October 2021 Cooperative Connections

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Casey S. Hibbert invites brave visitors to tour the haunted Adams House in Deadwood

Spooky SD The most haunted spaces in SD Page 8 Libraries offer places to grow Page 12

MANAGER’S NOTE co-ops. We are happy to say we came out very well with increased marks from our last safety audit three years ago. However, we cannot become complacent with the cruise control set as that is when accidents happen. Many of us on the road laugh at electric cars. You have all heard the mandates being proposed by our national government. Most of the car manufacturers have instituted their

“You have all heard the mandates being proposed by our national government...”

All Roads Lead to Electrification Dick Johnson and Andy Moon dick.johnson@westriver.coop

Our road this year could be characterized as winding with some hairpin turns, steep curves, steep cliffs on each side of the road, a few potholes and finally a clear straight away. However, we never crashed; maybe a few door dings along the way. We thought this year with all the chatter politically and environmentally about electricity, we would talk about what is called “beneficial electrification.” Beneficial electrification is using electricity for end-uses that would have otherwise been powered by fossil fuels (natural gas, diesel, propane, fuel oil or gasoline). The road with beneficial electrification includes electric cars, electric forklifts, high efficiency water heaters, heat pumps, battery-powered equipment such as lawn mowers and tools, and smart thermostats. These are all items that many of us use today. It must not adversely affect saving members money over time, needs to benefit the environment, reduce greenhouse gas emission, improve product quality, improve quality of life, or foster a more robust and resilient grid. It is really a double-edged sword for our members. Beneficial electrification will help us sell more energy thereby keeping your rates stable. We also have a duty to our membership to be environmentally friendly. But at what cost does this come to our membership for continued safe, reliable low cost power? No one really knows at this point which direction the car is headed. We had a successful year at West River Electric. With the COVID-19 issues this year, our employees made this success happen. They put in many hours in the office, at home remotely and out in the field. We never could have done it without their hard work, positive attitude and realizing you the member were the most important thing day in and day out. We worked 2020 with no major injuries and only one OSHA recordable incident. Our Safety Committee continues to raise the bar on safety and enhancing our culture. Our safety program was recently audited by a surprise inspection by a team from S.D. Rural Electric and two of our peer 2 COOPERATIVE CONNECTIONS | OCTOBER 2021

own mandates to be “carbon” free by certain dates. This causes the hill to become very steep, winding and very rocky. We are all for the additional sales. However, the road signs along the way also point to questioning how we generate the additional electricity if fossil fuels are no longer in the mix. We saw what sudden pothole we hit in February when we had rolling blackouts. We are surprised how many cars charge at the Tesla charging station in Wall. Another company is also bringing a large, fast charging project into Wall this fall to charge. These chargers are for “fast charging” at any time. It takes 20-30 minutes. Fast charging has a high demand and very low energy sales. They can charge anytime. What happens if even half the cars rolling through our area are electric and fast charging? West River is also partnering with other companies within the territory to install overnight “slow” chargers at hotels. We have also started a pilot program for electric vehicle slow charging that incentivizes the member to charge at night and weekends when we are not peaking. If you have an all-electric vehicle, give us a call so we can discuss your options. It will help both you the member owner and West River. We figured our road would be a very steep hill to climb when COVID-19 began. However, that hill was not near as steep as we thought. We closed our year with margins of $2.6 million compared to $2.9 million in 2019. We were able to do a revenue deferral of $1.5 million to bring back into our future revenues in 2021-2023. Our margins were higher due to the reduction in many of our expenses caused by the pandemic. We are in the final stages of approving a bill credit to you, the members, for October through December 2021. This credit will show as a negative PCA (power cost adjustment) on your bill for those three months. Many members will see a savings of 15-25 percent each month depending on their usage. We had excess margins this year and felt that we needed to give it back to the member owners that provided for the additional margins. For 2021, we will also be returning over $2.0 in capital credits in September and October. This is the largest retirement in the history of the cooperative. What a great feeling to be able to get more money in the hands of our members and communities. Our construction year was, well, you’d probably know just by looking as you drive down the road in our area. We added 520 new billed services which is a 2.9 percent increase.





Our Mission: We are safety conscious, community oriented, and the trusted energy expert for our member owners. Our Vision: We will achieve an ACSI score of 90 by 2024. 10093400 Our Values: 1. Safety 2. Accountability 3. Integrity 4. Innovation 5. Commitment to Community This institution is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Board President: Andy Moon 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 – dick.johnson@westriver.coop Editor Robert Raker – robert.raker@westriver.coop 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, 3250 E Hwy 44, Rapid City, SD 57703; telephone (605)393-1500, Exts. 6519, 6517, 6531 or 6522; fax (605)393- 0275; e-mail robert.raker@westriver.coop.

This is the most services added since the early 2000s. We expect to break that record in 2021. This growth is happening over our entire service area. New workforce housing and apartments spring up like a deer crossing the road from a corn field! Our kWh sales were downhill 1.8 percent with our revenue above last year. This is the second year of lower sales, yet we have grown by 850 accounts. Even with beneficial electrification, we feel the continued efficiency of lighting, heating/cooling, and refrigeration has caused the hilly road. Our net utility plant surpassed the $100 million mark which was an increase of 5.5 percent from the previous year. We have had several interesting projects we are working on this year. We have been working with Ellsworth Air Force Base and our national association, NRECA, with a grant to provide a large battery at the base for storage capacity. They will use it for peak shaving and backup capability. The data from the battery will be used not only by us, but the Department of Energy, Department of Defense and several national labs as well. We have also been working with a developer with their installation of a larger scale solar facility near Rapid City. This is still being worked out, but we are hopeful to have a signed agreement with the developer soon. The energy is being purchased by Basin Electric. We are required under a national law on the books since the ‘70s to take the output. The large utility scale solar near New Underwood is still being worked on. They are still targeting construction for that in 2022. 10572500 We hope you join us on our journey at the annual meeting of the membership on Oct. 9 with the meeting starting at 10 a.m. We want you to know you are the drivers on this road because you as member owners of the co-op provide us our roadmap to the future. Thank you, Andy Moon, President West River Electric Dick Johnson, CEO/Manager West River Electric

