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VOL. 17 NO. 5

A New Home

for 4-H at the State Fair




Here comes the PCA I will start out with the good news; this hot weather has been good for sales! We have been using our demand response system several days to curb peak demand. We appreciate your willingness through the demand response system to help keep our power costs as low as possible. We have had some storms that have caused us some headaches. We had a bad hail Dick Johnson storm and EF1 tornado go CEO/General Manager through the northern part of our system on July 6. We ended up with several poles broken off along with numerous wire breaks and transformer fuses broken. We also sustained serious damage due to hail on our property in Enning. Well here comes the PCA (gulp!). At our July Board meeting, the Board approved a 6 mill power cost adjustment (PCA) that will be added to your bill starting with the bill you receive in September. Six mills is the same as 6 tenths of a cent. What that means is the average residential user will see an increase of approximately $6.00 per month. This equates to an overall increase of 4.5%. We had a power cost adjustment (PCA) on our bills up until 2008. However, we have since rolled this into our base rates but left the line on the bill with a $0 amount in case we needed it later. You will now see an amount on that line with your kWh for the month x $0.006. I visited with you last month that we were looking at an increase. Our Board and staff toiled over what to do to minimize the effects. The PCA directly relates to power costs from our main power supplier, Basin Electric, and does not include any

of our West River Electric costs. With Basin’s midyear rate increase, our costs will increase approximately $760,000 through the rest of the year. The good news is that Basin’s intent is to leave the rate static through 2017. That will add an additional $1.7 million to our power costs for 2017. That is a difficult pill to swallow when power costs are over 50% of our total operating expenses. There are several reasons for the Basin increase. The issue started to arise in October. Primary drivers include low commodity prices across both energy and agriculture; diminished member sales and low market prices stemming from a unusually mild winter weather and increased wind capacity; capital expenditures to support continued growth in all areas of their service territory but especially in western ND; and environmental regulations calling for installation of more emission control technology. On the member sales side, we all know the mild winter we had across the entire upper Midwest. Grain drying and irrigation loads across the membership of Basin were down significantly. There was also an impact on commodity prices, which had a significant effect on Dakota Gasification Company (DGC) revenue levels. DGC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Basin. For surplus sales to non-members, market prices for electricity declined substantially largely due to low natural gas prices and an influx of cheap wind generation. We have appreciation days coming up in September too. Be sure to watch for details in the Cooperative Connections. This will be a great time to visit with us about this issue or any issue or question you may have, or just come and enjoy a great meal and mingle. Stay safe the rest of the summer!

Stop in either the Rapid City or Wall offices of West River Electric to become a registered voter. Make your voice heard! 2 S eptem be r 2 0 1 6 • cooperative connections


Employee Biographies Colter Stout - 2 Years I grew up in the Kadoka area, graduating from High School in 2011. I went on to attend Mitchell Technical Institute and received an Electrical and Powerline Construction and Maintenance degree. I started working at West River Electric as a summer help after graduation. I was presented with an opportunity for a full time position as an apprentice lineman part way thru the summer and I accepted. This coming September I will have worked for West River Electric for 2 years. I go home to Kadoka in my spare time and help out at the ranch where I have cattle. I participate in lots of other events such as ranch rodeos, team roping, softball, hunting and fishing when I am not working. I have really come to enjoy being a lineman and I enjoy the people I get to work with everyday. Gerri Johnston - 1 Year I grew up on a ranch between Mission, SD and Valentine, NE. I attended a Lutheran school in Mission from K-3 and then a country school, Littleburg school 4-8 grade. I graduated from Todd County High in Mission. I attended college at Brookings and Sioux Falls where I started my career in computers at Gateway. I worked at Gateway till 1999 and moved to Rapid City to do network support for the Rapid City School District. I then pursued a career with Beverly Health Care facilities in the area doing computer support. I was working at Micro Solutions when I met the love of my life, Chad, in 2002. We married in 2004. During that time I started work with the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center doing computer support with the Daktronics equipment and was part of building the new hockey rink at the Civic Center. The city consolidated the IT division in 2006, which I was given the opportunity to support the network architecture for 25 city sites. I was part of the design and build of the airport expansion project completed in 2012. 565800 In November of 2014 I applied for the IT/networking position with West River Electric. I enjoy working with a smaller group of people and learning about the world of electricity and what it takes, people and equipment, to keep everything up and running. I enjoy spending time with my husband and our 2 labs, Allie and Jack. We enjoy doing things outdoors whether it be ATV riding, camping in the hills, fishing at the river, hunting, mountain biking or just hanging out at our home between Keystone and Hermosa working in our garden. I still enjoy going back home to the ranch to visit family whenever we can. I really enjoy working for West River Electric and how generous and caring they are to their employees. I enjoy working at the various events we do throughout the year to give back to the community and our members. cooperative connections • S ep t em b er 2016 3





