPPD also impact our customers as well. Mayor Bartels also inquired if there is any relief from high transportation costs, and Board Chair Green said we would have to wait to see coal prices, and if fuel costs come down from the railroads, we may see some relief. Director Thompson commented that there is also increasing global demand for Powder River basin coal, and that may also impact coal prices. Mayor Bartels also inquired into wind farm mills. Ms. Minks indicated OPPD is committed to 10% of our energy from renewable sources by 2020. Ms. Minks explained that OPPD is currently working on construction of two windmill farms, Flat Water and Petersburg. OPPD is also working with NPPD who is developing other windmill sites and OPPD is buying the power from these sites. Mayor Bartels asked about utilizing a high hill on his farm to harness wind power. Ms. Minks indicated each project would be evaluated and OPPD would then work w/developers if the project was warranted.
Director Ulrich addressed the group by recognizing Mayor Dan Whitney of Syracuse as well as John Mohler, manager of the Syracuse Center, and thanked the Board for their support of the south rural subdivision as well as recognizing the employees who work in this area.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 7:38 p.m.
A. J. Minks D. S. Emerson
Assistant Secretary Corporate Secretary