NOTICE OF ANNUAL MEETING OF MEMBERS OF WEST RIVER ELECTRIC ASSOCIATION, INC., WALL, SOUTH DAKOTA The Annual Meeting of members of West River Electric Association, Inc. will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, the 9th of October 2021, at the Wall Community Center, in the town of Wall, County of Pennington, State of South Dakota, for the purpose of: 1. Receiving reports of officers, directors and committees; 2. Electing one director from each of the (3) districts for a term of three (3) years to replace those directors whose terms expire; 3. Approving, ratifying and confirming all the acts of the Directors of the Association and its officers taken prior to this annual meeting; 4. Transacting any and all business which may be necessary, convenient or desirable in connection with any of the foregoing at said meetings or at any properly scheduled adjournments hereto; Dated at Wall, South Dakota, this 16th day of August, 2021 Jamie Lewis, Secretary, West River Electric Association, Inc.


If you locate your account number anywhere in this issue of West River Electric’s Cooperative Connections, you will be a winner. There will be five account numbers placed randomly throughout the publication. 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.



Practice fire safety this fall and winter


When the weather turns colder, you inevitably start hearing more news about house fires. Even a small fire can be devastating. Most house fires are caused by cooking that gets out of hand, according to the National Fire Protection Association. But the second most common cause is materials in the home that catch fire. This often occurs when a heat source, such as a space heater or flying embers from a fireplace, comes into contact with fabric or paper, which then ignite. Once a fire starts, it can move so rapidly that even the best efforts to put it out may fail. When it comes to old houses, the risks are even higher. The older the wood is that a house is constructed of, the faster it burns. Once flames invade the walls of an old house, they move with frightening speed. Fire protection in any home is absolutely necessary, but even more careful precautions should be taken if your house is older. Here’s how to help ensure the safety of your house and everyone in it. Smoke detectors. These are the first and best line of defense; they allow you to get out of the house at the first whiff of smoke. The NFPA found that six in 10 deaths in house fires occurred in homes that did not have working smoke detectors. Go beyond the federal recommendations and put a smoke detector in every room. Stay on the even safer side by opting for those that detect both smoke and carbon monoxide. Fire extinguishers. Keep small fires from getting out of control with fire extinguishers that are easily accessible. Choose several fire extinguishers that are light enough for even kids to handle. Make sure they have simple pull mechanisms that don’t require much strength. Look for fire extinguishers that work for various parts of the house; for instance, an extinguisher in the kitchen should be able to handle grease fires. Install arc-fault interrupters. These ingenious little gadgets detect the electrical arcing that occurs when an old wire buried deep in your wall begins to fail. Speak with an electrician about where best to install interrupters and how your particular ones work. Maintain it all. Finally, test everything on a regular basis. Smoke detectors should be tested every month, their batteries replaced every six months, and old smoke detectors replaced every 10 years. Opt to purchase an extra fire extinguisher so your family can take it to the backyard and practice using it. Have a plan. What if the worst happens and those smoke detectors go off? Have a plan to get out fast. Make sure those on upper floors have a fire ladder that can get them safely to the ground. Designate a meeting place for all family members, and practice your safety plan at least once every six months. Does all of this sound like overkill? It’s not! Fire safety is imperative year-round for every home. Your home deserves to have the care required to keep it safe and sturdy, but more importantly, your family deserves the peace of mind that comes from knowing they are protected in an emergency.


South Dakota’s electric cooperatives deliver affordable, reliable power to our members in every corner of the state. But we do so much more! Visit our Co-op Connections Plus YouTube channel and you’ll see co-ops in action providing valuable consumer information at Dakotafest and the South Dakota State Fair. You’ll see co-ops at local community events and youth leadership programs. We’ve got South Dakota covered! Simply scan the QR code to the right and be sure to subscribe!

Call 811 before you dig! Fletcher Nutt Fletcher reminds readers of Cooperative Connections to be sure to call 811 before digging. Fletcher’s parents are Donald Nutt and Amanda Larron of Sioux Falls. 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.




Ingredients: 1/4 c buttery spread 2 T all-purpose flour 3/4 c dairy milk 1/2 c vegetable broth 1 T vegetable base 1/2 c Parmesan cheese, shredded salt, to taste (optional) pepper, to taste (optional) 1/4 c pickled jalapeno slices 3 T minced garlic 10 oz. cooked rotisserie chicken, shredded 1 green bell pepper, sliced 1 red bell pepper, sliced 1 handful fresh cilantro, minced 1 pound whole-wheat linguini, cooked

METHOD In medium pot, melt buttery spread then add flour; mix well. Slowly add dairy milk and vegetable broth, stirring well. Add vegetable base and Parmesan cheese; heat slowly until thickened. Add salt and pepper, to taste, if desired. Add jalapenos, garlic, bell peppers and roasted chicken; heat thoroughly.Serve over cooked linguini. Family Features