Back-to-School Electrical Safety When hooking up computers, appliances, TVs, game consoles and other electronics, it pays to be safe. Students and parents who know what electrical hazards to look for and how to address them will start the school year with peace of mind. Protect yourself from injury and keep electronics running safely by taking the following precautions: • Use only approved electrical products with the mark of a recognized certification agency. • Choose power bars with a heavygauge cord that are approved by a recognized certification agency. • Replace frayed or damaged extension cords with new ones. • Keep extension cords out from under carpet, rugs or furniture as this could damage the cord and also present a fire hazard. • Keep flammable materials such as books, paper and clothing away from heaters, stoves and other heating sources. • Never leave cooking appliances unattended. • Plug portable heaters and air conditioners directly into the outlet. If an extension cord is needed, to prevent overheating and risk of fire, use only one that is rated for this purpose to ensure that the cord can handle the electrical current. • Never remove the third prong from an electrical product. The third prong is the grounding device and is a critical safety feature. • Avoid overloading outlets or circuits as this can cause overheating that may lead to fire.

off to College Every fall, thousands of students move away from home to attend college. When renting off-campus accommodations, have the landlord correct any electrical hazards before you move in, such as: • Exposed electrical wiring; • Loose or damaged plugs and switches or outlets and switches with missing cover plates; • Dim, flickering or surging lights; • Fuses that blow or circuit breakers that frequently trip or outlets that don’t work when fuses are replaced or breakers reset; and • Fuses and switches that are warm or hot to the touch. Source: esasafe.com 4 September 2016 • Cooperative ConneCtions

Kids’ Corner Safety Poster “Call 8-1-1 before you dig.” Elizabeth Land, 9 years old Elizabeth is the daughter of Greg and Anne Land, Dell Rapids, S.D. They are members of Sioux Valley Energy, Colman, S.D. 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.



Garden Goodness ripe tomato relish 12 cups ripe tomatoes, chopped 7 large onions, chopped 3 cups celery, chopped 1/4 cup salt

roasted vegetables 3 green peppers, chopped 2 cups white vinegar 4 cups sugar 2 T. mustard seed

Combine tomatoes, onions, celery and salt; let set overnight. The next morning, drain for 4 hours. Add remaining ingredients. Put in jars and refrigerate. Laila Arndt, Glenham

sweet & sour salad 12 cups watermelon, cut into cubes 2 cucumbers, peeled and cubed 2 green onions, coarsely chopped

Dressing: 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar 1/2 cup sugar 1 tsp. poppy seeds 1/4 tsp. salt and pepper

Put watermelon in a colander to drain while preparing cucumbers and onion. Combine watermelon, cucumbers and onions in a large bowl. Mix together dressing ingredients in a shaker bottle until sugar is dissolved. Pour dressing over salad, gently stirring to coat. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Susie Trapp, Humboldt

summer Garden ‘n pasta 1 lb. thin spaghetti, broken into 1 red onion, diced 1-inch pieces Dressing: 1 pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half 1 (16 oz.) bottle Italian salad 2 medium zucchini, diced dressing 1 large cucumber, diced 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese 1 medium green bell pepper, 1 T. sesame seeds diced 1 tsp. paprika 1 red bell pepper, diced 1/2 tsp. celery seed 2 (2-1/4 oz. cans) sliced ripe 1/2 tsp. garlic powder olives, drained

1 tsp. garlic salt 1 tsp. Italian seasoning 1/2 tsp. fennel seed 1 small green bell pepper, cut into chunks 1 small red onion, cut into thin wedges 1 small yellow squash, sliced

1 small zucchini, sliced 1 cup asparagus pieces 1 cup red potato chunks 1 cup baby carrots 2 T. oil 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, optional

Mix seasonings in small bowl. Toss vegetables and oil in large bowl. Add seasonings; toss to coat well. Spread vegetables in single layer on foil-lined 15x10x1-inch baking pan. Bake at 450°F. for 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. If desired, sprinkle 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese over vegetables during last 5 minutes of baking. Makes 6 servings. Nutritional Information Per Serving: Calories 93, Total Fat 5g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 342mg, Carbohydrates 10g, Dietary Fiber 2g, Protein 2g Pictured, Cooperative Connections

vegetable pizza 2 tubes refrigerated crescent rolls 2 (8 oz.) pkgs. cream cheese, softened 1 pkg. dry ranch dressing 1 cup mayonnaise

Garden vegetables of choice – carrots, peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes, etc. Shredded Cheddar cheese

