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CROW WING POWER NEWS • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018 • Volume 70, Number 5

Crow Wing Power – Managing Our Business On Behalf of You >>> As an electric cooperative, Crow Wing Power’s first priority is always to provide our members with safe and reliable electric service at a reasonable price. Local residents started this cooperative in 1938 because the big investor-owned utilities didn’t want to serve rural areas. Our members worked to form and build this cooperative and our employees care about the communities we serve. By design, cooperatives are service companies. Our goal isn’t to grow profits, but rather to keep the lights on and our local businesses humming. When we operate well, we are able to award capital credits to our members, so all of you share in the benefits of our successful years. There is one other difference from a typical business – our members truly run the cooperative. You elect a board of directors that includes other Crow Wing Power members, and there is a very good chance that you personally know several members of our board. Even though many of us have an iPhone, I doubt that you personally know many members of the board of directors of Apple, Inc. While our primary goal is safe and reliable electric service, the leaders of Crow Wing Power are on the lookout for other business opportunities that may help our members.We will never take unreasonable risks with member money, and our board carefully watches all investments to make sure that the possible reward justifies any risk we take. Crow Wing Power has invested time and/or money in these different businesses in the past, including Crow Wing Power Credit Union, People’s Security, Summit EIS, Access Plus, Industrial Park, Hunt Technologies, and Hunt Enterprises which have been quite successful both financially and in improving services to members. In total, Crow Wing Power has successfully invested in eight different businesses in the past two decades that contributed to lowering member electric rates or more member services. Last month, the Star Tribune twice focused on one of Crow Wing Power’s business enterprises, the Cooperative Mineral Resources’ Emily manganese project. The Star Tribune could have looked at all of our business enterprises, but they instead chose a single project in a news article and column. We don’t know why they focused on Crow Wing Power, but we believe we have a good story to tell – if the full story is told. Unfortunately, the story lacked many of the facts that are necessary to understand how and why cooperatives make investments in for-profit businesses. Hopefully, this column can do a good job of setting the record straight by answering some of

CEO Report Community Award Operation Round Up Cold Weather Rule Begins Puzzle

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INSIDE

A Word from Your CEO

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the questions I think you might ask.

What is the Emily manganese project? The Emily area has the richest known manganese deposit in North America – between four and ten billion pounds of this mineral that has many important uses. For example, manganese is a critical product for use in steel production, battery storage, electric vehicle batteries, and medical devices. Bloomberg reports that the electric vehicle usage will rise worldwide from 1.1 million in 2017 to 30 million in 2030, just one example of how demand for manganese is likely to grow. In order to prepare our cooperative for the future, we decided to embrace the renewable energy and electric vehicle boom that is upon us by investing in this important Minnesota resource.

What has been happening with the mine? There is no mine yet – but experts know the manganese is down there. The first step in a mining project is to conduct the tests (and related studies) needed to demonstrate that the minerals can be recovered economically. These tests take a number of years, and Cooperative Mineral Resources, a company owned by Crow Wing Power, owns the rights to the mining on this land and has paid for these tests.

Will Crow Wing Power and Hunt Enterprises eventually create a mine for the manganese? We will need partners – companies that are experts in this type of mining to provide both financial and technical resources needed to make this project successful. The purpose of the tests are to demonstrate that the mine could be commercially successful – and we are confident that the Emily manganese deposit will be successful.

Why is this taking so long? Mining is certainly a complicated business. After the bore hole mining demonstration project failed in 2011, we knew it could take a number of years to compile the technical information and attract the partners needed to make the mine successful. Fortunately, our successful sale of Hunt Technologies in 2006 gave us the funding we needed to invest in this project.

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A Word from Your CEO Crow Wing Power – Managing Our Business On Behalf of You >>> Continued from Pg. 1 Is Crow Wing Power investing my monthly rates in a mining project?

How are Crow Wing Power leaders paid for their work on the Emily manganese project?