Ingredients: 2 cups uncooked medium pasta, such as rotini, penne or ziti 1 pound uncooked boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided 1 1/2 cups water 1 package McCormick® Italian Herb Baked Chicken & Pasta Seasoning Mix 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) petite diced tomatoes, undrained

METHOD Preheat oven to 375ºF. Place pasta, chicken and 1 cup of the cheese in 13x9-inch baking dish. Mix water, Seasoning Mix and tomatoes until well blended. Pour over pasta and chicken. Stir to coat well, making sure most of the pasta is covered with sauce. Cover with foil. Bake 45 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Remove foil and stir. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup cheese. Bake, uncovered, 5 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Let stand 5 minutes. (Sauce will continue to thicken upon standing.) mccormick.com

Ingredients: 6 oz. spaghetti 2 T. butter 2 well beaten eggs 1/3 c. Parmesan cheese 1 c. cottage cheese 1 lb. ground beef ¼ c. chopped green pepper ½ c. chopped onion 2 c. chopped tomatoes 1 tsp. sugar 1 tsp. oregano ½ tsp. garlic salt ½ c. shredded mozzarella

METHOD Cook spaghetti, drain. Stir in butter, Parmesan cheese and eggs. In buttered 10 inch pie plate, form the mixture into a crust. Spread the cottage cheese over crust. Cook beef until browned. Drain fat. Stir tomatoes, sugar, oregano and garlic salt into cooked beef. Put all in spaghetti crust. Bake 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Add mozzarella and cook five minutes more or until cheese is melted. Bulk sausage may replace ground beef. Linda Sherry, Sioux Falls

Please send your favorite 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 December 2021. All entries must include your name, mailing address, phone number and cooperative name.



2021 Annual Meeting West River Electric Annual Meeting Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021 Wall Community Center AGENDA 1. Registration - 9 a.m. 2. Call to Order - 10 a.m. 3. Pledge of Allegiance 4. National Anthem 5. Report of Credentials 6. Notice of Annual Meeting 7. Affidavit of Mailing 8. Meeting Minutes, Oct. 17, 2020 9. Introduction of Guests 10. Directors’ Election Report 11. Registration Closes 12. Vote on Bylaws

13. President’s Report 14. Manager’s Report 15. Employee Years of Service 16. Drawing for Prizes 17. Old Business 18. New Business 19. Bylaw Vote Results 20. Operation Round-up Presentations 21. Scholarship Drawing 22. Grand Prize Drawing/High Low 23. Adjournment

Dick Johnson CEO/General Manager

Andy Moon Board President District 3

Jerry Hammerquist District 1

Jamie Lewis District 1

Stan Anders District 2

Sue Peters District 3

Howard Knuppe District 1

Marcia Arneson District 2

Chuck Sloan District 2

Larry Eisenbraun District 3

Do You Need Special Accomodations to be a Part of the Annual Meeting? Need for auxiliary aids or services: Facilities are accessible to people with mobility impairments. If you need auxiliary aids or services in order to participate in the meeting (e.g., sign language interpreters, assistive listening devices, materials in alternative format), please submit a 3832800 request to West River Electric at (605) 279-2135. To ensure auxiliary aids or services are available, please make the request(s) at least 10 days in advance of the meeting. 10651800 6 COOPERATIVE CONNECTIONS | OCTOBER 2021


Notice of Incumbent Directors Seeking Re-Election Notice is hereby given that the official list of incumbent Directors seeking re-election for the position of Director includes the following indviduals pursuant to Section 4, Article V of the Bylaws of West River Electric Association, Inc. District No. 1: Consisting of the area served by the cooperative in Pennington County, South Dakota, West of the Cheyenne River. Howard Knuppe District No. 2: Consisting of the area served by the Cooperative in Meade and Ziebach Counties, South Dakota. Stan Anders District No. 3: Consisting of the area served by the Cooperative East of the Cheyenne River. Andy Moon You are further notified that the above nominations are made for the position of Director for a three year term to fill the term of the expiring Director, and that one individual from each district will be elected at the October 9, 2021 Annual Meeting of the Association. Dated this 19th day of April 2021. By Jamie Lewis, Secretary

Andy Moon - District 3 Andy Moon is seeking re-election to the District 3 director positon. He is a Credentialed Cooperative Director, serves as the board president and is currently working on receiving his Board Leadership Credentials. He was born and raised on a farm/ranch near Montevideo, Minn. 1757200 Andy graduated from SDSU with a B.S. in Business Economics. He is employed by Kjerstad Livestock as a Ranch Foreman since 1995. He is a member of St Patrick’s Catholic Church and past treasurer of Eastern Penn Investment Club. Andy and his wife, Lisa, have three children.

Stan Anders - District 2 Stan Anders is seeking re-election to West River Electric’s board of directors in District 2. He is a life long member of the Union Center community and has been in the trucking business since 1973. He is past board chairman of the South Dakota Trucking Association, past commander of the NAJA Shrine Air Patrol, served as secretary of the Rapid City Shrine Club and secretary of the Rural Meade Ambulance Service. Stan is a Credentialed Cooperative Director and Board Leadership Certified. Stan and his wife, Chris, have nine children and seventeen grandchildren. “I would like the opportunity to continue to represent the members of District 2.”