Unroll crescent rolls and pat onto a greased jelly roll pan. Bake according to package directions; cool completely. Mix together cream cheese, dry ranch dressing and mayonnaise. Spread on crust. Top with cut up piece of vegetables, pressing down slightly. Top with shredded cheese. Refrigerate. Eric Neville, Milesville

Zucchini pancakes 1/3 cup biscuit baking mix 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese 1/8 tsp. pepper

2 eggs, lightly beaten 2 cups shredded zucchini 2 T. butter

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse in cold water. In a large bowl, combine pasta, tomatoes, zucchini, cucumber, green and red bell pepper, red onion and olives. To make dressing, whisk together Italian salad dressing, Parmesan cheese, sesame seeds, paprika, celery seed and garlic powder. Pour over salad and toss until coated. Cover and refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight.

In a bowl, combine biscuit baking mix, Parmesan cheese, pepper and eggs just until blended. Add zucchini, mixing well. In a large skillet, melt butter. Drop batter by about 1/3-cupfuls into skillet; press lightly to flatten. Fry until golden brown, about 3 minutes each side.

Ginny Jensen, Volga

Lynn Holzerland, Waubay

Please send your favorite pasta, crockpot and holiday treat 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 2016. All entries must include your name, mailing address, telephone number and cooperative name.

Cooperative ConneCtions • September 2016 5



What’s New At West River Electric

Come Out & Join the Fun West River Electric encourages all of our members to visit Enning or Rapid City for our Appreciation Day Events. We will have employees on hand to answer questions and visit with you about the different programs that we offer at these two locations. We will also be on hand at the Wall Eagles vs New Underwood Tigers Football game. Appreciation Day in Enning is September 8, 2016 from 5:00 p.m.7:00 p.m. We will have Katchup the Clown on hand to entertain the kids. Operation Round-up funds will be presented to the 2016 recipients and you will have the opportunity to register to vote to make your voice heard in the up-coming presidential election. We will be serving hamburgers and hot dogs, so come out and enjoy an evening of fellowship with your coop directors and employees. Member Appreciation Day in the Rapid City office will be September 23, 2016 from 11:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m. We will be serving hamburgers and hot dogs. We will have United Blood Services, RV Volunteer Fire Department, a heat pump representative, a lighting representative, Basin Electric and bucket truck rides. We will be offering you the opportunity to register to vote, be ready to make your voice heard in the presidential election. We will have employees on hand to answer questions. WREA will be demonstrating safe electricity with the High Voltage Demonstration and the Neon Leon Display. We will be presenting Operation Round-Up checks to the recipients of the funds for 2016. Come out and meet the Board of Directors and employees who are here to respond to your service needs. 3742500 Come and join us as at our 3rd Annual Tailgate Party with the Wall Eagles and New Underwood Tigers. We will be at the Wall Football Field on October 20, 2016 from 5:30 p.m.-7:00 p.m. Come out and cheer for your favorite football team. We will have employees and directors on hand to serve you hamburgers and hot dogs, and answer all your questions.

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cooperative connections

Co-op news

Baseball Size Hail & Tornado

Cause Outages We feel fortunate that no one was hurt. As I looked out my window the afternoon of July 6th, it was very obvious that someone someplace was going to see some bad weather. We just were not sure how bad it was going to be. The weather continued to move east leaving behind some much needed moisture, but no damage sustained to our system in the Sturgis or Rapid City area. But as the clouds and winds moved east, it was obvious that the strength of it was continuing to build. Soon the rain, hail and winds hit the Enning area and left a path of destruction. The members in the area of Enning, Plainview, and White Owl saw baseball size hail, damaging winds and were left with no power to their homes and ranches. When our linecrews were able to get out and survey the damage, we found that we had lost 8 3-Phase poles on the new Plainview line, our crews worked into the night to switch lines to restore power to that area. There were 6 single phase poles down South of White Owl that needed to be set before power could be restored to that area. We learned from the National Weather Service the next day that it was confirmed that a small EF-1 tornado went thru South of White Owl, and as you can see from the pictures it left a path of destruction. 3975700 The West River Electric shop and house sustained damage with broken windows, leaking roofs and siding damage, all those things can be repaired, we are just thankful

that there were no injuries to anyone or loss of cattle. Thank you to our lineman who worked thru the night to get power restored to our members.

cooperative connections • S ep t em b er 2016 7

Nordby Exhibit Hall:

4-H’s New Home at the State Fair 4

four classrooms, a large demonstration kitchen and offices for State Fair and Beadle County Extension staff. The building will be a statewide home for South Dakota 4-H year-round and will be utilized for meetings, training sessions, various competitions and other gatherings. When not in use by 4-H, the building will be available for events such as conventions, trade shows, performances, receptions, etc. “When we did the strategic plan a few years ago, one of the things identified was the need for this type of building,” said Loren Noess,a member of the State Fair Board and chairman of the drive to construct Nordby Exhibit Hall. The South Dakota State Fair Foundation was