No. The profitable sale of Hunt Technologies in 2006 allowed Crow Wing Power to make three important investments: we returned $12 million in checks directly to our members, we built a new outpost in Swanburg to serve our northern service area members more efficiently and invested in additional right-of-way maintenance to improve electric service reliability, we also set aside money for future business opportunities such as the Emily manganese project.

In most cases, business enterprises owned by Crow Wing Power are overseen by our leadership without additional compensation. However, with the Emily project, I have received a supplement to my salary that totaled $42,000 last year. In addition, I and two now retired Crow Wing employees have been eligible for a royalty payment, based on our ability to quickly move into production. Since the mine is still in development stage, no royalty payments have been made. In the future we will change our compensation plan for the mining project as we attract investors and my role changes.

Wait – there is no monthly electric rate money spent on the mining project? Other than the time spent on oversight by the board of directors and other senior leaders of Crow Wing Power, every dollar spent on the mining project comes from the sale of a successful company previously owned by Crow Wing Power.

What is the benefit that will come to members? Assuming that we can find the right financial and technical partners, we hope to see an operating mine in the next few years. However, we know that it could take a little longer than that, and we are able to be patient and wait for the right time to move into the market. Members will benefit once the mine is fully operational and/or we sell our rights to another company.

Will this mining project harm the environment? Your Manganese deposit is sulfide free, meaning it’s extremely environmentally friendly to mine. We live here. We love our lakes and beauty and are so very pleased this deposit is unique, without dangerous material in it. We’ve completed many carefully engineered technical studies, and we believe strongly that manganese mining can be done safely and without risk to the environment.

Volunteers Dig in to Help Baxter’s Loren Thompson Pollinator Park >>> Planting of pollinator plants was recently completed at Loren Thompson Park in Baxter. Volunteers helped with the planting and the three-year project is nearly complete. The event had seven adults and five children working together to plant 350 assorted plants from Coneflowers to Goldenrod, Bee Balm, Blue Aster, four types of milkweed and countless other species carefully designed to attract and sustain butterflies and bees. Three years ago, the City of Baxter was ready to build an educational pollinator garden for area residents. Master Naturalist Ken Lueken has provided some of the plants and advice over the years. The City of Baxter has provided tools and labor and Crow Wing Power has helped with paving, signage, volunteering and plants. 2

Is there anything else that the Star Tribune didn’t get right? We wish the Star Tribune writers would have spent more time learning about the cooperative business model and our investments in the Emily manganese project. For example, the column overstated the salary paid to our directors by comparing us with Connexus Energy. In fact, our board makes an average of a little less than $16,000 a year for their service – and I hope you agree they are worth every penny.

The Star Tribune questioned the transparency of Crow Wing Power – is that a fair criticism? We work hard to make sure our members understand our business operations and finances. With our for-profit business enterprises, we have information on our website and newsletter articles. But we can probably do better, and we will. For starters, if any member has a question about the Emily manganese project, call me at 1-800-648-9401 or 829-2827 or email me at info@cwpower.com Thank you for paying attention to this long newsletter article – I hope it was helpful in addressing your questions. I’ll keep you informed,

Bruce L. Kraemer, CEO

This year Ken had other Master Gardeners, Coralee Fox and Dorothy Hans helped with Master Naturalist Rick Hans digging in as well. Crow Wing Power had a couple of employee volunteers and member Britany West brought her home-schooled five children, Connor, Parker, Madison, Evander and baby Alexander.