Howard Knuppe- District 1 Howard Knuppe is seeking re-election to the board from District 1. He was born and raised near New Underwood and still operates a ranch east of New Undewood. Howard worked as Haakon County agent from 1967 to 1973. Since returning to the ranch in 1973, he has served on the New Underwood School Board and has been a director of the Pennington County Crop Improvement Association. Howard and his wife, Delores, are the parents of three children and eight grandchildren. 10251600

Voting Regulations 1. Each voter must be a member of West River Electric Association, Inc. 2. Each member has only one vote. 3. For joint memberships, where the service is in the name of two individuals, one of the individuals may vote, but not both, and neither are eligible to have any other memberships. 4. Spouses may both have individual memberships, and under South Dakota statutes, one spouse may vote on behalf of the other, provided that the other has not indicated otherwise at the time of the meeting. 5. Each member organization should designate a representative who is an officer, shareholder or member of the organization to vote for a partnership, incorporated business, association, church, school township or other political body. The said person must have a completed authorization form, signed by an officer of the organization prior to the WREA Annual Meeting. The form can be found on page 11. 6. No campaigning by or for director candidates are allowed in the hall. 7. At registration, the member will be given a slip that will be exchanged for a ballot at the time of voting.



SEARCHING FOR SPOOKS Casey S. Hibbert peers out into the natural world through a window in the top floor of the haunted Adams House in Deadwood. Photos by Billy Gibson

Paranormal enthusiasts search for signs of the hereafter in SD’s haunted spaces Billy Gibson billy.gibson@sdrea.coop

Those eerie, creaky footsteps heard coming from the stairwell in Deadwood’s historic Adams House could be the restless spirit of former owner W.E. Adams. Or they could simply be a figment of the imagination. Maurice “Mo” Miller isn’t going to try to convince you either way. He just wants to collect evidence that there was in fact an unexplained sound and let you draw your own conclusions. Miller is founder and lead sleuth of the Black Hills Paranormal Investigations team. He and his six-member squad aren’t out to bust ghosts or chase mischievous spirits away. They only want to make a friendly connection with inhabitants of the afterlife, maybe say hello and spend some quality time together.

For the past 10 years, Miller and his crew have been conducting their missions all across the Black Hills area and have logged scores of audio recordings and other evidence they offer as possible proof of the existence of the hereafter. Every October, Miller invites fearless guests to accompany the investigators on their missions. But he often warns visitors beforehand: Don’t come dressed in a Dracula costume or some silly getup - this is serious business. “This isn’t a dog-and-pony show,” Miller said. “We never do investigations with the public on Halloween because people will come dressed up as a vampire or a witch and think it’s the county fair. The shows on TV are for entertainment. We have fun, but we don’t contrive things for entertainment value and promise we’ll deliver a ghost in a jar or yank one out into the open with a hook.”


Miller developed a passion for the paranormal when he had an unexplained experience as a youngster. “I was in my bedroom and – I don’t know how or why it happened – the closet door blew off the hinges and went flying across the room. My parents thought the door came down because I’d been swinging on it like a monkey. I was a little unnerved and slept on the couch for a month. But I started reading academic material on the subject to see if there was really something to this paranormal thing, and it’s been my passion ever since.” The BHPI team has several black metal cases, or “spirit boxes” full of devices, contraptions and gizmos they use to detect the presence of wandering ghosts. There are electromagnetic field meters, binoptic cameras, infrared static cameras, digital audio recorders and more. They’ve completed investigations of many haunted places in Deadwood and the surrounding area such as the Homestake Opera House, the Bullock Hotel, the Brothel Deadwood, the Lucky Nugget Casino and others.


Black Hills Paranormal Investigations team member LeAnn Harlan keeps an eye out for spirits during a recent visit to a private residence in Spearfish. Above/right, a device used by BHPI triggers when spirits are detected nearby.

As far as the fear factor goes, Miller said during late-night investigations he often finds himself keeping a close eye on BHPI Case Manager Mark Shadley, a retired police sergeant and seasoned law enforcement officer. If the former lawman starts showing

BHPI lead investigator Maurice “Mo” Miller discusses strategy with Deb Sutton and Kayleigh Johnson.

signs of fright or starts heading for the door, then it’s probably time to scram. The Black Hills area is often considered a hotbed of paranormal activity of the kind depicted in local folklore and in the tales spun by best-

selling author Ann Charles, but there a many other famously haunted places and spaces around the state. Author Chad Lewis has been researching paranormal activity in South Dakota, across the region, and around world for nearly 30 years and has written 25 books on the supernatural, including The South Dakota Road Guide to Haunted Locations as part of his “Unexplained” series. While Lewis has made many television appearances, he often speaks to local audiences and calls attention to some of the lesser known haunted sites such as Devil’s Gulch in Garretson and Spirit Mound State Historic Prairie near Vermillion. “Spirit Mound’s legends date back as far as Lewis and Clark. In their journals, they wrote that once arriving upon Spirt Mound, their guides would go no further as they feared small creatures that looked like little people and were very good with poisonous arrows.” He has explored many haunted sites in the Hills such as the Mount Moriah Cemetery and the Keystone Mount View Cemetery at the foot of Mount Rushmore. But Lewis has also studied spooky places in eastern South Dakota such as the Orpheum Theatre and Old Minnehaha Courthouse in Sioux Falls, Mount Marty College and Dakota

Visit these haunted sites if you dare Here is our Top 10 list of the eeriest, scariest, most haunted places in South Dakota. Enter at your own risk: • Bullock Hotel - Deadwood • Adams House - Deadwood • Old Minnehaha Courthouse Museum - Sioux Falls • Dakota Theater - Yankton • Hotel Alex Johnson - Rapid City • Sioux San Hospital - Rapid City • Lucky Nugget Casino - Deadwood • Homestake Opera House - Lead • Eastons Castle - Aberdeen • Mount Marty College - Yankton

Theatre in Yankton, Eastons Castle in Aberdeen and others. With Halloween coming up, Lewis encourages anyone interested in all things unexplained to get out and explore haunted sites and also to learn more about the history, lore and culture of different locations. “I think people should venture out and see things for themselves and make their own determinations,” he said. “If you go out to Spirit Mound, make sure to leave an offering like a shiny rock or candy for the Little People. This will protect you from them getting followed home.”