Photos by Stewarts Aronia Acres

By Brenda Kleinjan

-H members are familiar witH pledges. At meetings across the country, members pledge their head, hands, heart and health to ideals that serve society well. But, for the past three years, South Dakota 4-H members have undertaken a different type of pledge: to raise resources to construct a new home for the program that has been synonymous with state and county fairs for more than a century. On Sept. 4 at 4 p.m., the Nordby Exhibit Hall on the South Dakota State Fair Grounds in Huron, S.D., will be dedicated. The $4.7 million building is multi-purpose in that it was constructed for 4-H, youth and community. It contains 30,000 square feet of exhibit space,


created in 1992 with a mission to support activities designed to enhance, improve, expand and continue the South Dakota State Fair. As part of that mission, the Foundation has embarked on an important venture to further strengthen the State Fair’s future. As summer barreled to the deadline for the building’s opening, organizers were nearing the end of the fund-raising for the project. At the beginning of August, $4.36 million of the $4.7 million goal had been raised. There may be a few loose ends to tie up, but organizers are confident that the building will be open to greet the thousands of visitors and exhibitors at the fair. “It will be open and usable for the State Fair. Some of the classrooms won’t be completely ready, but the main exhibit hall will be,” said Noess, who retired in 2015 after nearly four decades working for electric cooperatives in South Dakota. The versatile, open-layout building replaces Clover Hall, which had been utilized since the 1950s for 4-H exhibits and competitions. Noess noted that the building is named for Earl Nordby. “We’ve had lots of help with this. Earl Nordby has been very generous providing an additional donation and then offering the challenge for additional money,” said Noess. For Noess, who said 4-H played a big role in his childhood and teen years, investing in the program makes sense for an ag-based state. “4-H is one of the big anchors for the South Dakota State Fair,” said Noess. “I have always said our No. 1 industry in South

Dakota is agriculture. Not everyone in 4-H is going to farm and ranch, but there are so many opportunities in the ag sector – agronomists, ag lenders, rural electrics – where these members will one day contribute.” Noess said that in addition to the building’s function during the State Fair, its presence is providing a foundation for other activities on the grounds. “That type of a building has been a plus in getting other things to come to the state of South Dakota,” said Noess, noting that the building was a part in securing the National Junior High Rodeo Association finals in June 2018 and 2019. “It was built for 4-H plus to be used for other activities as well such as farm shows “One of the things that we’d like and the Legislature would like too is for the fair to have year-round activities,” said Noess.

“4-H is one of the big anchors for the South Dakota State Fair.”

To raise the final monies needed for the building, organizers have launched The Final Brick Countdown, which is the push for the last $500,000 of the building’s $4.7 million campaign. Any donation of $1,000 toward the capital campaign is recognized with an engraved Sioux quartzite paver located on the grounds of the new exhibit hall. Multiple bricks can be created for one donor – for example, a donation of $3,000 is recognized with three bricks. Call 605-553-4251 or visit www.sdstatefairfoundation.com to learn more. Online donations can be made through this site.

About Nordby Exhibit Hall: The new 48,000 square-foot exhibit hall features: • More than 30,000 square feet of exhibit space • Multiple classrooms • A versatile conference room/work room, available for activities during the fair and in the off-season • A large kitchen for 4-H Special Foods competitions and year-round concessions • A performance stage • Year-round office space for the State Fair staff. COOPERATIVE CONNECTIONS • September 2016 9

According to the 2013 Census Population 100

Originally Black, now Interior I

Editor’s Note The story of Interior is told on a sign in town welcoming travelers from near and far. Take a minute to stop by and explore.

By Veronica Kusser

n 1891 mail service began at the black Post office where Oliver and Mary Johnson had a general store. Black grew to a population of 20 and became a trade center serving people from a hundred miles around. In 1894 the Johnsons received a notice from Washington requesting that they change the name of the post office, with most letters arriving at the post office being addressed to the Oglala Indians and since most of the letters came from the Department of Interior, they concluded that the post office should become known as Interior. With the town being well established with a general store, a blacksmith shop, a butcher, saloon, school and graveyard, a good business was being done in the Badlands right there in Interior. In the 1900’s many new settlers came into the area from the east. The Chicago Milwaukee and St Paul Railroad came thru 2 miles from Interior in 1907 and the town was moved to the present site to meet up with the railroad. Interior was considered the most promising town between Murdo and Rapid City at that time. The first newspaper, the Interior Index, was published in 1907 bringing news to the area. By 1910 the town had grown and was home to The Home Cafe, the Eagle Livery Barn, a bank, drug store, saloon, lumber yard, blacksmith shop, hardware store, hotel, general store, a grain elevator, stockyards, a Presbyterian and Catholic Church. Many people came to Interior to trade and purchase dry goods. One thing that Interior was lacking was fresh

