OCTOBER IS CO-OP MONTH - Slope Electric Cooperative

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OCTOBER IS CO-OP MONTH - Slope Electric Cooperative

OCTOBER 2011116 East 12th St. • New England, N.D. 58647(701) 579-4191 • www.slopeelectric.coopOCTOBER IS CO-OP MONTHINSIDE:• What is a cooperative?• Co-ops that work for you• AMR progressOCTOBER 2011 • SLOPE ELECTRIC NEWS—C1


CO-OPS...Working togetherto servesouthwestNorth DakotaC2—SLOPE ELECTRIC NEWS •OCTOBER 2011


CO-OPS WORKING TOGETHER:Alliance AgNew England, Regent, HettingerDakota Plains Credit UnionHettinger and Lemmon, S.D.Dakota West Credit UnionBowman, New EnglandFarmers UnionBowman, RhameMott EquityRegent Co-op StoreScranton EquitySouthwest GrainRegent, New England, Reederand Lemmon, S.D.SLOPE ELECTRICOCTOBER 2011 • SLOPE ELECTRIC NEWS—C3


The “trick” to making Halloween atreat is to think about safety duringthis day of make-believe.Hex those Halloween hazardsAs little pirates and princesses prancethrough the neighborhood on Halloween,the excitement of the night cancause children to forget to be careful. The“trick” to making Halloween a treat is to thinkabout safety during this day of make-believe.Here are some safety ideas from theNational Safety Council and the N.D. Departmentof Health:and long skirts or pants that couldcause a child to fall.• Children who will be trick-or-treatingafter dusk should have reflectivetape on their costumes andshould carry flashlights.• Children should be fed a lightmeal before trick-or-treating, sothey will not be tempted to eatfrom their treat bags. Insist thattreats be brought home forinspection before anything iseaten. When in doubt, throwit out.• Young trick-or-treaters should beaccompanied by an adult orresponsible older child. Only visithomes where the residents areknown and which have outsidelights turned on. Instruct yourchildren to travel only in familiarareas and along an establishedroute. Plan and discuss a routeand establish a return time.• Children should walk, not run,from house to house. Do not crossyards and lawns where unseenobjects or the uneven terrain canpresent tripping hazards.• Walk on sidewalks, not in thestreet. Walk on the left side of theroad, facing traffic, if there areno sidewalks.Residents• Residents should ready their homeand yard for trick-or-treaters. Remove anythingfrom the yard that could trip a child,make sure outdoor lights are working andremove wet leaves from sidewalks and steps.Pets should be brought indoors.Trick-or-treaters• Because they can obstruct a child’s vision,masks are not recommended. If a child wearsmakeup, parents should look for nontoxic,hypoallergenic kits.• Costumes should be flame retardant and fitproperly. Avoid oversized shoes, high heelsMotorists• Motorists should slow down on Halloweennight and watch for children darting out frombetween parked cars. Enter and exit drivewaysand alleys carefully.A SAFETY MESSAGE FROMSlope Electric CooperativeC4—SLOPE ELECTRIC NEWS • OCTOBER 2011


If your standby electricity generator has been in storage since last winter, now is the time to make sure it is still operating properly.Is your standby generator STANDING BY?If your standby electricity generator has been in storage sincelast winter, now is the time to make sure it is still operatingproperly—before an outage occurs.Test your generator now to make sure it’s working, thenoperate it at intervals throughout the year. Regularly runningyour generator will also keep you familiar with theoperating procedure.The fuel should be fresh, battery charged, electricalconnections good, filters clean and cooling system wellmaintained.Always follow the manufacturer’s instructionson engine maintenance.“You also need to take into account electrical safety considerationswith a standby generator,” says George Maher, anagricultural safety specialist with the North Dakota State UniversityExtension Service. “Most important is the transferswitch that disconnects the farm or home from the power lineand connects it to the generator. It must be a double-throwtransfer switch which prevents the generator from feedingelectricity back into the power line. This protects the linemenwho may be working to restore your service.”Always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations on howto use your generator. If you have additional questions, pleasecall your electric cooperative. We will be glad to work with youto make sure your generator is used properly.OCTOBER 2011 • SLOPE ELECTRIC NEWS—C5SLOPE ELECTRIC