Annual Meeting Minutes

From October 17, 2020

The meeting was called to order by President Andy Moon at 10:00 a.m. at the Wall School Gym in Wall, South Dakota. All Veterans in attendance were asked to stand and be recognized. The membership and all in attendance recited the Pledge of Allegiance. The National Anthem was played for the membership. Secretary Jamie Lewis reported for Todd Whitaker, Chairperson of the Credentials and Election Committee, that 118 members of West River Electric Association, Inc. were registered and that a quorum was present at the meeting. At the present, we have a total of 13,980 members. A motion was made and seconded to dispense with the reading of the Notice of Annual Meeting. Motion carried. A motion was made and seconded to dispense with the reading of the Affidavit of Mailing and filed in the Minute Book September 21, 2020. Motion carried. The minutes of the October 10, 2019 Annual Meeting were presented for approval. President Moon asked for a motion to approve the minutes as presented. A motion was duly made and seconded to approve the minutes as mailed. Motion carried. President Moon introduced the guests in attendance. Allen Nelson announced that if any member had not yet registered, they should go and register at this time. He then announced registration had closed. Allen Nelson, Attorney for West River Electric read the Notice of Incumbent Directors seeking re-election for the position of Director from April 20, 2020 based on Section 4 Article 5 of the Bylaws. The Directors seeking re-election; Jerry Hammerquist from District I, Charles “Chuck” Sloan from District II and Larry Eisenbraun from District III. Nominating petitions for the position of Director are due not less than 60 days prior to the annual meeting. Mr. Nelson read the Notice of Nomination by Petition for District II director candidate Mick Trask. Attorney Nelson asked for a motion to cast a unanimous ballot for Jerry Hammerquist from District I and for Larry Eisenbraun for District III. A motion was made, seconded and carried to cast a unanimous ballot for districts 1 and 3. Mr. Nelson announced the contested election for District 2 and each candidate, Mr. Sloan and Mr. Trask will have 3 minutes to address the membership. Voting of Director positions. A member addressed the membership requesting registration to be reopened due to a situation that caused a late arrival to the meeting. Mr. Nelson stated that under the circumstances he asked for a motion to reopen registration. A motion was made, seconded and carried to reopen registration to allow 4 members to register. Registration is now closed. Mr. Nelson announced at this time we will proceed with the voting. President Andy Moon welcomed the membership and stated that considering everything going on, it is fantastic to see so many of our members attending even if you are socially distanced. Thanks to the School for allowing us to use their facility. Our theme this year is to honor October as Breast Cancer Awareness month. Our employees raised $3,000 to present to the American Cancer Society and we are extremely proud of their efforts. He introduced the Board of Directors and thanked them for their many


hours each year in Board meetings, committee meetings, training, education and visiting with our member-owners about their needs and keeping an eye on all the many varied and different challenges and opportunities happening in the electric industry while continuing that tradition of keeping our members satisfied and meeting their needs while providing a safe environment for our employees. Our employees worked another year safely with no major injuries. He thanked the employees for all their dedication to the member at the end of the line. Along with all the pandemonium, they worked through some very challenging times. We are considered critical workers in the time of a pandemic or crisis. We greatly appreciate your efforts this year. Moon highlighted the bill credit the Board approved based on 2019 margins and also the general capital credit retirement for 2020, a commitment to our members. Dick Johnson, CEO/General Manager, began with highlighting the theme of Breast Cancer Awareness that was presented by our employees. Johnson spoke of revenue from sales, total operating expenses, margins, assets, and member equity. WREA continues to see growth with 265 new members in 2019 and 350 year to date for 2020 while adding 550 new members from last years’ annual meeting to today. Crews are working on the rebuild of our Wall substation, we purchased 2 new lots for future substations; one by Eglin St. and on Country Road, we spent time on the SBA Paycheck Protection program, been expanding our social media platforms, rate options for heat rate and discount rate that is now available 1st of October through April, working with the State of SD for a grant for electric vehicle charging stations along the I-90 corridor, a battery storage project and a solar project in New Underwood. Dick touched on the loss of former employee Bill “Mac” McElroy and the retirement of Dave Semerad. He thanked the employees outside crew for working as split crews and staggered hours and the inside personnel on packing up their computers and heading home and keeping communication up with virtual meetings all while answering the calls for members. He thanked the Board for their continued support throughout this challenging year. Drawings were held for door prizes. Employee years of service were presented: 20 years-Sanden Simons and Brendan Nelson, 15 years-Cheryl Walker, 10 years-Sallie Traver, Brandon Bisgaard, John Garrigan, 5 years-Cody Bernstein, Derek Haug, Matt Kruse and Jared Stalley. President Moon called for old business. There was none. President Moon called for new business. There was none. President Moon announced the winner of District II election as Charles “Chuck” Sloan. Moon thanked Mick Trask for his interest in serving on the Board of Directors. President Moon thanked the employees who helped to organize and put on this successful annual meeting. A prize drawing was held for the kids drawing. The winners are Brittney Walker and Quinn Wortman. The drawing was held for 6 - $500 Scholarships for a high school senior or full time student currently attending college or technical school. The winners were Abbianna Weinzetl, Brycen Cheney, Grant Madsen, Hayden Pelton, Nathan Divis, and Camri Elshere. The grand prize winner was Kelly Whitaker. The jackpot winner of $500.00 was Delphina Solano. Come back next year, the jackpot will be $1,700. The meeting adjourned at 10:59 a.m. -Jamie Lewis, Secretary