Interior 1919

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cooperative connections

water, I should say water period. With the lack of water as it was the Milwaukee Railroad saw the need for the area to have water so they dug a cistern at the depot and brought water out from Rapid City to keep it full, selling it for 50 cents a barrel. Not many people could afford to buy water for anything but drinking. A few years later the people of the community put a dam out west of town where they could water livestock. One of the biggest obstacles that Interior encountered over the years has been fire, starting as early as 1908 when they lost the hotel. In 1909 the general store and several other businesses were burned and in 1939 disaster struck burning the entire business district, leaving only the general store on main street. Fire destroyed the school in 1950 and struck again in 1970 destroying the school gym. Each time the persistence of the people of the community caused them to rebuild.

It is fun for me to get out and meet with members of our community and learn the history of our towns. I had lunch with Loy Hamm, Marilyn Gartner and Terry Lester who shared some fun stories with me about Interior, with Bobby Crawford sending in some information to be shared. I had never heard of Washbaugh County in SD, where is that? Well Washbaugh was established in 1883, and was an unorganized county up until the time it merged with Jackson County in 1983, which is where Interior is a part of. They shared with me stories of the 3rd largest rodeo days, that started in 1913 and continues today, Interior Frontier Rodeo Days. Interior is home to the biggest and best fireworks around each year, they have a potluck, and a parade and that is when the class reunions generally take place today. The reunions used to be at the Old Settlers picnic on Father’s Day weekend. Marilyn remembered in around 2000 when a helicopter came over the Rodeo and landed, and Ronnie Gartner got out and rode his horse around the arena with an American flag; what a sight it was. The school that still stands today and is used for grades K-8, was built in 1939. The largest class to graduate from the Interior School was in 1960 with 14 students. The high school closed in 1969. Loy told the story of Superindent, Harold Morris, taking the front of the stage off in the gym and setting it up for a shooting gallery where they had shooting practice, I can assure you that wouldn’t happen today. Marilyn remembers Prom in 1960 when the gym ceiling was completely covered with streamers, Wayne Sampson fell from the ladder putting those streamers up - he was OK. A fire destroyed a portion of the school in 1950, Loy recalled when she went to get her transcripts, they told her she would have to tell them what grades she had, and they would recreate the transcript as those records were destroyed in the fire.

Loy shared with me that the year of her senior prom, five schools went together for prom. The superintendent came to the girls and asked them if he set up a phonograph if the girls would teach the boys how to dance - they did. Come time for the prom, she remembers there were dance cards that were filled out as to who the girls would dance with, that way no one was left out. They all remembered stories about the Peace Pipe, Ma (Mrs Abrams) ran this establishment. They would go in and hangout at the lunch counter, have a little ice cream, read comic books and dance to the music from the juke box. Now Ma didn’t allow smoking in the Peace Pipe, but they remember sharing cigarettes in the back room when she wasn’t looking. She had a pet racoon, Eddie, and they could remember that coon stealing donuts out of the donut jar. Street dances were popular, where Buddy Meredith and a gentleman by the name of Eddie Kodet from Belevidere had a band, and they would come out and play for the dances. Bobby recalls that most kids, growing up spent a lot of time climbing and playing on Town Butte, a Badland peak on the edge of town.

The town of Interior has a community backbone that most little towns dream of. Today they have 3 churches, a nice park, a grocery store, a bar and grill, a school, a convenience store and a volunteer fire hall that is the envy of all little communities. They are seated just off of I-90 nestled in the Badlands of South Dakota. If you are passing by and have a few extra minutes stop in and take a look and be sure to read the story of Interior on the sign welcoming travelers to Interior.

cooperative connections • S ep t em b er 2016 11

Cooperatives Demonstrating

Cooperation C

ooperation, tHe very act of working witH

By Brenda Kleinjan

Below: Crews from several cooperatives assist West Central Electric Cooperative in Murdo, S.D., with repairs following a summer storm.

