a publication of Loup Power District SPRING 2020
Crews move into new Columbus Service Center,
leaving behind a warehouse with an interesting history.
First Vice Chairman
Second Vice Chairman
Accounting & Finance/CFO
Vice President, Engineering
Vice President, Operations
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Easy spring DIY projects
to help you save money
MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR WATER HEATER
Winter weather can have a big impact on your energy bills,
hitting your pockets a little harder than you would like. Spring
is the perfect time to tackle a few DIY efficiency projects for
your home. The good news: You don’t have to be an energy
expert to do this!
There are several easy ways to save energy. If you’re willing to
take a hands-on approach, here are three projects you can do
now to start saving.
Let’s start with one of the easiest projects: insulating your water heater. Insulating a
water heater can save 7 to 16 percent annually on your water heating bills. It should also
be noted that if your water heater is new, it is likely already insulated. However, if your
water heater is warm to the touch, it needs additional insulation.
You can purchase a pre-cut jacket or blanket for about $20. You’ll also need two people
for this project. Before you start, turn off the water heater. Wrap the blanket around
the water heater and tape it to temporarily keep it in place. If necessary, use a marker
to note the areas where the controls are so you can cut them out. Once the blanket is
positioned correctly, tape it permanently in place, then turn the water heater back on.
If you have an electric water heater, do not set the thermostat above 130 degrees, which
can cause overheating.
SEAL AIR LEAKS WITH CAULK
The average American family spends $2,000 annually on energy bills. Unfortunately,
much of that money is wasted through air leaks in the home. Applying caulk around
windows, doors, electrical wiring and plumbing can save energy and money. There are
many different types of caulking compounds available, but the most popular choice is
silicone. Silicone caulk is waterproof, flexible and won’t shrink or crack.
Before applying new caulk, clean and remove any old caulk or paint with a putty knife,
screwdriver, brush or solvent. The area should be dry before you apply the new caulk.
Apply the caulk in one continuous stream, and make sure it sticks to both sides of the
crack or seam. Afterwards, use a putty knife to smooth out the caulk, then wipe the
surface with a dry cloth.
WEATHER STRIP EXTERIOR DOORS
One of the best ways to seal air leaks is to weather strip exterior doors, which can keep
out drafts and help you control energy costs. Weather stripping materials vary, but you
can ask your local hardware or home store for assistance if you’re unsure about the
supplies you need.
When choosing weather stripping materials, make sure it can withstand temperature
changes, friction and the general “wear and tear” for the location of the door. Keep in
mind, you will need separate materials for the door sweep (at the bottom of the door)
and the top and sides.
Before applying the new weather stripping, clean the moulding with water and soap,
then let the area dry completely. Measure each side of the door, then cut the weather
stripping to fit each section. Make sure the weather stripping fits snugly against both
surfaces so it compresses when the door is closed.
Another difficult spring in Nebraska
What a difference a year makes!
Or does it?
As I write this article, last year
at this exact same time we were
dealing with the devastating effects
of the mid-March 2019 storm which
damaged a significant portion of the
Loup Power Canal, as well as District
facilities in Columbus, St. Edward, and
several other locations.
This year, we are dealing with
the fallout of the coronavirus and
its effects on events around the
world, country, state, and our local
communities. Each event has taken its
own toll on the District, yet both have
With regard to damage from last
year’s storm, electrical system repairs
have been completed and are back to
normal. There are some areas that will
need additional work, but all areas that
need electricity have service.
The repairs on the Loup Power canal
system in and around the Headworks
area continue. All of the breaches
have been repaired to allow more
normal operation of the canal and the
hydroelectric power plants in Monroe
There continues to be some water
flow restrictions based on continuing
repair work, but these should be minor
in nature, until some more significant
repair work is required.
One big repair issue outstanding
is the repair to the wing wall at the
intake structure. This wing wall was
significantly damaged as a result of the
storm and the District has just recently
been able to determine if the damage
was repairable, or if a new plan of
attack was warranted.
The District filed plans with the
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
(FERC) regarding a new plan for the
replacement of the wing wall and FERC
approved that plan.
Additionally, the District continues
to work with Federal Emergency
Management Agency (FEMA) officials
on the entirety of the repairs to make
sure all paperwork for reimbursement
is being submitted properly and
Working with both FERC and
FEMA are slow processes, so it may
be another 12 to 18 months before
everything associated with the Loup
Power Canal and hydroelectric system
is back to normal operation.
With respect to the coronavirus,
there have been significant changes
to world we live in since this became
a pandemic. Events around the
world have been either postponed or
cancelled to help alleviate its potential
spread around the United States.