EMPLOYEE YEARS OF SERVICE/VOTING DELEGATION Keenen Caesar Tucker O’Rourke Cameron Price Sean Bestgen Marissa Delaney Amanda Haugen Trevor Schryvers

EMPLOYEE YEARS OF SERVICE Board of Directors Jerry Hammerquist Howard Knuppe Marcia Arneson Larry Eisenbraun Stan Anders Andy Moon Jamie Lewis Chuck Sloan Sue Peters Management Staff Wayne Shull Mike Letcher Veronica Kusser Dick Johnson Dawn Hilgenkamp Cheryl Walker Jenny Patterson Amy Thompson Robert Raker Linemen & Office Employees Byron Frank Lane Butler Betty Haerer Tracea Ladner Matt Schmahl Sanden Simons Brendan Nelson Jannette Thayer Becky Chihak Tyson Gunn Lance Steiger Mike Oyen Christine Ritter Alicia Fortune Justin Wermers Roberta Rancour Sallie Traver John Garrigan Brandon Bisgaard Bonnie Almeida Dakota Douglas Zach Hansen Stacey Parkis Eric Emery Adam Daigle Colter Stout Lindsy Reagle Garrett Shearer Turner Donahue Gerri Johnston Matt Kruse Jared Stalley Derek Haug Cody Bernstein Clint Stangle Aarin Ainsworth Aimee Paulsen Lucas Schreurs Carolyn Schulz Tucker Hohn

37 33 27 25 15 15 8 5 4

District 1 District 1 District 2 Treasurer, District 3 Vice President District 2 President, District 3 Secretary, District 1 District 2 District 3

37 30 27 27 25 16 14 14 13

Operations Superintendent Operations Manager Marketing & Mbr. Serv. Mgr. CEO/General Manager CFO/Mgr. of Finance IT Manager Mgr of Office Services Mgr. of Member Services Mgr. of Comm. and PR

34 30 23 23 22 21 21 19 19 17 15 15 13 13 12 12 11 11 11 10 10 10 8 8 8 7 7 7 7 7 6 6 6 6 5 5 4 4 3 3

Metering Foreman Enning Foreman Accountant Operations Adm. Asst. Staking Foreman Wall Foreman Rapid City Foreman Metering Adm. Asst. Member Services Rep. Meter Technician Staking Technician Warehouseman Marketing Rep. Billing Supervisor Staking Technician Administrative Assistant Member Services Rep. Utility Maintenance Operations Tech. Member Services Rep. Journeyman Lineman Journeyman Lineman Member Services Rep. Journeyman Lineman Energy Advisor Journeyman Lineman Accounting Spec./MSR Work Order Specialist Journeyman Lineman Network Administrator Journeyman Lineman Marketing Rep. Journeyman Lineman Journeyman Lineman Journeyman Lineman Journeyman Lineman Billing Specialist Apprentice Lineman Billing Support Specialist Apprentice Lineman

2 2 2 1 1 7 Months 7 Months

Apprentice Lineman Apprentice Lineman Apprentice Lineman Electrical Engineer Member Services Rep. Member Services Rep. Apprentice Lineman

This form is to designate the voting delegate of an organization. This form should be completed and signed by an officer of the organization and brought to the meeting. Voting Authorization Necessary for Organizations Non-Individual members such as schools, municipalities, churches, organizations, and corporations are entitled to representation and one vote, but the proper procedure must be followed to exercise this right. Each member organization should designate a representative who is an officer, shareholder, or member of their organization. This form must be signed by an officer of the governing body. Authorization to Vote This is to certify that __________________________ of ____________________________in a duly assembled meeting, designated _______________________ who is a(n) Officer, Shareholder, or Member (CIRCLE ONE) of said organization, to represent the ________________________________at the regular Annual Meeting of the members of West River Electric Association, Inc., to be held October 9, 2021 and said person is authorized to cast such member’s vote on all issues that may come before said meeting. The undersigned verifies that (s)he is the __________________________ of said organization and authorized to execute this instrument on behalf thereof. _____________________________ ___________ Signature Date Organization Address ___________________________ ___________________________ Phone Number: ________________ Witness Mailing Address ___________________________ ___________________________ Phone Number: ________________ _____________________ Print Name of Witness

________________ Signature of Witness



A PLACE TO GROW Public libraries across the state continue to serve the needs of their communities as places to go for a wide range of experiences.

South Dakota’s public library system grows and adapts to an ever-changing cultural and technological landscape Billy Gibson billy.gibson@sdrea.coop

The state’s public library system got its start even before there was a state. In 1886, three years before South Dakota achieved statehood, the Howard Public Library was chartered and quickly became a point of pride for the people of present-day Miner County. The contents of the library have long since been relocated to a modern facility in the town’s Municipal Building, but the original structure can still be visited at Prairie Village in nearby Madison. As the first of its kind in the state, the Howard Public Library is still a thriving entity and serves as a testament to the versatility and resiliency of the state’s library system. Standing strong through world wars, recessions, depressions, funding pressures, political challenges and

changes in culture and contemporary lifestyles, South Dakota’s libraries are still delivering the goods - and the books - in their respective communities. Mary K. Schlim is the head librarian in Howard and says the community takes a lot of pride in being home to the state’s first facility. She takes an optimistic view of the future of libraries...as long as they continue to adapt. “I think libraries have a bright future,” she said. “You just have to keep updating and modernizing and keeping up with the trends and the technology. We have the computers, but we’re adding new books all the time. There will always be demand from people who want an actual, physical book to read. There will always be a need for libraries.” Schlim said her facility is open six days a week with more than 14,000 books on the shelves, five public