one another is an intrinsic quality of cooperatives. It’s one of the seven cooperative principles (Cooperation Among Cooperatives.) Everyday, local electric cooperatives embody this principle. Cooperation is evident in times of severe weather. When storms – whether ice storms, wind events or tornadoes – disrupt power to any of the more than 350,000 people served by electric cooperatives in South Dakota and western Minnesota, help from a neighboring cooperative is only a phone call away. Local cooperatives ably and skillfully deal with most of their weather-related issues on their own. But, on occasion, Mother Nature deals out a bit more than a single cooperative can quickly deal with on their own. The ability to call in extra personnel who are trained and knowledgable about rural electric systems can help restore power faster


than if the co-op couldn’t count on that help. And cooperatives demonstrate cooperation in other ways, too. Nearly 75 years ago, cooperatives recognized the need to speak with a common voice in the legislative arena. Minnesota cooperatives formed the Maple Grove-based Minnesota Rural Electric Association in 1941 to represent their member cooperatives’ interest in front of that state’s legislature. In 1942, seven cooperatives formed the South Dakota Rural Electric Association, now located in Pierre, S.D., to help fight not only legislative battles but to jointly buy wire and supplies needed to electrify rural South Dakota. Today, both organizations continue to provide legislative representation along with safety and other training and other services that are strengthened by working together. Also in the 1940s and 1950s, cooperatives realized that their growing systems would need more

Left: Each spring, during the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s Legislative Conference, co-ops work together to make sure that cooperative issues are heard by our nation’s leaders.

power, so generation and transmission cooperatives – such as East River Electric Power Cooperative in Madison, S.D., Rushmore Electric Power Cooperative in Rapid City, S.D., L&O Power Cooperative in Rock Rapids, Iowa, – were created. Today these cooperatives may also assist cooperatives with engineering, information technology, economic development, advertising partnerships and other needs. By 1961, the formation of Basin Electric Power Cooperative in Bismarck, N.D., allowed these cooperatives to work together on a regional basis to generate electricity through power plants owned by cooperatives in several states. Today, Basin Electric operates a diverse energy portfolio: coal, gas, oil, nuclear, distributed and renewable energy, including wind power and is consumer-owned by 137 member cooperative systems in nine states. These cooperatives in turn provide power to more than 2 million individuals. Throughout the year, groups of cooperatives can


he printed


ooperative ional service 00 not-fores and public ail electric n consumers ales account nt of total ed States.





Cooperatives are voluntary organizations open to all persons able to use their services and willing to accept the responsibilities of membership, without gender, social, racial, political or religious discrimination.

DEMOCRATIC MEMBER CONTROL Cooperatives are democratic organizations controlled by their members, who actively participate in setting policies and making decisions. The elected representatives are accountable to the membership. In primary cooperatives, members have equal voting rights (one member, one vote), and cooperatives at other levels are organized in a democratic manner.

be found working together promoting their services and answering members’ questions at a variety of events such as the Black Hills Stock Show, Brown County Fair, South Dakota State Fair, Farmfest, Dakotafest and numerous regional farm and home shows. Cooperatives’ commitment to education, especially providing learning opportunities to the region’s youth, is yet another way that cooperatives work together. Classroom educaAbove: Students from cooperatives tion programs such as The Story Behind in South Dakota and Wisconsin the Switch and Co-ops in the Classroom discuss the role of cooperatives travel from school to school in cooperaduring a workshop at the Rural tive territory throughout the region. Electric Youth Tour to Washington, And for decades, cooperatives have D.C. Left: Festivals and shows such PRINTABLE WALLET CARD as Dakotafest allow cooperatives to provided the region’s teenagers with work1.together deliver safety, Print on to tabloid (11” x 17”) sized paper. opportunities to travel to Washington, 2. Cut out wallet energy efficiency and card otheron solid black outline. D.C., for the Rural Electric Youth Tour. 3. Foldtowallet in half on vertical dashed line messages co-opcard members. There, students truly witness the power sides are facing outward. of working together as student represen4. With the side B facing toward you, fold into t tatives from hundreds of cooperatives nationwide the right side first, followed by the left. gather to learn about cooperatives, politics and the sights of the Nation’s capitol. SIDE B SID


MEMBERS’ ECONOMIC PARTICIPATION Members contribute equitably to, and democratically control, the capital of their cooperative. At least part of that capital is usually the common property of the cooperative. Members usually receive limited compensation, if any, on capital subscribed as a condition of membership. Members allocate surpluses for any or all of the following purposes: developing the cooperative, possibly by setting up reserves, part of which at least would be indivisible; benefitting members in proportion to their transactions with the cooperative; and supporting other activities approved by the membership.

AUTONOMY AND INDEPENDENCE Cooperatives are autonomous, self-help organizations controlled by their members. If they enter into agreements with other organizations, including governments, or raise capital from external sources, they do so on terms that ensure democratic control by their members and maintain their cooperative autonomy.


Cooperatives provide education and training for their members, elected representatives, managers and employees so that they can contribute effectively to the development of their cooperatives. They inform the general public, particularly young people and opinion leaders, about the nature and benefits of cooperation.


Cooperatives serve their members most effectively and strengthen the cooperative movement by working together through local, national, regional and international structures.

