March Cooperative Connections PDF Version

Page 1

West River Electric March 2019 Vol. 19 No. 11

Electric Co-op Leaders Get Involved Locally Page 8

Rounding Up for a Cause Page 12


We are a Cooperative

WREA is giving back I noticed a saying the other day that really hit home. It said: “When you are in a position to have gotten so much, the gift at this point is giving back”. You will notice what we are giving back when you receive your next billing statement. Most of you should notice a bill credit on your next bill. The power of cooperative membership! We are giving back what you the members have given us. There is a separate clip in this Connections that gives more in-depth information on our bill credit back to you the member owner.

Dick Johnson

“Giving Back What You The Members Have Given Us.”

Our Board and staff reviewed our financial statements for the end of the year. We had started with a strong year in sales, lower expenses, and were within parameters of budgeted margins. However, as the year went on, we continued to show very strong margins when compared to budget. We planned on extending our revenue deferral plan and put any excess margins out another year to make sure we had a “savings account” to help us should an unexpected event occur. We have had the revenue deferral account for several years. The deferral plan all started when Basin had some unusual margins and bill credits back in the early 2000’s. Since then we have utilized the deferral account balances up or down to level out rate increases. We have 718500 not had to take as large an increase because we have used the revenue deferral to smooth out the increases we did have to take. Our main lender, RUS, has approved the changes in our deferral plan in the past. However, this year they have taken a different stance on many of the plans, and told coops to move the revenue out of these plans and close them. They will only approve amendments or additions to the plans if there is a large, unexpected windfall, not something that is weather driven, growth, or savings in expenses. In 2018, we budgeted $650,000 that we brought into our revenue from the plan. A bill credit is nothing new, Coops have done them for years. We did them back in the late 1990’s before revenue deferral plans when we had low power costs. The Board talked at their January meeting and felt there were really 2 options with the additional margins: 1.

Book the margins in the form of capital credits, allocate them like normal, then pay them at some time in the future, possibly over 20 years later.


Give some back now to invest in our local communities as long as our financial statements were strong and we could meet all our mortgage requirements set by our lenders.

The Board opted for option 2; give it back to the members that contributed to it. Our team worked out a solution that will allow us to give back a credit based on your contribution as a percentage of what you contributed to our revenue. Look for more info in your billing statement, this edition of Cooperative Connections, or at I hope you have a safe and wonderful February and March. Spring is almost here!


Cooperative Connections | March 2019

Why a bill credit mid-year?

WATCH FOR A BILL CREDIT Coming In March! Veronica Kusser


Our total annual power costs were down from our budgeted amount and down from 2017 even with the additional sales. This amounted to over $100,000 in additional unbudgeted revenue.


Another power cost savings was due to our load management/demand response program, even though we budget for it, we saved an estimated $350,000 from our program in 2018. This helped lower our overall power costs. The demand response 11065700 program allows us to shut off participating members’ water heater and/or air conditioning during peak demand times.


Weather played a factor in the bill credit. We had a cold winter, a very cold spring and finished the year with a colder fall. We ended 2018 with increased sales of 5% of reenue over last year.


Why didn’t we just lower rates for 2019? Our budget for 2018 showed we would just meet our mortgage requirements with minimal margins. For 2019, we have a similar budget that shows we will have a more normal year. We would love to lower rates, but we don’t want to have to come back and raise them in the near future. This bill credit is a way to give back to the members that helped earn it.


These all seem like small things, but putting it all together it has made a difference in allowing us to give back to the members that own us, you. The Board feels there is no reason to retain these margins for future years when we met all of our mortgage requirements and see no unexpected events in the future. The advantage of cooperative membership! In any other utility, those excess margins would have gone back to stockholders, not our local communities. “Powering You For a Brighter Future”!

There are many factors that have led to the bill credit on your March billing statement. The Board of Directors of West River Electric chose to give a bill credit for 2018 to everyone who received power from us in 2018. 1.