computers with internet access, 37 subscriptions to magazines and periodicals, and free WiFi access. In the year prior to the pandemic, 3.7 million visits were made to the state’s 107 public libraries while nearly half the state’s residents held a library card. In 2019, more than 600 of the state’s citizens were employed at a public library, and a collective 5.8 million digital and physical materials were circulated. Brenda Hemmelman, access and development services director for the state library system, said libraries return $4 in various programs and services for every $1 invested. She describes libraries as a sound investment in communities large and small. Hemmelman recently announced the distribution of nearly $2 million in grant money disbursed to a total of 78 public, local school and academic libraries across the state. The grant money came from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) through American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds.



“This will help our libraries invest in infrastructure, technology and materials that will serve their patrons through modern, innovative facilities and practices well into the future,” Hemmelman said. Grant-funded items include the following: • Technology to replace old computer equipment • Podcasting equipment • Digitization equipment • Books, audio books, e-books • 3D printers and other makerspace equipment • Furniture with embedded technology • Library automation software • SMART boards/Promethean boards for classroom teaching and displays. The state system also purchased an additional $76,000 worth of audiobooks and e-books for the South Dakota Titles to Go (SDTTG) consortium with funds from IMLS through ARPA. Hemmelman said SDTTG program usage increased 18 percent from 2019 to 2020 as users checked out more than 400,000 titles. Hemmelman said libraries face an ongoing challenge to remain relevant and useful in a rapidly changing technological landscape. She said libraries were fortunate to receive the recent grant money after 96 percent of the state’s facilities closed temporarily during the pandemic. She was quick to note, however, that 86 percent continued to provide public services even though the physical facility may have been closed. More than 80 percent provided outside or curbside checkout services and all of them increased access to digital materials. For Hemmelman, those indicators point to a promising future for the state’s public library system.

As the South Dakota State Historical Society celebrates its 120th year, the South Dakota State Library has digitized all 41 volumes of the South Dakota Historical Collections. From 1902 to 1982, this series was published biennially by the Department of History (now the South Dakota State Historical Society) as part of its mission to collect, preserve and make accessible the history of the state. All 41 volumes are now available via the Featured Collections section of the South Dakota State Library’s Digital Collections. These volumes cover a wide array of topics and are a valuable resource for students, teachers, and scholarly researchers. Six editors presided over the South Dakota Historical Collections during its run, including Doane Robinson, Will G. Robinson and Dayton Canaday. Their different editing styles and interests are evident throughout the volumes. Taken as a whole, the series represents an evolution in perspectives on the state’s history, heritage and culture. In 1989, an index to the collection was compiled and published to aid researchers. The South Dakota State Library serves as the state’s depository for current and historical state agency publications, some of which go back to territorial days. The South Dakota State Library’s Digital Collections reflect the history and culture of South Dakota. Primarily of interest to librarians, researchers, and genealogists, the digital collections include newspaper articles, South Dakota library photographs, state government annual reports and research reports, South Dakota Codified Laws, Session Laws, House and Senate Journals and more. Access the collections at: sdsdl-montage.autographics.com/.



Notice of Proposed Bylaw Amendments Notice is hereby given that two (2) board sponsored proposed bylaw amendments have been filed for the membership to vote on, pursuant to Article XII of the Bylaws of West River Electric Association, Inc. The following board sponsored proposed bylaw ammendments will be voted on at the October 9, 2021. You are further notified that the effective date

of all altered or amended, repealed, or new bylaws approved by the members shall have an effective date established by the Board but not later than the next annual meeting. Dated this 16th day of August, 2021. By Jamie Lewis, Secretary



PROPOSED BYLAW AMENDMENTS Article II Membership-WREA Board of Directors recommends that a new paragraph “i” and “j” be added and the existing paragraph “i” become paragraph “k” so the new section will read as follows: SECTION 1. Requirements for Membership. Any a) person, b) partnership, c) estate, d) trust e) association, f) corporation g) limited liability company, h) organization or other business entity, i) Tribe or Tribal entity, j) any other legal entity, i)k) Federal or State Agency or political subdivision thereof may become a member of the West River Electric Association, (hereinafter called the “Cooperative’) upon receipt of electric service from the Cooperative, such member shall: Article VI Meetings of Directors-WREA Board of Directors recommends that the last sentence in Section 2 be removed and inserted as a new Section 3 and the current Section 3 becomes Section 4 and each of the paragraphs in Section II that follows be increased by one (1) number so it will read as follows: SECTION 2. Special Meetings. Special meetings of the Board of Directors may be called by the President or by any three Directors, and it shall be the duty of the Secretary to cause notice of such meeting to be given as hereinafter provided. The President, or the Directors calling the meeting, shall fix the time and place for the meeting or the meeting may be held electronically at the option of the President or the Directors calling the meeting. Any meetings may, with the oral consent (said consent to be shown in the written minutes of such meeting) of the majority of the directors, be convened and conducted by telecommunications, or other electronic media, without regard to the actual physical location of any of the individual directors. SECTION 3. Meetings by telecommunication or other electronic media. Any meetings may, with the oral consent (said consent to be shown in the written minutes of such meeting) of the majority of the directors, be convened and conducted by telecommunications, or other electronic media, without regard to the actual physical location of any of the individual directors. If you support these Amendments to the Bylaws please check yes. If you do not support the Amendments check no. ______Yes (I Approve the Proposed Amendments) ______No (I Do Not Approve the Proposed Amendments)