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Apply For Community Award >>> Crow Wing Power is soliciting applications from local businesses or organizations for a statewide Touchstone Energy® Commitment to Community award. Applicants should exemplify a strong commitment to community. Winners of the award will be notified in November and given $500 and a plaque. Statewide, many Touchstone Energy Cooperatives, like Crow Wing Power, will offer the same in their local communities. All local winners are eligible for a larger statewide prize of $1,000, a plaque and one-night hotel stay to be awarded at the Minnesota Rural Electric Association annual meeting in February 2019. ELIGIBILITY: Any business or organization that has made their community a better place to live and work is eligible. Organizations do not have to be a member of the cooperative, but must have served a community need within the service boundaries of Crow Wing Power. APPLICATION: We’ll need a description of the project, program or event and the positive impact it brought to the community in 2017 or 2018. For an application contact the cooperative or download one off the Internet at www.cwpower.com, News/Events. DEADLINE: Applications need to be sent to Crow Wing Power by October 31, 2018. QUESTIONS: Contact Char Kinzer or Jolene Jensen, Crow Wing Power, P.O. Box 507, Brainerd, MN 56401; 218-829-2827 or kinzer@cwpower.com or jensen@cwpower.com.

Operation Round Up

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In July the Crow Wing Power Community Trust Board met and distributed Operation Round Up grants. The next trust board meeting is set for October 25. Deadline for applications is October 10. Grants given to date total $3,461,425.

July 2018 Tri-County Community Action Partnership, Brainerd.....................$3,000 Salem West, Deerwood ................................................................$3,000 True Friends, Annandale...............................................................$2,500 Lutheran Social Service Senior Nutrition Program, Brainerd .........$1,500 The Warehouse, Pine River ...........................................................$2,000 Project Linus Quilters, Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, Baxter .......$500 Crosslake Quilters ...........................................................................$500 Pine Center Quilters ........................................................................$500 Legionville School Safety Patrol Training Center, Brainerd.............$5,000 Friends of Old Crow Wing, Brainerd .................................................$450 Brainerd Senior Dance Group ..........................................................$500 Emily First Responders.................................................................$2,000 Kinship of Morrison County, Little Falls .........................................$2,500 Camp Knutson, Crosslake .............................................................$2,500 Boys & Girls Clubs of the North Star, Little Falls Site.......................$3,000 Community Care n Share Café, Emily ............................................$3,000 Family Safety Network, Walker.....................................................$3,000 Youth Investment, Timber Bay, Brainerd.......................................$3,000 Morrison County Historic Rural School, Little Falls.........................$1,000 Second Harvest North Central Food Bank, Grand Rapids ...............$3,000 Lunch Bunch, Deerwood ..............................................................$2,000 Kinship Partners, Brainerd ...........................................................$4,500 Central Mn. Adult & Teen Challenge, Brainerd (impact grant)........$7,500 2 - Private Cooperative Member Crisis Support .............................$1,000 TOTAL DISTRIBUTED

$57,450

Notice of Rights for Households of Military Service Personnel >>> An electric cooperative cannot disconnect a residential customer for nonpayment of electric bills if a member of the household has been issued orders into active duty, for deployment or for a permanent change in duty station during the period of active duty, deployment or for a permanent change in duty station, if such a residential customer meets income criteria specified by law. To receive this protection from disconnection, the residential customer must request and reach agreement with the cooperative on a payment plan. You may contact the cooperative to receive the application form.

Verification of income is required unless the customer is automatically eligible for protection against disconnection as a recipient of any form of public assistance including energy assistance that uses income eligibility in an amount at or below the income eligibility. The customer has the right to appeal when the utility and residential customer are unable to agree on the establishment, reasonableness or modification of a payment schedule, or timeliness of payments under a payment schedule. If denied, an appeal must be made within seven working days after the utility has deposited first class mail notice. Service cannot be disconnected during an appeal. For more information or to apply for shut-off protection, call 1-800-648-9401 or 218-829-2827.

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The Credit Union Offers Loans to Save Members Money >>> Secure Document Shredding Occurs October 16

Home Equity Loan Rates are as low as 3.45%*

Paper Storm will be providing secure document destruction at our office on Tuesday, October 16th from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Take advantage of this free service during International Credit Union Week. If you can’t stop by on Tuesday, a secure locked tub will be in the lobby all week. Drop off your financial records and rest assured that they will be destroyed under the most secure guidelines and procedures. The shredded material is recycled whenever possible to help protect our local environment.