It goes back to the fact that you are a member/owner. All excess of revenues over expenses at the end of each year are normally returned to our membership in the form of capital credits. These are called margins or profits in the corporate world. Under normal circumstances, we would retain these capital credits to meet our growth and funding needs. The Board wants you to have a part of these excess margins now to invest back into local communities, instead of booking them as capital credits.. For several years, if we had excess revenue over budget, we moved the excess margins to a revenue deferral plan to stabilize future rates similar to a “savings account”. We then used that “savings account” to bring back in excess revenue to help level our rates and minimize any unexpected events. This year, we brought in $650,000 from past years. Our lenders no longer allow us to defer this revenue into future years unless it is a large one-time event. Therefore this “savings account” is booked in total this year and no part can be added to the account. We received an unexpected bill credit in December from one of our power suppliers, Rushmore Electric Power Cooperative, in the amount of $111,000. The 8 Rushmore Cooperatives had a good year which helped contribute to Rushmore’s margins. Another sign of cooperative membership; Rushmore giving back to its members.

March 2019 | Cooperative Connections




Protecting Your Home and Business Every year, electrical equipment, wiring, appliances and tools cause injuries and fires at both homes and workplaces. Paying close attention to the condition of electrical equipment and taking appropriate and prompt action to correct electrical problems can help to ensure your safety and the safety of those around you. Below are guidelines to help identify and reduce electrical hazards.

Electrical Outlet Safety Avoid overloading outlets with too many appliances and ensure that electrical loads are appropriate for the circuits. Unplug appliances when they are not in use to conserve energy as well as minimize the opportunities for electric shock or fire. Use outlets instead of relying on extension cords and power strips. Consider having additional permanent outlets installed where needed. Use Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) in wet/ damp areas like kitchens, bathrooms and outdoors.



Ladder Safety and How It Affects Everyone THE NUMBERS SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES



6-10 ft.

ladder injuries every day*

deaths caused by falls each year*

The most common ladder falls happen between 6 and 10 feet off the ground


2 most common ladder accidents include**: 1. Missing the last step when climbing down 2. Overreaching *“National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) 2017 Data Highlights”, 2017, CPSC **“ALI Ladder Safety Training and Citation Report” - United States, 2018, American Ladder Institute

Take safety into your own hands by taking ladder safety seriously. Visit to learn more. National Ladder Safety Month is presented by

Thank you to our Top Cap sponsor


Electrical Cord Safety Inspect electrical cords to ensure that they are not frayed, cracked or damaged. Do not place electrical cords in high traffic areas, under carpets or across doorways where they pose a potential tripping hazard or could be easily damaged.

Certification and Awareness Ensure that all electrical products and equipment are certified by a nationally recognized testing laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL), and read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Allow only trained and qualified electrical workers to perform work on electrical equipment. Be aware of signs of electrical problems such as flickering lights and/or buzzing, sizzling or humming sounds from electrical systems. Source: 4

Cooperative Connections | March 2019

“Be careful with farm equipment around power lines.” Carson Lee, 10 years old

Carson is the son of Chris and Marisa Lee, Fairfax, Minn. They are members of Renville-Sibley Co-op Power, Danube, Minn. Kids, send your drawing with an electrical safety tip to your local electric cooperative (address found on Page 3). If your poster is published, you’ll receive a prize. All entries must include your name, age, mailing address and the names of your parents. Colored drawings are encouraged.


