May 2019 Board Meeting
REGULAR BOARD MEETING
May 22, 2019
The Regular Meeting of the Board of Trustees of Newberry Electric Cooperative, Inc. was held at the Newberry Electric Cooperative, Inc. located in Newberry County, State of South Carolina on Wednesday, May 22, 2019.
The Regular Meeting was called to order at 6:28 p.m. by Chairman Johnnie L. Dickert, with the determination of a quorum present.
The secretary reported that the following Board Members were present:
C.J. Bishop Leon Fulmer, Jr. Craig Kesler
Blake Brigman Melanie B. Hawkins William Lominick
Johnnie L. Dickert Douglas Hipp John W. Nichols
Also present were President and CEO G. Keith Avery, Attorney Thomas H. Pope, III, Vice President and Director of Electrical Engineering with McCall Thomas Shawn Higbe, Vice President of Engineering and Operations Nick Shealy, Vice President of Human Resources Leann Hutto, and Executive Secretary Deirdre Murphy.
Shawn Higbe and Nick Shealy reviewed the proposed 2019-2023 construction work plan for Newberry Electric. This will consist of major maintenance projects and upgrades to the system. After some discussion, a motion was made to accept the proposed plan. The motion was seconded and passed without opposition.
READING AND APPROVAL OF REGULAR BOARD MEETING MINUTES
The Board dispensed with the reading of the minutes of the April 2019 Board Meeting. A motion was made to accept the minutes as emailed. The motion was seconded and passed without opposition.
READING AND APPROVAL OF SPECIAL BOARD MEETING MINUTES
The Board dispensed with the reading of the minutes of the Monday, April 29, 2019 Special Board Meeting held in Washington, DC during the Legislative Conference. A motion was made to accept the minutes as emailed. The motion was seconded and passed without opposition.
FINANCE COMMITTEE REPORT
Committee Chairman John W. Nichols reported that the Finance Committee held its regular meeting on Monday, May 20, 2019 at 7:00 p.m. Trustee Nichols stated that all members were present. President and CEO Avery was also present.
Chairman Nichols reported that the Finance Committee reviewed cash disbursements for April 2019. All expenditures were found to be in order, and the committee is presenting this report as information. The consensus of the board was to accept the report.
Mr. Pope requested that the meeting adjourn into Executive Session for the purpose of discussing business matters. A motion was made to adjourn in Executive Session. The motion was seconded and passed without opposition. Chairman Dickert adjourned into Executive Session.
After Mr. Pope updated the Trustees, a motion was made to reconvene into Regular Session. The motion was seconded and passed without opposition. Chairman Dickert reconvened the meeting into Regular Session. There were no actions and no voting acted upon during the Executive Session.
NEWBERRY ELECTRIC WAGE AND SALARY REPORT
Vice President of Human Resources Leann Hutto, presented the Trustees with information concerning employees’ wages and salaries. Dan Burning of NRECA compared wages and salaries to the 2019 National Compensation Survey. He also graded positions and compared the pay to the South Carolina average. Mr. Burning will come to Newberry every year to look at wages and salaries to be sure they are in line with the South Carolina average. He will also review grades every three years.
After some discussion, a motion was made to accept the report as presented. The motion was seconded and pass without opposition.
PRESIDENT AND CEO REPORT
President and CEO Avery reviewed the functions and activities he attended or participated in during the month of May. President Avery met with Al Harman regarding the Western Carolina Telephone build out plans. He also attended a fundraiser for Senator Lindsey Graham in Clemson. He also met with Leighton Lord concerning Cannon Creek Relocation and building another road to Samsung. President Avery also stated that the annual golf tournament raised over $22,500.00. This is the biggest amount raised in the seven-year history of the tournament.
FINANCIAL AND OPERATING HIGHLIGHTS
President and CEO Avery reviewed in detail the operational data for April 2019. The amount of write offs for April is $1,903.46. A motion was made to accept this amount. The motion was seconded and passed unanimously.
DEPARTMENT 600-Engineering and Operations
- Lee Electric is still working on the Highway 773 reconduct & Mid Carolina Commerce Loop.