That being said, the District is
exercising caution with regard to this
also. We are following the Center for
Disease Control guidelines for our
employees and limited access to our
offices from outside individuals in
order to keep the spread of this disease
to a minimum.
There has been much discussion
about the spread of the coronavirus
throughout the United States. Some
of this may just be excess hype and
rumor. However, the District must
remain diligent about any further
spread of the coronavirus and the
protection of our employees to
maintain electric service to all of our
The District understands these
disruptions will affect people in
different ways, and they are difficult at
best to deal with. They also change our
lives from what we consider normal.
With that being said, the District
will work hard to make sure you see
little, if any disruption to electric
service and other services you expect
from the District.
by NEAL SUESS
SPRING 2020 3
Going all electric: Columbus
man enjoying new Tesla Model 3
Chris Nelson is an F-150 guy.
However, the performance, luxury, and features of his new Tesla Model 3 have made him a believer in
electric vehicles. “It’s quiet, it’s lightning quick, and it handles like a European sports car,” he said.
Nelson, a Columbus realtor, said he became interested in electric vehicles after talking to a client from Los
Angeles who raved about his new Model 3.
Then Nelson found out about a $4,500 incentive for customers who purchase a new electric vehicle and
install a ChargePoint charger.
That was enough to prompt him to hit the road for Kansas City to test drive the Model 3 for himself. He
arrived early on a Friday morning last fall. The Tesla rep gave him a few pointers and handed over the keys.
Well, the key card —there is no actual key.
Nelson put on about 50 miles around town. He immediately enjoyed the experience. It was fun. Kind of like
driving a fast golf cart.
Not one to make an impulse buy, he left to get some lunch and mull things over. He went back to the Tesla
Store and drove the car another 20 miles or so. That’s all it took. He was hooked.
“I went back in and ordered one,” he said.
Four months later, Nelson doesn’t regret his choice. “I absolutely love it.”
He drives it back and forth to work and says it’s a great option for commuters. With
a range of about 320 miles, it also gets drivers back and forth from Omaha and
Lincoln — something that Nelson finds essential for drivers in Eastern Nebraska.
Omaha, Lincoln, and Grand Island all
have Supercharging stations where
drivers can charge up in 3o
minutes or less.
Nelson charges his vehicle every night using the ChargePoint he installed in his
garage. He figures his energy cost is about 3 cents per mile compared to about
12 cents for a conventional gas car.
There is very little maintenance on an EV. In fact, Nelson said there’s only one
container to fill in his car’s “frunk” (front trunk) and that’s for windshield
Electric vehicles are zippy, too. The Model 3 can get to 60 miles per hour in as
little as 3.2 seconds and has a top speed of up to 162 mph.
With all these features and benefits, Nelson is pretty sure more consumers will
gravitate toward electric vehicles — especially as their driving range increases
and the major manufacturers expand into trucks and SUVs.
“I see a tremendous future for electric vehicles,” he said.
Above left: Chris Nelson installed a ChargePoint station in his garage. He uses it to charge his all-electric Tesla Model 3 each
night. The ChargePoint station works with almost all electric vehicles. Nelson uses an adapter to charge his Tesla.
Above right: Chris Nelson shows off the car’s features to Chad Pinkelman, NPPD Sustainable Strategies Consultant.
Incentives reduce EV costs
The upfront cost of electric vehicles (EVs) is considered the main obstacle to many potential consumers.
Loup Power District, Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD), Nebraska Community Energy Alliance (NCEA), and the
Nebraska Environmental Trust (NET) have partnered to create programs that help reduce the purchase price of EVs.
$4,500 | EV & CHARGER
$500 | CHARGING STATION $200 | PRE-WIRING
$4,000 incentive for the purchase
or lease of a new battery electric
$500 incentive for the installation
of a residential ChargePoint 32-
WI-FI-enabled vehicle charging
(Charging station must also be
$500 incentive for the installation
of a residential ChargePoint 32-amp,
WI-FI-enabled vehicle charging station
$200 incentive for in home pre-wiring
for the future installation of an electric
vehicle charging station
bit.ly/EWLoup | publicpowered.com | bit.ly/Loup-Fall2019
SPRING 2020 5
New Columbus Service Center
benefits employees & customers
Spacious and bright.
That’s how many Loup employees describe the new
Columbus Service Center along Lost Creek Parkway north
“This is something to be proud of,” said
Chief Storekeeper Dave Rosno.