Do you want to refinance your mortgage to a lower rate and pay little to no closing costs? The Credit Union has great offers on home equity loans that will save you hundreds of dollars.

International Credit Union Week is October 15-19

Loans are Designed to Match Your Lifestyle & Budget

Open a new savings, checking, certificate or loan account during International Credit Union Week and your name will be entered into a drawing for a $50 Visa gift card. In addition, the Credit Union will make a $10.00 donation for each new service and the money will help local kids through Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare.

The Credit Union offers rates as low as 2.49%* for the first year on consumer loans and 2.74%* for the remainder of the term. Maybe you are looking to upgrade your vehicle or boat during the season clearance sales or hit the lakes this winter with a new snowmobile or fish house. It’s quick and easy to get loans from the credit union.

WIN $50!

• No closing costs on $100,000 or less; • In-house loans are offered up to $300,000 with competitive closing costs; • Loans will balloon in 3 to 5 years (Balloon term based on the amount financed); • Up to 80%** of the equity for residences, cabins or land in the state of Minnesota.

Forms, applications, and more information are available at www.cwpcu.org or call the Credit Union at 218-829-2827. If you prefer face-to-face processing, stop in to visit with any Member Service Representative during our business hours of 7:30-5:00pm, Monday thru Friday. *Rates based on credit score, so your rate may be higher. Current CWPCU loans are not eligible for these special rates. NMLS #408088 ** Not all loans are eligible for the 80% LTV and will be subject to approval.

Providing Peace of Mind, Whether Home or Away >>> Helping people secure their homes and business has been People’s Security Company’s focus for 29 years. During this time our customers have learned the value of having a local, trustworthy company install, monitor and service their systems. Take advantage of technological advances available today for your security system. Using a web-enable device you can now: • See video of your home, cabin or business right from your device; • Remotely arm and monitor your security system; • Remotely lock your doors; • Control the temperature of your home, cabin or business; • Create automatic light schedules; • And more! One of the biggest advantages of having a security system along with freeze-up protection is that you can avoid unwanted, costly and time-consuming expenses when your home is left unattended. Contact us for your free in-home consultation to see what solutions we can provide to insure that you are not faced with surprises at your home, cabin or business. 800-735-1440. www.PeoplesSecurity.com 6

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Let’s Start Cookin’ >>> Send your favorite HOLIDAY HORS D’OEUVRE recipe to Crow Wing Power, PO Box 507, Brainerd, MN 56401 by November 1 or submit online at cwpower.com, News/Events. If your entry is drawn and printed in the November Current Connection, you’ll receive a

$25 credit on your electric bill. If you want to receive a recipe card each month in the mail, fill in the form below and mail to Crow Wing Power.

Last Issue’s Winner

Mile High Strawberry Pie F. K. Spurlock, Baxter, MN Crust: Beat with fork: ½ cup Oil 2 TBSP Milk

Sift: 1 ½ cups Flour 1 ½ tsp Sugar 1 tsp Salt Pour liquid into flour mixture and press into 10 inch pie tin. Bake at 400° until light brown. Cool and add filling below. 1 pkg. Frozen Strawberries (thawed and drained) 1 cup Sugar 2 Egg Whites

2 tsp Lemon Juice ½ pint Whipping Cream

Beat egg whites until fluffy, add strawberries, sugar and lemon juice. Beat at high speed for 15 minutes (no less). Whip cream and fold into above ingredients. Pour into baked crust and freeze.