- Stephanie Sullivan attended SMDP in Oregon.
- Alex Brandt and EJ Altman attended a Spring Engineering Conference.
- Over 1134 member/consumers have signed up for fiber to the home.
- Stoney Hill and Prosperity substations will be completed next.
PRESIDENT AND CEO EVALUATION
Chairman Dickert requested that the meeting adjourn into Executive Session for the purpose of discussing President and CEO Avery’s yearly evaluation. A motion was made to adjourn into Executive Session. The motion was seconded and passed without opposition. Chairman Dickert adjourned into Executive Session, and President Avery and Executive Secretary Deirdre Murphy were asked to leave the room.
After some discussion, a motion was made to reconvene into Regular Session. The motion was seconded and passed without opposition. Chairman Dickert reconvened the meeting into Regular Session, and President Avery and Deirdre Murphy were able to return to the meeting.
Chairman Dickert informed President Avery that he has a favorable evaluation, and the Board has voted to give him a 3% increase in salary. President Avery thanked the Board for their confidence in him for carrying out the day to day operations of Newberry Electric.
Chairman Dickert referenced the 2019-2020 Standing Committees to be reviewed by the trustees. Anyone who wants to change committees needs to let Chairman Dickert know. (See Attached)
CONSIDER CONTRIBUTION TO COOPERATIVE SYSTEM INTEGRITY FUND
President Avery reviewed a request from the Cooperative System Integrity Fund Committee. The fund has awarded more than $28.8 million in grants to nearly 300
cooperatives in 43 states to help coops fight takeover and annexation attempts and combat other issues that threatened their right to exits.
The Integrity Fund Committee is requesting additional contributions this year. After some discussion, a motion was made to deduct 5% from the CFC patronage capital refund NEC’s system will receive this year and donate it to the Integrity Fund for All Purposes. The motion was seconded and passed unanimously.
CONSIDER CONTRIBUTION TO AG + ART TOUR
President Avery reviewed information from South Carolina Ag + Art Tour. This is a free, self-guided tour of farms and farmers markets across 10 counties in South Carolina. It will be in Newberry County June 1-2, 2019. After some discussion, a motion was made to contribute as a Seeder Sponsor. The motion was seconded and passed without opposition.
CONSIDER CONTRIBUTION TO NRECA INTERNATIONAL
President and CEO Avery referenced information requesting a contribution to the NRECA International. These funds help to provide electricity to communities who have unreliable, unaffordable, dangerous, or even no electricity. A motion was made to donate to NRECA International. The motion was seconded and passed unanimously.
CONSIDER CONTRIBUTION TO THE NEWBERRY SCHOOL DISTRICT’S ANNUAL RETIREMENT CELEBRATION
President Avery reviewed a request from Joey L. Haney, Assistant Superintendent for Operations & Administration of the Newberry School District, asking for a contribution to help fund the Annual Retirement Celebration. After some discussion, this was accepted as information.
CENTRAL ELECTRIC POWER COOPERATIVE MAY BOARD MEETING SUMMARY
President Avery directed attention to the Central Electric Power Cooperative May Board Meeting Summary. This was accepted as information.
RECONNECT PROGRAM GRANT AND SECURITY AGREEMENT
President Avery informed the trustees of the RUS project grant. NEC will be applying for this grant. The grant will help get fiber to Trinity, Bush River, and Belfast substations quicker. This is a lot of information to submit, and NEC is working diligently to meet the May 31, 2019 deadline.
NOT ON AGENDA
President and CEO Avery discussed South Carolina’s new electric cooperative governance legislation. The information was provided by ECSC. President Avery reviewed in detail the ORS Examinations, Annual Meeting Issues, Trustees, and Board Meetings. Each trustee was given a copy of the Governance Bill Section by Section Breakdown.
President Avery also reviewed the Santee Cooper Bill, H 4287. Each trustee was given a copy of the overview.
There being no further business and without objections, Chairman Johnnie L. Dickert adjourned the May Regular Board Meeting at 9:30 pm.