Seafood Sensations Clam Chowder Dip 2 slices bacon, chopped 1/3 cup chopped onion 1 pkg. McCormick® Original Country Gravy Mix 1-1/2 cups milk

1 cup shredded white Cheddar cheese, divided 1 (6.5 oz.) can chopped clams, drained 2 tsp. McCormick® Parsley Flakes

Cook bacon in large skillet on medium-high heat until crisp. Remove bacon, reserving drippings in pan. Add onion; cook and stir 2 to 3 minutes or until translucent. Stir in gravy mix, milk and 1/2 cup shredded cheese. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer 2 minutes or until gravy starts to thicken. Remove from heat. Stir in clams. Pour into 9-inch glass pie plate. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Bake at 350°F. for 15 minutes or until cheese is melted. Sprinkle with bacon and parsley. Serve with toasted baguette slices or crackers. Makes 12 servings. Nutritional Information Per Serving: Calories 94, Total Fat 6g, Saturated Fat 3g, Protein 4g, Cholesterol 9mg, Sodium 278mg, Fiber 1g, Carbohydrates 6g, Pictured, Cooperative Connections

Shrimp Lover Squares 1 (8. oz) tube refrigerated crescent rolls 1 (8. oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened 1/4 cup sour cream 1/2 tsp. dill weed 1/8 tsp. salt

4 beaten eggs 3/4 cup milk 1/2 tsp. salt 1/2 tsp. ground thyme 1 T. diced pimento 1-1/2 cups chopped broccoli

1 cup chopped imitation crab 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese 2 T. minced onion 1 unbaked 10-inch pie shell

Mix together first 5 ingredients; set aside. Combine broccoli, crab, cheeses and onion; spread in piecrust. Pour liquid mixture over all. Bake at 350°F. for 50 to 55 minutes. Let cool 10 to 15 minutes before cutting. Barbara Angerhofer, Hendricks, MN

Tilapia Parmesan 2 lbs. tilapia fillets 2 T. lemon juice 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

4 T. butter, room temperature 3 T. finely chopped onions 1/4 tsp. dried basil

1/2 cup seafood sauce

3 T. mayonnaise

24 medium shrimp, cooked

In a buttered 9x13-inch baking dish, lay fish fillets in a single layer. Do not stack fillets. Brush with juice. Bake at 350°F. for 10 to 20 minutes or until fish flakes. Meanwhile, combine cheese, mayonnaise, butter, onions and basil. Spread cheese mixture on fish fillets and bake an additional 5 minutes or until golden brown.

1/2 cup chopped green pepper 1/3 cup chopped onion 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

In a greased 9x13-inch pan, unroll the crescent dough; seal seams. Bake at 375°F. for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely on a wire rack. In a small mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, sour cream, dill weed and salt until smooth. Spread over crust. Top with seafood sauce, shrimp, green pepper, onion and cheese. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. Cut into squares. Makes 2 dozen. Becki Hauser, Tripp, SD

Crab Quiche

Cortney Reedy, Tea, SD

Please send your favorite appetizer, beverage, casserole or dairy recipes to your local electric cooperative (address found on Page 3). Each recipe printed will be entered into a drawing for a prize in June 2019. All entries must include your name, mailing address, phone number and co-op name. March 2019 | Cooperative Connections



High Voltage Safety Demonstration for the City of Rapid City Water and Sewer Dept.

SAFETY FIRST The Goal of Every Employee at WREA Veronica Kusser

Dustin Brimm demonstrating the danger of high voltage.

Safety culture is the collection of the beliefs, perceptions and values that employees share in relation to risks within an organization, such as a workplace or community.

West River Electric takes pride in the safety culture here at the coop, we also take pride in sharing that safety culture with the communities that we live and work in, the people that we attend church or meetings with, and the schools our children attend. Keeping everyone in our community safe is at the top of our minds all the time. We got a call from the City of Rapid City Water Department and were asked to put on a safety demonstration for them. It is a great honor to take our High Voltage Trailer Demonstration out to demonstrate safety in our community. It is important to share with as many individuals as we can the dangers of live wires, downed power lines, coming in contact with a transformer and how to stay safe if you make contact with any of the above. As one of the employees Don Schoon, from the City of Rapid City Water Dept. put it , “Power is essential for us to produce safe drinking water to Rapid. It also needs the utmost respect”. Through our power line safety presentation, West River Electric linemen demonstrate some of the dangers of coming in contact with overhead and 4789400 underground electrical equipment. Our message includes: keep kites and other objects away from power lines, don’t climb trees near power lines, stay away from green transformer boxes, and always call 811 before you dig. 6

Cooperative Connections | March 2019

Dustin Brimm & Brandon Bisgaard preparing for safety demo.