The Columbus-based hydro and
operations crew moved to the new
building in January. The move was
primarily prompted by the construction of
the 12th Avenue viaduct.
“After several discussions with the City,
the District decided it was better to move
its entire service center to a new location,
rather than try to coexist as the City
constructs the viaduct,” said President/
CEO Neal Suess.
Loup budgeted $5.5 million for the 54,540-square-foot
building, paid for with cash reserves.
One major benefit of the new location is its proximity
to the District’s hydro facilities, including the canal and
Equipment Operator Steve Ziemba said it’s much easier
to get to those hydro locations now that he doesn’t have
to take large equipment like dump trucks and semis
“It’s a quick trip now,” he said.
It is also easy for linemen to get to all locations in and
around Columbus from the Parkway location.
“The response time is the same or faster,” said
Arborist Foreman Trent Konwinski.
Columbus Division Superintendent Dale Gasper said
another advantage of the new building is simply more
“We’re not backing vehicles into truck bays or
squeezing four pickups in an area where three should
normally go,” he said.
Konwinski said the District’s service trucks have long
pull-out trays. Linemen could not restock their trucks
inside because there wasn’t enough room between trucks.
They had to do so outside, often in rain or snow. That’s
no longer the case in the spacious new garage.
The building also features a large meeting room that
facilitates better communication among
Gasper said the three line foremen would come to his
office each morning at the old service center to discuss
plans for the day. The foremen would
then go to the truck bay to meet with
their crews individually for the morning
Now, all operations employees can
gather in the meeting room for one
tailgate. This ensures all employees know
the day’s plan.
The extra space is especially evident in
the wide, open storeroom.
“The pallet racking allows me to put a
lot more inventory in the air and less on
the ground,” Rosno said.
A wire reel rack also utilizes vertical
space and increases efficiency when used in conjunction
with a wire winder — both new additions to the
“It takes the guesswork out of putting wire out on the
service job,” Rosno said. “If the guys come in and ask for
100 feet, that counter is spot on and it gives us 100 feet of
Previously, he used a small scale and weighed wire
based on feet per pound. That often meant heavy reels.
Rosno said this added accuracy means lighter reels and
added safety for the employees who lift them.
More space means more inventory — such as crossarm
braces — can be stored inside rather than sitting out in
He can also order equipment at greater quantities
which usually means a better price per item, saving
money in the long run.
Having the extra inventory is also beneficial following
“Our customers are relying on Loup for 24/7 power.
Obviously Mother Nature gets in the way of that,” Rosno
said. “We need to have the materials here to get the guys
back in business.”
The new shop area has a large mezzanine for extra
storage. Another benefit for the department is an
air handling system that automatically exhausts carbon
monoxide and welding fumes. In the old building,
employees had to manually put hoses over the exhaust
and turn on the system.
The building also allowed the District to implement
new technology including large wall monitors that show
outages at a glance and can also be used for everyday
Meter/Maintenance Superintendent Tim Ramaekers
said those monitors allow employees to more easily
discuss District plans since they aren’t huddled around a
small computer screen. Employees previously used large
The District began installing new meters last year and
that project is expected to be complete this year.
These meters transmit electricity usage data to the
District and compares it to the daily temperature —
information that can be beneficial to customers with
unusually high bills.
The meters also alert Loup when there is an outage.
“We’re going to know that people are out of power as
soon as they do,” Gasper said.
This makes prioritizing storm repair work much easier
— employees can look for clusters of meters that are out
and work on those areas first.
“This technology is pretty amazing,” Ramaekers said.
The building has a larger locker room. Ziemba said the
larger lockers work great for storing boots and chaps.
“It’s nice to have that extra space,” he said.
Gasper said the building holds the main District
storeroom. The shop personnel maintain all District
vehicles and the meeting room can be used by all
“This building isn’t just for the guys working out of
it,” he said. “It’s for the whole District.”
Top left: Chief Storekeeper David Rosno winds wire from a new
vertical reel rack.
Above (top to bottom): The shop area features a large mezzanine
for additional storage; the new garage has lot of room for linemen
to park and stock trucks; a spacious meeting room.
SPRING 2020 7
National Youth Administration
built original Loup warehouse
In 1941, Loup Power District was a young hydropower
company focused on selling to both private and public
power companies throughout Nebraska.
It had been generating power for about four years since
completion of the canal and powerhouses — a project
funded by a $7.3 million loan and grant from the Public
In May that year, Loup moved its
offices into the new “Public Power
Building” at the corner of 23rd Avenue
and 20th Street in Columbus. It shared
the building with Consumers Public
Power District, and the Nebraska Public
At the same time, construction
on a new warehouse and garage was
underway at 12th Avenue and 14th Street
in Columbus. The workers were in the National Youth
Administration — a New Deal agency designed to provide
work and education for young men and women between
the ages of 16 and 25.