October isCO-OP MONTHFast factsNorth Dakota’s distributioncooperatives:• Sixteen distribution cooperativesserve 250,000 North Dakotansthrough 147,000 meters• Sell 50 percent of all retailelectricity in North Dakota• Own 61,000 miles of distributionpower lines• Invested $1 billion in distributionfacilities• Employ more than 600 people• All operate as nonprofit,member-owned enterprisesA matter of PRINCIPLESYou might be surprised by the number of co-ops around you. Co-ops have beenformed to sell produce and electricity, offer financial and banking services,provide housing and health care, and much more.So where did the bright idea for co-ops come from? It’s a matter of principles (seven,to be exact). The modern movement traces its roots to a store started by weavers inthe town of Rochdale in northern England in 1844. The group was guided by a set ofprinciples drawn up by one of its members, Charles Howarth. When introduced intothe United States by the National Grange in 1874, these “Rochdale Principles” fueleda cooperative explosion.Although stated in many ways, the Rochdale Principles require that a cooperativemust be open for anyone to join. Every member retains one voice, one vote. Electricco-ops hold member meetings annually, allowing members to elect fellow consumersto guide the co-op and have a say in how their utility is run.There also have to be real member benefits. For example, members of electricco-ops often get money back (called capital credits or patronage refunds) when theco-op’s in good financial shape. More than $550 million has been returned tomembers by electric co-ops over the past seven decades – nothing to sneeze at.Education remains another big focus. Electric co-ops provide safety information inschools, share ideas on how to make your home more energy efficient to keepelectric bills affordable, and make sure elected officials and opinion leaders knowabout the co-op business model. Because there is strength in numbers, co-ops tendto stick together when tackling regional and national issues.Perhaps most important of all, co-ops are independent and community-focused,not tied to the purse strings of far-flung investors. Co-ops help drive local economicdevelopment, fund scholarships, support local charities, and work to make life betterin the areas they serve – the heart of the cooperative difference.As we observe Co-op Month in October, electric cooperative members should beproud of the success of the cooperative business model and the spirit of cooperationthat these organizations promote.THE COOPERATIVE PRINCIPLES ARE:1. Voluntary and open membership: Cooperatives areopen to anyone able to use their services and willing to acceptthe responsibilities of membership, without discrimination.2. Democratic member control: Cooperatives aredemocratic organizations controlled by their members, whoactively participate in setting policies and making decisions.The elected representatives are accountable to themembership. In primary cooperatives, members have equalvoting rights (one member, one vote).3. Member economic participation: Members contributeto, and democratically control, the capital of their cooperative.Part of that capital is the common property of the cooperative.Surplus capital is often returned to the members.4. Autonomy and independence: Cooperatives areautonomous, self-help organizations controlled by theirmembers. If they enter into agreements with otherC6—SLOPE ELECTRIC NEWS •OCTOBER 2011organizations or raise capital from external sources, they do soon terms that ensure democratic control by their members andmaintain their cooperative autonomy.5. Education, training and information: Cooperativesprovide education and training for their members, electedrepresentatives, managers and employees so they cancontribute effectively to the development of the cooperatives.They inform the general public, particularly young people andopinion leaders, about the nature and benefits of cooperation.6. Cooperation among cooperatives: Cooperatives servetheir members most effectively and strengthen the cooperativemovement by working together through local, regional,national and international structures.7. Concern for community: While focusing on memberneeds, cooperatives work for the sustainable developmentof their communities through policies accepted bytheir members.