West River Electric will sponsor area students to the South Dakota Rural Electric Youth Excursion. This four-day event will be headquartered out of Bismarck, North Dakota.

West River Electric employees proudly took the challenge to support the fight. Each year we look forward to the opportunity to Get Tough, Wear Pink, and Help the Fight Against Cancer. The employees dressed for the fight 2425200 are shown below. The proceeds from the t-shirts bought benefit the John T Vucurevich Regional Cancer Care Institute. We challenge you to be Tough and Support the Fight Against Cancer.

Young people attending the excursion will learn about the basics of cooperatives, how the region’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives work together and the career opportunities available at the cooperatives. The trip promises to provide an opportunity to meet new friends from other rural electric cooperatives across South Dakota. Students will tour the Great Plains Synfuels Plant, Coteau Properties Freedom Coal Mine, 11092600 Antelope Valley Station Power Plant and a drive thru the 40-mw Wilton Wind Farm north of Bismarck. Evenings will be spent swimming, dancing, taking a cruise, shopping and making friends. All area high school freshman, sophomores and juniors whose parents or guardians are members of WREA are eligible to enter. Students will be picked up Monday morning, July 22, and will arrive back home Thursday, July 25. The trip is funded by WREA except for personal/shopping money. Fill out the form below and return by May 25 to have your name put into the selection process.

Back Row Gerri Johnston, Willy Nohr, Veronica Kusser, Jannette Thayer, Sallie Traver, and Christine Ritter. Front Row Jared Stalley, Bonnie Almeida, John Garrigan, Tracea Ladner and Matt Schmahl.

Name_____________________Male_____Female____ Parent or Guardian _____________________________ Address______________________________________ City______________________State_____Zip_______ Telephone_____________T-Shirt Size_____ Age_____

Left to Right: Dawn Hilgenkamp, Aimee Paulsen, Lindsy Reagle, Jenny Patterson, Carolyn Schulz, Alicia Fortune and Roberta Rancour.

School Attending________________Grade__________ Send to West River Electric Association, Youth Excursion, PO Box 3486, Rapid City, SD 57709. For more information regarding the Youth Excursion contact Veronica Kusser at 605-393-1500 or e-mail veronica. March 2019 | Cooperative Connections



Rushmore Electric’s Mike Bowers, fifth from left, is one of 17 members of the Rapid City YMCA board of directors.

LOCAL COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT Co-op Leaders Contribute to Local Boards, Youth Programs and More Brenda Kleinjan

When cooperatives say they are committed to their communities, it’s not just lip service. It’s service rooted in fact. From city councils, township boards and county commissions to school boards, church boards and other community organizations, co-op employees and directors are answering the call to serve on boards of various shapes and sizes. Some specialize, focusing their involvement in one arena. Others are generalists, taking the skills and lessons they’ve learned through their roll at their local electric cooperative and translating it to benefit their local community through involvement on several boards and groups. For much of his co-op career, Mike Bowers has also served on boards associated with the Rapid City YMCA. Bowers, the manager of Rushmore Engineering, a part of Rushmore 8

Cooperative Connections | March 2019

Hundreds of co-op employees and directors across South Dakota and western Minnesota give thousands of hours of service to local boards and organizations throughout the region, working with their neighbors to improve their local communities.