FINANCIAL REPORT What We Own as of Dec. 31:

Our Revenue Came From: 2019 Farms and Ranches Residential Large Commercial Small Commercial Public, Irrigation, Other TOTAL INCOME:

$3,495,028 $19,942,928 $10,142,723 $3,140,594 $1,948,719 $38,669,992

2020 $3,564,407 $20,455,707 $9,726,915 $3,072,284 $616,860 $37,436,173

We Paid For: 2019 Power Purchased Maintenance & Operations Member Accounts General & Administrative Depreciation Interest Taxes & Other Deductions TOTAL OPERATING EXPENSE: Operating Margins Non-Operating Margins Capital Credits TOTAL MARGINS:

2019 Co-op Statistics Members: 13,430 Meters: 17,639 Total # of Employees: 55 Service Area: 4,500 sq mi Transmission Line: 37 mi Overhead Line: 2,079 mi Underground Line: 549 mi Avg Residential Usage: 1,000 KWH


$20,445,586 $4,206,625 $2,222,006 $3,221,017 $3,603,852 $2,728,219 $780,151 $37,207,456

$20,399,364 $3,402,399 $2,789,956 $2,751,859 $3,730,492 $2,566,716 $689,358 $ 36,330,144

$1,462,536 $509,353 $953,721 $2,925,610

$1,106,029 $381,620 $1,127,195 $2,614,844

Avg Residential Bill: $130 Avg Sm Commercial Usage: 1,417 KWH Avg Sm Commercial Bill: $207 Avg Lg Commercial Usage: 16,175 KWH Avg Lg Commercial Bill: $1,910 Meters Per Mile of Line: 6.61

Electric Plant Other Property & Investments Cash and Cash Equivalents Accounts Receivable Material & Supplies on Hand Prepayments & Interest Deferred Debits TOTAL WE OWN:



$96,003,703 $17,775,225 $2,748,271 $2,520,234 $2,816,261 $1,685,577 $773,846 $124,323,117

$101,278,898 $19,508,893 $4,188,977 $2,374,875 $2,997,514 $1,630,001 $551,672 $132,530,830

What We Owe as of Dec. 31: 2019 Total Long-Term Debt Other Noncurrent Liabilities Notes Payable - Line of Credit Accounts Payable Member Deposits Taxes Accrued Other Current Liabilities Deferred Credits TOTAL WE OWE:



2020 Co-op Statistics

Members: 13,980 Meters: 18,159 Total # of Employees: 56 Service Area: 4,500 sq mi Transmission line: 37 mi Overhead Line: 2,081 mi Underground Line: 541 mi Avg Residential Usage: 977 KWH


$75,006,600 $412,399 $$1,954,775 $401,780 $1,036,472 $502,935 $558,685 $79,873,646

$79,816,380 $398,692 $1,373,250 $2,247,320 $425,645 $1,049,708 $570,186 $1,826,295 $87,707,476

$44,449,471 $124,323,117

$44,823,354 $132,530,830

Avg Residential Bill: $130 Avg Sm Commercial Usage: 1,345 KWH Avg Sm Commercial Bill: $201 Avg Lg Commercial Usage: 15,300 KWH Avg Lg Commercial Bill: .$1,835 Meters Per Mile of Line: 6.83



Native American Day Celebration Crazy Horse Memorial, Crazy Horse, SD, 605-673-4681


New Underwood/Wall Tailgating New Underwood Football Field, New Underwood, SD, 605-393-1500


KELOLAND Living Arts & Crafts Show Best Western Plus Exhibit Hall & Annex, Sioux Falls, SD, email events@keloland.com for more info

Pheasant Hunting Season Opening Day October 16, 2021


WREA Appreciation Day Rapid City Office, Rapid City, SD, 605-393-1500


Great Downtown Pumpkin Festival 526 Main Street, Rapid City, SD, 605-716-7979


Pedal Parade for Kids of All Ages Power House, Wall, SD, 605-279-2665 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.


Wheelin to Wall Community Center, Wall, SD, 605-279-2665


Menno Pioneer Power Show Menno, SD, contact Daniel at mennopowershow@yahoo.com for more details


Festival of Books Various Locations, Deadwood, SD, 605-688-6113


Oktoberfest Various Locations, Deadwood, SD, 605-578-1876


Harvest Festival 420 Villa Drive, Box Elder, SD, 605-923-1404


Fort Pierre Horse Races Stanley County Fairgrounds, Fort Pierre, SD, 605-223-2178

Governor’s South Dakota Showcase 1201 N West Avenue, Sioux Falls, SD, 605-773-3301


Deadweird Various Locations, Deadwood, SD, 605-578-1876


Scare in the Square Main Street Square, Rapid City, SD, 605-716-7979



Annual Great Scarecrow Festival Campbell Park, Huron, SD, 605-354-0491

Drive Up Stop n Go Turkey Dinner Tickets $12, RV United Methodist Church, Rapid City, SD, 605-393-1526



Junkin’ Market Days W.H. Lyon Fairgrounds, Sioux Falls, SD, 605-941-4958


Pumpkin Festival Country Apple Orchard, Harrisburg, SD, 605-743-2424


WREA Annual Meeting Wall Community Center, Wall, SD, 605-279-2135

Lille Norge Fest Canyon Lake Activity Center, Canyon Lake Drive, Rapid City, SD, 605-342-4226


Rapid City Garden Club’s Wreath & Centerpiece Sale Central States Fairgrounds, Rapid City, SD, 605-343-0710 Note: Please make sure to call ahead to verify the event is still being held.