NATIONAL RURAL ELECTRICYOUTH TOURHigh School Juniors and Seniors...Write a winning essayand win a trip of a lifetime!And an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C.►To enter the essay-writing contest, you must be a junior or senior in high school in the fall of 2012.►You and your parents or guardian must be served by Slope Electric Cooperative.►Essay is not to exceed two standard 8½- by 11-inch typewritten, double-spaced pageson this topic: What would your day be like without electricity?►Submit your essay in hard copy or electronic format to Slope Electric. Electronic submissionsshould conform to the two-page, double-spaced guideline described above. Include a cover pagewith your name, date of birth, school and grade in 2012, parent or guardian’s name, address andtelephone number.►The deadline is January 30, 2012. E-mailed entries should be directed to Kathy Lentz atklentz@slopeelectric.coop, and hard-copy entries mailed to: Youth Tour Essay Contest, SlopeElectric Cooperative, P.O. Box 338, New England, ND 58647-0338.►If you have a question, contact Kathy Lentz, Slope Electric, at the address listed above, or call(701) 579-4191 during regular business hours.JUNE 16 to 22,2012TOP 3 REASONS TO ENTER THE ESSAY-WRITING CONTEST1. All-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C., compliments of SlopeElectric Cooperative.2. A whole week to visit unforgettable historic monuments, museumsand the U.S. Capitol.3. A learning experience you’ll never forget.Check it out atwww.ndyouthtour.comandwww.youthtour.coopOCTOBER 2011 • SLOPE ELECTRIC NEWS—C7SLOPE ELECTRIC


AMR PROGRESSOn Oct. 1, the Mott substation became operational on the Automated MeterReading (AMR) system. Members will receive an insert stating their metersare now live and their readings will be automatically posted through theAMR process. If members have been reading their meters in the past, there is nolonger a space to record the reading on the stub.Work also continues at the Rhame, Reeder, Amidon and Haynes substations.Slope Electric would like members to continue reading their meters until twothings happen:1. They receive a notifications insert that their location is live with AMR, and2. Their bill no longer had a space to record their meter reading.We encourage members to contact the office if there are questionsand/or concerns.NOTICE: If Slope Electric linemen have to read your meter, there is a $10 fee forthis service. So please read your meters.Replace the batteries for your smokealarms every fall or when the alarm“chirps” and then test the alarmsevery month.Test your alarm!Your smoke alarm has the powerto save your life. Or does it? If youhaven’t tested your smoke alarmlately, it may not be working. Andthat’s a risk you can’t afford to take.Working smoke alarms give us earlywarning of a fire, providing extratime to escape safely. Test all thesmoke alarms in your home everymonth.SLOPE ELECTRICCOOPERATIVE INC.SLOPEELECTRICCOOPERATIVEBOARD OF DIRECTORSJim Kerzman, President ...................................MottTerryl L. Jacobs, V. Pres................................RegentSteve Wegner, Sec. ......................................ReederJerome D. Caron, Treas. ...........................ScrantonJohn Lee Njos ...............................................RhameLyle Narum ................................................BowmanLauren Klewin.............................................AmidonAnthony Larson........................................HettingerEMPLOYEESDon Franklund, Clayton Hoffman .................ManagersRex Sadler ...................................................Chief of StaffTravis Kupper .............................Chief Financial OfficerLaWanna Wilhelm ..................Key Accounts ExecutiveRodney Benz...........................AMR/SCADA TechnicianLynn Klein.........................................................SecretaryBeverly Braun.......Bookkeeper/Consumer Accts. Rep.Judy Kirschmann................................Customer ServiceRep., Slope ServicesKathy Lentz .................................................ReceptionistLinda Peterson ........................................Billing AnalystDaniela Howie ........................Operations CoordinatorDarlene Heberholz.............................Plant AccountantArlin Reindel .........................................Line TechnicianLeonard Gartner ...................................Line TechnicianDarwin Wilke .........................................Line TechnicianKenneth Dobitz.....................................Line TechnicianLyle Kovar..............................................Line TechnicianDean Volk...............................................Line TechnicianCraig Turner...........................................Line TechnicianJeff Boynton...........................................Line TechnicianAndrew Sonsalla...................................Line TechnicianChristopher Backhaus......................... Line TechnicianKyle Binstock.................... Apprentice Line TechnicianCody Braaten.............................Apprentice LineworkerDustin Hoff ................................Apprentice LineworkerRoger Wipf .............................................WarehousemanC8—SLOPE ELECTRIC NEWS • OCTOBER 2011

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