Electric Power Cooperative in Rapid City, has spent 20 years on the YMCA building committee. He’s also been a part of the YMCA board of directors for 10 years, serving as secretary and board chairman. But, his Y involvement has even deeper roots. “I grew up with the Y,” said the Wisconsin native. “I’ve been a Y member here for 42 years. I joined the Y the first month I was in town and never looked back.” Bowers said the YMCA’s commitment to people in the community is appealing and resonates well with the work of electric cooperatives. “Both invest in the community, absolutely,” Bowers said. “The YMCA is very much a cooperative structure; not-for-profit, open to all and every member is an owner, if you stop to think about it.” The Rapid City YMCA and the Rapid City Area Schools are in the midst of a $10 million renovation of a 68,000 square foot building in downtown Rapid City that once housed an electric and gas utility company. When completed, the facility will house YMCA early childhood development and also provide

infant childcare as well as hold school district administrative offices. The facility, which is slated to open in August, will be known as the Rapid City Education Center. It recently secured $1.1 million in funding from the Rapid City Vision Fund.

We all need to be involved and give back to the community. “The Rapid City Education Center will more than double our capacity for childcare,” Bowers said. Bowers sums up his work with the YMCA succinctly. “This is the way I want to be involved and give back,” said Bowers. Bowers is not alone in his commitment to his local community. From youth wrestling, basketball, baseball and football programs to coaching varsity-level sports and serving as

referees, co-op employees and directors are working alongside their neighbors to ensure these programs succeed. You’ll also find co-op employees and directors setting aside their co-op hats to take on the work of members of school boards at several districts across the state. Dozens of co-op employees serve as trustees and council members of towns and communities across the state. More than a dozen township boards are comprised of officers who work for electric cooperatives or who serve as a director for an electric cooperative. County commissions from Custer County in the west to Grant County in the northeast – and a few counties in between – have co-op employees and directors serving on their governing boards. And, the work doesn’t stop there. You’ll find co-op directors and employees in service organizations like Lions, Rotary and Kiwanis, on in veteran’s organizations like the American Legion and VFW, church boards, airport, library and transportation boards. As Bowers notes, “We all need to be involved and give back to the community.”

Chris Larson, General Manager of Clay-Union Electric Corporation in Vermillion, moderates the District 17 Legislative Public Forum held in October. Larson is member of the VCDC Governmental Affairs Committee, which hosted the canidate forum. Candidates present were, from left, Gregory Baldwin, Ray Ring, John Gors and Howard Grinager. Arthur Rusch attended by phone. March 2019 | Cooperative Connections



Joel Stephens learning from the old timer!

JOEL STEPHENS Retires after 31 Years Veronica Kusser

Joel Stephens teaching the kiddos to tie balloons!

Joel Stephens (aka Katchup) started work for West River Electric in the summer of 1987 as a summer intern. He started working full time for West River Electric in October of 1987 and became a Journeyman for the coop 4 years later. Following high school graduation Joel worked odd jobs erecting steel buildings, pouring concrete foundations, general ranch work, and putting up aerial towers for local TV reception. He even drove tractor trailer for a couple of companies in the Rapid City area. This all happened before he felt the desire to climb poles. He attended Mitchell Technical School for Powerline Construction and Maintenance the fall of 1986. Joel remembers well the 1st storm job he was sent out on, it was at Bison, SD for Grand Electric, it was their 11th Annual Storm. He was pretty excited to experience this journey with two former lineman from WREA, Gail Johnson and Mike Erz.

He reminded me “What happens on the line stays on the line” when I asked for details about the storms he was on. The worst WREA storm he ever worked was the Atlas Storm just a few years ago. The members always found a way to bring us hot cocoa and cookies, they are awesome. Now asking his wife Lesa, she would tell you that 80% of her New Year’s Eves were spent alone while Joel was out working the storms. 10

Cooperative Connections | March 2019

Joel wants to thank all of our members; he has enjoyed you. WREA members are the best! The past 31 years have been quite an enjoyable ride for Joel. Joel isn’t leaving the area, he will still be clowning around. He has even offered to come back and spend time with us at our Appreciation Day Events. As you all know he loves the kids! Joel and Lesa will be doing some traveling, spending time hanging out with the kids and grandkids and just enjoying life.