They finished the building later that year.
In 1967, Loup and Consumers Public Power District
signed a realignment agreement. Loup began managing
Consumers’ retail customers in Nance, Boone, Platte, and
Colfax Counties and withdrew from statewide generation
and transmission. In return, Consumers replaced Loup
as the partner of the Platte Valley Public Power and
Irrigation District in operating the Nebraska Public Power
Loup was about to provide retail power service for the
first time in its history.
On Jan. 1, 1970, Nebraska Public Power District formed
through the merger of Consumers Public Power District,
Platte Valley Public Power and Irrigation District, and the
Nebraska Public Power System.
These two events led to the creation of Loup as it is
today with both hydropower generation and retail power
For a few years following this realignment, Loup’s
hydro crew continued working out of the original
warehouse. The retail employees worked out of a service
building on 11th Street and 27th Avenue in Columbus.
That would change in late 1973, when the retail
employees joined the hydro crew at the warehouse.
“Loup’s Warehouse will never be the
same! Workmen wielding hammers, saws
and paint brushes are in the process of
converting the structure into the District’s
new Service Center. When complete, the
project will bring Loup’s retail and hydro
operations under one roof for the first
time . . .
The two-part project, costing an estimated $167,000, is
scheduled for completion in December of this year.
The first part of involves the remodeling of the existing
structure, totaling about 23,200 square feet. Part of the
building formerly occupied by Nebraska Public Power
District equipment has been recently vacated, making more
room available for Loup’s operation.
Second, two additions, totaling about 3,000 square feet, will
be built onto the west side of the building. The first addition
will house the transformer shop and the second, the line
truck garage which will provide parking for four trucks. An
attached canopy will provide shelter for four additional
vehicles . . .
The project is expected to result in improved coordination
between the retail and hydro operations. Meanwhile, Shop
Superintendent Ralph Kopetzky admits that while the hydro
personnel are inconvenienced by the construction, they
are looking forward to working in the modern, improved
— Loup Power District Generator, March 1973
Below: Space was at a premium in the old Columbus Service Center — especially when it came to trucks and equipment.
Construction was started this week on the $35,000 garage,
storehouse and machine shop of the Loup River Public Power
district located at Twelfth avenue and Fourteenth street.
Fifteen NYA youths are assigned to clearing and leveling the site,
and excavation for the basement under the office addition is
Work on the project was started two months ago with 15 youths
manufacturing concrete tile in the plant of the Glur Cement Works.
Verne D. Gorman, NYA area supervisor, said today approximately
32,000 of the 45,000 tiles required have been made to date, and
that three weeks more will see the completion of that portion
of the project. At that time, the 15 youths will be transferred to
outside building construction. Concrete tile manufacturing is being
supervised by Harry Spilde.
Cost records on the tile show they are being turned out at a cost of
four and a half cents each, which figure includes all expenses on
part of both the NYA and the Loup district, Gorman said. The tile is
being made at the rate of 1,000 per day.
Building construction will be under supervision of Henry Seidel.
The main building will have an overall measurement of 204 by 100
feet. Attached to it, facing the Twelfth avenue side, will be another
section, 61 by 20 feet, planned for the office and meeting room.
The building proper will contain the transmission garage, 102 by
50 feet; the main garage, 85 by 50 feet; repair shop for cars and
trucks, 25 by 17, a machine shop, 85 by 50; store room, 102 by 50,
and several smaller rooms.
March 29, 1941
Top to bottom: a truck in the original service center;
former Meter/Maintenance employees Bob Goodman
and Frank Laska; former Shop & Transportation
Superintendent Bob Dush.
SPRING 2020 9
Having an open fire is often a key and
enjoyable part of camping. The smell
of woodsmoke and the pop and hiss of
burning wood in a campfire brightens any
night out in the woods, mountains,
However, you want to make sure you
control your fire, and not the other way
Know the local rules
Each park has its own rules on where and
when you can have a campfire. Ask at the
visitor center or contact the park before
you visit so you know any relevant rules.
Know the fire conditions
Has it been windy and dry lately? That
might mean campfires are banned, or that
other special rules or restrictions are in
effect. Again, contact the park when you
arrive or shortly before you visit to find out
if there is a burn ban or other weatherrelated
rules you need to know.