CONCERN FOR COMMUNITY While focusing on member needs, cooperatives work for the sustainable development of their communities through policies accepted by their members.


The National Rura Association (NRECA organization for m profit rural electric c power districts pr service to more than in 47 states and who for approximatel electricity sales i Learn more

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West River Electric Warns

Pokeman Go Players West River Electric warns players of the augmented reality game Pokémon Go, please stay away from power lines, transformers, and substations when playing the game. We encourage users to exercise extreme caution when playing this new global phenomenon. The reality game is drawing players into some dangerous situations. Electric utilities cannot control where the Pokémon appear, making it important for players to make sure they catch their Pokémon from a safe distance. The game allows players to train, battle, and capture Pokémon through “geocaching,” during which players use their phones to hunt the characters hiding in the real world. Online threads are reporting the “electric” type Pokémon can be found near electrical sites. WREA encourages parents of children who play the game to talk to them about how to be safe around electricity. Important safety tips: •  Stay away from power lines, transformers, substations, and electrical work sites. •  Never jump on, sit on, kick, or stick anything inside a transformer, including  padmount transformers. 10458100 •  Do not climb power poles or throw things into power lines. •  Stay away from power lines that have fallen because they can still be energized. •  Power lines near trees also pose a danger; exercise caution and check for power  lines before climbing a tree. Thank you and be safe around power equipment.

West RiveR electRic AssociAtion Will Be closed in oBseRvAnce of lABoR dAy MondAy, septeMBeR 5, 2016 West river electric office hours raPid city office 3250 e. hWy 44, raPid city, sd monday-friday 7:00 am to 5:00 Pm 605-393-1500 Wall office 1200 W. 4th ave, Wall, sd monday-friday 7:00 am to 5:00 Pm 605-279-2135 14 Septe m be r 2 0 1 6

A night depository is available at both offices for your convenience. Service & Billing Questions: Contact 605-279-2135 or 605393-1500 during office hours. You can e-mail us at info@westriver.coop on questions concerning your account. After Hours Power Restoration: Contact 605-279-2135 or 605-393-1500.

cooperative connections

Fill out and send to: West River Electric Assoc. Cooperative Connections, PO Box 3486, Rapid City, SD 57709 Or drop it in with your payment.

Sign up for: Operation Roundup Budget Billing Pay By Bank Automatic Credit Card Payment I am interested in more information on: Marathon Water Heater Radiant Cove Heat Meco Grills Special Electric Heat Rate Geothermal & Air-to-Air Heat Pumps Rebates Radiant Floor Heating Demand Response Unit Generlink Be sure to include your name and address if you mail this coupon or E mail: veronica.kusser@westriver. coop

Call Before You Dig! stats June 2015 Number of Meters: 16,410 KWH 19,882,787 June 2016 Number of Meters: 16,721 KWH 20,884,781

Co-op news

Do You Have a Heat Meter? Seems rather warm to be talking about a heat meter, but the heat season is just around the corner. If you have a heat meter you can start getting heat credit with your September reading. Be sure that the breaker to the heat meter is on so that you receive the maximum benefit of the electric heat rate for the heat season. We ask that you leave the breakers on to these meters year round. Without power to the automated meter reading system, we cannot detect trouble with the meter or get readings. If you have any questions regarding this please contact Jannette at 393-1500 in the Rapid City area and Debbie in the Wall and Enning areas at 279-2135.

If you have electric heat, but do not have a heat meter, contact Member Services at 393-1500 to find out how to start saving money.

Reminder: Don’t Post Your Rummage Sale Signs on Our Poles Posting signs and announcements on utility poles can present DANGER to West River Electric Linemen, and is also against the law. Nails, staples and tacks used to affix advertisements to the pole can deflect a lineman’s climbing hooks and cause them to fall. They have been known to cause damage to the equipment a lineman wears to protect them from electrical shock.

Osmose Will Be Out Testing Poles West River Electric has a contract with Osmose to perform a pole ground line testing and inspection program. This year WREA will have pole testing in the Cottonwood, Wall, Quinn and Interior areas. The exact time or date that the crews will be at a particular address cannot be determined. All the vehicles that you see working around or near our poles should be marked with either a WREA Sign or the Osmose vehicles will have a sign on them saying they are contracted by WREA. This will help members identify who is working in the area. If you have any questions or concerns, you can contact Wayne Shull at the Wall office at 279-2135. 754000

Consider insulating your water heater tank, which could reduce standby heat losses by 25 to 45 percent and save you about 4 to 9 percent in water heating costs. You can find pre-cut jackets or blankets available starting around $20.00. Source: energy.gov

Locate Your Account Number If you locate your account number

anywhere in this issue of the 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 next month, you will receive a $10.00 credit on your next bill.