Ross Johnson testing meters.

ROSS JOHNSON Retires after 31 Years Veronica Kusser

Ross Johnson early years at WREA

Ross Johnson started work for West River Electric in the fall of 1987 as a summer help position. November 1st he was hired on full time as an apprenctice lineman in the Rapid City office. He became a Journeyman 4 years later. In July of 1994 when Cliff Matheny retired Ross was promoted to a Staking Technician. Although he enjoyed meeting with the members on the staking of the power lines, in 2002, he was promoted to Metering Foreman where he has remained until his retirement on February 5, 2019. Prior to having an interest in becoming a lineman, Ross worked for Johnson Bar 5 Ranch as a Ranch Hand; Godsell Ditching where he had the opportunity to operate and maintain backhoes and trenchers; Peterson Construction where he built and wired homes. Ross was looking for a change in career and decided that line work may be of interest. In the fall of 1986 he attended Mitchell Technical School for Powerline Construction and Maintenance.

Ross has enjoyed his time here at West River Electric, but feels it is time for a change. He has fence to maintain, a water ditch to dig and hopes to do a little fly fishing. Ross and his wife Fern plan to spend time with their grandchildren and get out and do a little traveling. March 2019 | Cooperative Connections


COMMITTED TO COMMUNITY Kimball School received $1,000 from Central Electric Cooperative’s Operation Round Up® program to update their former playground for safety, entertainment and school pride.

MAKING CHANGE Contributions by Co-op Members Add Up for Good Brenda Kleinjan

Thirty years ago, South Carolina’s Palmetto Electric Cooperative conceived of an idea to benefit residents in the three counties it serves. By having members round up their monthly electric bills, co-op members could have a lasting impact on charitable groups in the area.

Since that beginning in 1989, Operation Round Up® has been an incredibly successful way in which the co-op and its members have been able to help the less fortunate in their community. Through Operation Round Up, Palmetto Electric automatically rounds up a participating member’s electric bills to the next highest dollar. For example, a consumer’s monthly bill of $52.73 would be automatically rounded up to $53, with the additional 27 cents going to the Operation Round Up fund. On an annual basis, the co-op is able to donate roughly $6 for each participating customer – and that pool of money is then allocated to a variety of worthy causes throughout their service area. The concept spread nationwide and today, several cooperatives in South Dakota and western Minnesota have the program. 12

Cooperative Connections | March 2019

Central Electric Cooperative’s Operation Round Up® program awarded $2,300 to Helping with Horsepower, a therapeutic riding program at Reclamation Ranch outside of Mitchell, S.D., for a lift that allows wheelchair-bound clients to ride horses.

Since 2000, members at Sioux Valley Energy have awarded more than $1.5 million to community groups, including funding more than $10,000 in scholarships each year to members and their children. Across the border at Lyon-Lincoln Electric Cooperative in Tyler, Minn., their Operation Round Up board funds grant requests ranging from fire department requests to school and other educational requests. Danube, Minn.-based Renville-Sibley Co-op Power Association is launching its Operation Round Up in June. “All co-ops adhere to the seven cooperative principles, including “Concern for Community.” The Operation Round Up® program is the perfect embodiment of this core principle,” said Lenae Wordes, Renville-Sibley’s communications manager. “The average co-op member donates $6 with a maximum possible contribution of $11.88 per year. This may not seem like a large amount, but when combined with nearly 1,900 of RenvilleSibley Co-op Power member accounts, it adds up to make an impact.” “Renville-Sibley’s program will operate

with a board of trustees that is different from the board of directors for the electric co-op. This allows a group of members to focus on the mission of representing our communities,” said Wordes. In the Watertown, S.D., area, Codington-Clark Electric’s Operation Round Up has helped 4-H clubs, a child hunger group and a local living history fair. Central Electric Cooperative in Mitchell, S.D., awarded $12,500 to 10 groups in November 2018. Among the groups receiving funding were community improvement associations and community centers, speed meters for two cities, 4-H, Habitat for Humanity and other groups. Since launching the program in 2015, the program has made $72,500 in awards. “Applications typically come from volunteers in your community who feel strongly about a project and making a difference,” said Courtney Deinert, Central’s manager of communications.