Yes, I’d like to join the Co-op Cookin’ Club and receive a new recipe card each month in the mail. I understand there is no charge. Name:______________________________________________________ Address:_____________________________________________________

Cold Weather Rule Begins October 15 >>> If you don’t keep up with payment arrangements and meet other conditions you could get disconnected for non-payment, even in the winter months. Minnesota law includes electric cooperatives in a basic utility ruling that provides some protection for certain members from being disconnected as long as members have made satisfactory payment arrangements with the cooperative. In order to be protected from electric service disconnection for non-payments, residential members can apply for Minnesota Cold Weather Rule protection. During the period of time from October 15 to April 15, you can receive protection only if certain conditions are met and the disconnection would affect your main heating source. 1. The household income of the member is at or below 50% of the state median household income. We may verify income on forms we provide or obtain verification of income from the local energy assistance provider. That member is deemed to meet that requirement if they are receiving public assistance consistent with income guidelines. 2. A member must enter into and make reasonable timely payments under a payment agreement both the member and Crow Wing Power agree to.

Cold Weather Rule

>

In order to avoid disconnection between October 15 and April 15: 1. You must declare an inability to pay on forms provided by Crow Wing Power. Inability to pay forms can be found at cwpower.com under membership – billing and payment options. 2. Your household income must be less than 185% of the federal poverty level, as documented by you to the co-op. 3.Your account needs to be current for the billing period prior to October 15, or you need to enter into a payment schedule and be reasonably current with your payments.

Note, your service will be subject to disconnection if you do not make the agreed upon payments. If you get a disconnect notice – DO NOT IGNORE IT – and call Crow Wing Power immediately at 218-829-2827 or 1-800-648-9401. Cr o w W ing Po we r • 8 2 9-2 8 2 7 o r 1-8 0 0- 64 8 -94 01

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Win $25 off your electric bill >>> Complete the word find puzzle below, clip and send entire coupon back to us by November 20, 2018. We’ve sized it to fit in your billing payment, so you can save a stamp. If you’d rather, you can send it separately to Crow Wing Power, PO Box 507, Brainerd, MN 56401. Attn: Puzzle or scan and email to info@cwpower.com. The winning entry will be drawn on November 20. Our winner for the last puzzle: Gloria Stone, Cushing (ISSN 1068-1949) USPS 456-180 Published bimonthly by Crow Wing Power, 17330 State Hwy. 371 Brainerd, MN 56401. 218-829-2827 800-648-9401 www.cwpower.com

Editor: Char Kinzer Periodical postage paid at Brainerd, MN (Postmaster): Send change of address form 3579 to: Current Connection, Crow Wing Power, P.O. Box 507, Brainerd, MN 56401. Annual Subscription Rates: Members - $3.00 Non-Members - $3.50 Board meetings are held the third Thursday of each month beginning at 9:30.

Directors. Here to Help! Following is a list of directors and their telephone numbers: Bob Kangas ................................218-587-4453 Paul Koering................................218-851-9954 Ric Larson ..................................218-546-5781 Gordon Martin............................218-746-3971 Bryan McCulloch........................218-820-9708 Doris Mezzenga ..........................218-692-1004 LuAnn Nelson ............................612-400-4627 Gert Roggenkamp ......................218-562-4566 Dwight Thiesse............................218-831-8605

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1. New accounts entered into a _ _ _ _ _ _ _ for $50

2. Crow Wing Power has invested in _ _ _ _ _ businesses

3. _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ an application off the Internet

4. Kinship of _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ County received $2,500

5. _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ lock your doors

6. Emily has the richest _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ deposit 7. _ _ _ _ and email puzzle

8. Volunteers planted _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 9. _ _ _ _ _ West received $3,000

10. Cold _ _ _ _ _ _ _ rule begins in October

11. Current Connection published _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

12. Beat egg whites until _ _ _ _ _ _

Zip

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Last Issue’s Puzzle Answers: Q I H Y R H C N E B G R U S S

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Grapes, Landscape, Lakes, Keyfob, Whitefish, Observation, Puzzle, Underground, Service, Maximum, Certificates, Economic, Unopposed

Current Connection September/October 2018  

Crow Wing Power Newsletter

Current Connection September/October 2018  

Crow Wing Power Newsletter