(USPS No. 675-840)

Our Mission

To inform you about your cooperative and its efforts to serve your energy needs; about how to use electricity safely and efficiently; and about the people who define and enhance the quality of life in communities served by electric co-ops. This institution is an equal opportunity provider and employer

President Andy Moon, Creighton, S.D. Vice President Stan Anders, Union Center, S.D. Secretary Bill Bielmaier, Wall, S.D. Treasurer Larry Eisenbraun, Wall, S.D. Directors Howard Knuppe, New Underwood, S.D. Marcia Arneson, Rapid City, S.D. Jamie Lewis, Rapid City, S.D. Jerry Hammerquist, Caputa, S.D. Chuck Sloan, Piedmont, S.D. CEO/General Manager Dick Johnson 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 $6.00 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 $12.00 per year. Periodicals Postage aid 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)393-0275; e-mail veronica.kusser@westriver. coop.

Call before you dig: All underground cable location requests for the entire state of South Dakota are made through the South Dakota One-Call System. The number is toll free, 1-800781-7474 (dial 811 instate). You are required to provide this one-call center with information regarding the location where you will be digging, along with a description of the type of work you will be doing. You are required to give at least a 48-hour notice before you dig. The one-call center will then notify all utilities with underground facilities in the area where you will be digging.

cooperative connections • S ep t em b er 2016 15

regional Dateline

Events of Special Note

July 22-August 26 Summer Reading Activities Library, 9 a.m., Wall, SD

September 4 Studebaker Car Show 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. 6th and Mt. Rushmore Road Custer, SD, 605-431-4502

August 19-21 Black Hills Steam & Gas Threshing Bee, 1/2 mile east of Sturgis Airport on Alkali Rd Sturgis, SD, 605-721-6967

August 27 Heroes Wear Blue Memorial 5k, Memorial Park Bandshell, Rapid City, SD heroeswearblue5k@gmail.com August 30 Summer Lunch & Learn Trusts-Pros & Cons, Ketel Thorstenson, 810 Quincy St Rapid City, SD, 605-716-3284 September 1 United Way of the Black Hills Day of Caring, Rapid City, SD September 1 Third Annual Kieffer Sanitation Trash Can Open for Children’s Home Society, Red Rock Golf Club, Rapid City, SD 605-390-8902

Submitted Photo

August 21-22 Leading Ladies Marathon Black Hills Runners Club Spearfish, SD

October 8 West River Electric Annual Meeting, Community Center Wall, SD, 605-279-2135

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.

Day, in case of an emergency call 605-393-1500 in the Rapid City area and 605-279-2135 in the Wall and Enning area September 6 First Day of School, Wall School District, Wall, SD, 605-279-2156 September 8 West River Electric Appreciation Day, Enning office, Rapid City, SD 605-393-1500 September 10 Black Hawk Community Church Health Fair and Produce Sale 5192 Mill Road, Black Hawk, SD 605-787-6150

September 1 Main Street Square Concert Series, Ft. Midnight Sun, Main Street Square, Rapid City, SD 605-716-7979

September 10 Humane Society’s Wolfstock Rushmore Plaza Civic Center Bandshell, Rapid City, SD 605-394-4115

September 5 West River Electric will be closed in observance of Labor

September 10 POW/MIA 5K Run/Walk, Air Force Sergeants Association

2nd Annual Walk/Run, Main Street Square, Rapid City, SD 605-716-7979 September 11 34th Annual Black Hills Super Swap Meet, Central States Fairgrounds, Rapid City, SD 605-348-7373 September 11 Tim Hawkins, Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, Fine Arts Theatre Rapid City, SD, 605-394-4115 September 17 American Heart Association Black Hills Heart Walk, Main Street Square, Rapid City, SD 605-716-7979 September 17 RH/Harvest Moon Walk/Run Rushmore Plaza Civic Center Bandshell, Rapid City, SD 605-394-4115

September 23 West River Electric Appreciation Day, Rapid City office, Rapid City, SD 605-393-1500 September 24 Great Downtown Pumpkin Festival, Main Street Square Rapid City, SD, 605-716-7979 September 27 RCCA/The Willis Clan Rushmore Plaza Fine Arts Theatre, Rapid City, SD 605-394-4115 September 30 Girls Lakota Nation Volleyball Tournament, Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, Rapid City, SD 605-394-4115 October 1 Fifth Annual All Car Cruiz-in 1980 & Older, Culvers, West Main St, Rapid City, SD dakotarodsandclassics.com

Profile for West River Electric Association

Wrea sept2016  

PDF of September Cooperative Connections

Wrea sept2016  

PDF of September Cooperative Connections