For the past 10 years, members of Oahe Electric Cooperative in Blunt, S.D., have distributed more than $92,000 to groups and organizations in Hughes and Sully counties. The money raised has helped volunteer fire departments, animal rescue shelters and other groups selected by the Operation Round Up Board of Trustees. At Elk Point, S.D., Union County Electric Cooperative started its program in 2018. This year, it awarded $4,000 to four organizations including the local historical society, the Boys and Girls Club, an animal rescue and the local Veterans of Foreign Wars group. Co-op members at West River Electric Association in Wall, S.D., are also involved. In 2018, the Operation Round Up fund awarded more than $8,200 to groups ranging from rodeo booster clubs and cemetery associations to ambulance services, athletic groups and pre-school and community groups. One award helped purchase a heater for the New Underwood city pool. Contact your local cooperative to find out what ways they are involved in their communities and how to participate.

The Letcher, S.D., 4-H “Kids Kountry Club” breaks ground on their new playground area after receiving a $3,500 Operation Round Up grant from Central Electric Cooperative members. March 2019 | Cooperative Connections



TEXT MESSAGE OR E-MAIL Receiving Notifications from WREA How do I sign up for notifications? What if I want to receive notifications for multiple accounts? West River Electric now has the capability of notifying you of planned outages thru text messaging or e-mail. Here are the steps that you have to take to get this process started. You must log into SmartHub and click on Notifications>Manage Notifications. Select preferred notification method (Text, Email or Phone which is located in Manage


Cooperative Connections | March 2019

Contacts) and fill out the appropriate notification information based on your selection. Click Next to continue, verify the notification parameters and confirm. If you have multiple accounts, while you are setting the notification it will prompt you to indicate which account the notification is for. If you have any questions please contact a customer service rep at the Rapid City or Wall office at 393-1500 or 279-2135.


West River Electric would like to remind you to Spring Ahead on

March 10, 2019

Our Mission: West River Electric Association, Inc. shall strive to continually improve customer service and satisfaction by providing safe, reliable, efficient and reasonably priced electricity and services, while leading in the development of our community for the well being of our members.

Energy Efficiency Tip of the Month Spring is nearly here! Now is the perfect time to test your A/C and ensure it’s ready for summer. Remember to check the evaporator coil, which should be cleaned annually for optimal efficiency. Source:

This institution is an equal opportunity provider and employer. Board President: Andy Moon

Did you change your phone number or email It is important to keep your information updated with West River Electric. We would like to be able to keep you updated on planned outages or other important information that may affect your service. Contact us at 279-2135 or 393-1500 to make changes to your information.

Locate Your Account Number

Board of Directors Stan Anders – Vice President Jamie Lewis – Secretary Larry Eisenbraun – Treasurer Jerry Hammerquist Howard Knuppe Marcia Arneson Chuck Sloan Sue Peters CEO and General Manager: Dick Johnson –

If you locate your account number anywhere in this issue of the West River Electric Cooperative Connections you will be a winner. There will be five account numbers placed randomly throughout the Connections. If you spot your account number and notify our office before the 10th of the next month, you will receive a $10 credit on your next bill.

West River Electric Office Hours Rapid City Office

Wall Office

3250 E Hwy 44, Rapid City, SD Monday-Friday 7:00 am-5:00 pm 605-393-1500

1200 W 4th Ave, Wall, SD Monday-Friday 7:00 am-5:00 pm 605-279-2135

A night depository is available at both offices for your convenience.

(USPS No. 675-840)

Editor Veronica Kusser – WEST RIVER ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE CONNECTIONS is the monthly publication for the members of West River Electric Association. Members subscribe to Cooperative Connections as part of their electric cooperative membership for $6 a year. West River Electric Cooperative Connections purpose is to provide reliable, helpful information to electric cooperative members on matters pertaining to rural electrification and better living. Nonmember subscriptions are available for $12 per year. Periodicals Postage paid at Wall, S.D., and at additional mailing offices. Postmaster: Send address changes to West River Electric Cooperative Connections, PO Box 412 , Wall, SD 57790-0412. Other correspondence to: West River Electric Cooperative Connections, PO Box 3486, Rapid City, SD 57709; telephone (605)393-1500, Exts. 6519, 6517, 6531 or 6522; fax (605)3930275; e-mail

March 2019 | Cooperative Connections



February 22-23

March 15-16

State Wrestling Tournaments, Rapid City, SD, 605-394-4111

28 Below Fatbike Race, Lead, SD, 605-584-3435

February 23

Last Day to Skate Beach Party, Main Street Square, Rapid City, SD, 605-716-7979

February 25

Chris Brubeck’s Triple Play, Rapid City, SD, 605-394-4111 Photo courtesy:

March 1-2

SD High School Debate & IE Tournament, O’Gorman High School, Sioux Falls, SD

March 7-9

SD State Class B Girls Basketball Tournament, Huron Arena, Huron, SD

March 8-9

Badland Quilters Yearly Quilting Getaway, Wall Community Center, Wall, SD 605-390-3291

March 9-10

Gun Show, American Legion Hall, Philip, SD, 605-685-4768 or 605-441-8466

March 10

Reminder from West River Electric to change your clocks. Time to Spring ahead 1 hour.

March 13

BH Regional Job Fair, Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, Rapid City, SD, 605-394-4115

March 14-16

SD State High School Visual Arts Contest Gallery, Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, Rapid City, SD

March 14-16

SD State Class A Boys and Girls Basketball Tournament, Sioux Falls, SD

March 14-16

SD State Class AA Boys and Girls Basketball Tournament, Rapid City, SD

March 14-16

SD State Class B Boys Basketball Tournament, Barnett Center, Aberdeen, SD

March 16-17

Kinky Boots, Best Musical, Rushmore Plaza Civic Center Fine Arts Theatre, Rapid City, SD, 605-394-4115

March 22

Youth & Family Services Kids Fair, Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, Rapid City, SD, 605-394-4115

March 23

Community Indoor Rummage Sale, Rapid Valley United Methodist Church, Rapid City, SD, 605-393-1526

March 29-31

BH Home Builders Home Show, Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, Rapid City, SD, 605-348-7850

April 5-6

Creative Quilt, Art and Craft Market, BH Quilters Guild, Best Western Ramkota Hotel & Conference Center, Rapid City, SD, 719-306-2151

April 5-6

Sound of Music, Rushmore Plaza Civic Center Fine Arts Theatre, Rapid City, SD, 605-394-4115

April 5-6

Forks, Corks and Kegs Food, Wine and Beer Festival, Deadwood, SD, 605-578-1876

April 10

Rain A Tribute to the Beatles, Rushmore Plaza Civic Center Fine Arts Theatre, Rapid City, SD, 605-394-4115

April 13-14

Dakota Territory Gun Show, Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, Rapid City, SD, 605-394-4115

April 18

John Mellencamp, Rushmore Plaza Civic Center Fine Arts Theatre, Rapid City, SD, 605-394-4115

April 19

Red Green, Rushmore Plaza Civic Center Fine Arts Theatre, Rapid City, SD, 605-394-4115

May 1-5

Black Hills Film Festival, Hill City, SD, 605-574-9454

May 11

Great American Book Festival, Main Street Square, Rapid City, SD, 605-716-7979

To have your event listed on this page, send complete information, including date, event, place and contact to your local electric cooperative. Include your name, address and daytime telephone number. Information must be submitted at least eight weeks prior to your event. Please call ahead to confirm date, time and location of event.

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