Kinds of Fires
Not all campfires are the same! For some
people, the idea of a campfire is two logs
quietly burning in a fire ring, while for
others, the same word means a four-foot
tall blazing pile of wood and brush.
Different parks allow different sizes and
types of fires. Don’t assume a bonfire is
going to be ok in a busy campground full
of kids, RVs, and trees. Ask at the visitor
center or find the campground host to see
if specific areas are set aside for fires, and
if there are rules on the size of your blaze.
Making a fire
Before starting your campfire, take a
look around your campsite to make sure
your tent, gear, and any other flammable
objects are at least 15 feet away and
upwind of the firepit.
• Buying or using local kindling/wood
Kindling and wood should be
purchased near the campground (or
collected from the area if the rules
permit doing that). Bringing wood from
far away might also bring along pests
that will potentially invade and cause
problems in their new environment.
• Constructing your fire
There are many ways to arrange your
firewood before you start burning.
Fire needs air to grow, so don’t just
stack your wood in a dense pile. One
way to start is by laying larger pieces of
wood in a cross-hatch pattern, making
a small tower. Then, place plenty of
kindling (e.g. dried leaves, small twigs,
etc.) and firestarter (such as shredded
paper) in the gaps between the wood.
Also remember that bark doesn’t
burn as well as the rest of the wood,
so chopping your wood into thinner
pieces, to expose more of the interior,
will get your fire going faster.
Use matches or a lighter on your
firestarter to ignite it. The firestarter
should then catch your kindling on fire,
which should eventually catch your
larger pieces of wood on fire.
• Using accelerants
An accelerant is an extremely
flammable liquid or mixture, like
lighter fluid, that is used to speed up
starting a fire. Use only lighter fluid to
start a campfire. Never use any other
accelerants, like gasoline, as this can
be very dangerous. Also, do not squirt
lighter fluid onto embers or open
flames, as this may lead to a quick flare
up and cause skin burns.
• Keep the fire burning
Your fire might burn quite quickly if your
firewood is extremely dry. Wetter wood
will burn slower, but you don’t want it
too wet or it won’t catch fire. Wet wood
will smoke way more than dry wood.
If you have extra firewood, keep it
stacked upwind of your fire, so that a
sudden breeze won’t light all the rest of
your wood on fire. Keep the fire small
so it stays under control.
Learn more about our parks at loup.com
Once you have the fire burning
You want to think about safety before
starting a fire and you should keep it in
mind while the fire is going, too.
Toast marshmallows, not hands
Depending on the size of your fire and how
windy it is, you might be able to sit right by
it or you might have to stand several feet
Remember that synthetic clothing melts
when it gets hot. If you plan on cooking on
the fire, make sure you have cooking tools
that are long enough so you have a safe
distance between you and the fire. Look
for cooking tools with insulated handles to
Watch children and pets around campfires
It almost goes without saying, but if you’re
camping with kids or pets, keep an eye on
them. Young children who haven’t been
around a campfire before might not be
cautious about running near it.
Preparing for Emergencies
Never leave a campfire unattended and
always keep water nearby. You might have
a sudden need to put it out or the wind
might pick up and push your fire out of the
ring. Know what steps to take if someone is
Putting out your fire
If your campfire is too hot to touch, don’t
leave or go to sleep. Whitish or gray coals
can retain heat for hours flare up if the wind
starts gusting. Spread out the coals as best
you can even if there are no open flames.
If you have water available
Be sure to douse your fire and coals with
plenty of water at the end of the evening.
If you have no water
In a pinch, use sand and dirt. However,
don’t simply kick sand or dirt on your fire
— sometimes that can insulate the coals,
keeping them hot even longer than if they
remained exposed. Spread the coals out
with a poker or other device, and then
continually stir dirt and sand among them
until they extinguish.
Source: National Park Service
LOUP PARKS STATUS — 402-562-5709
Call before visiting — the parks close periodically
for maintenance and District operations.
Loup Power District’s five parks and recreation areas canvas 77 acres
and 1,100 acres of water.
The parks were originally developed as a byproduct of Loup’s canal
system. Over the years, the District continued to develop and maintain
them as a service to the communities and customers we serve.
The parks are open from May 1 to November 1, weather permitting.
Each park features water and picnic areas.
There are plenty of recreational opportunities at all five parks. Visitors
can boat, swim, camp, fish, bike, hike, picnic and more.
Electrical hookups are free although visitors are limited to seven days per
month. Reservations are not accepted.
Note: Headworks Park remains closed due to damage from the March 2019 storm.
SPRING 2020 11
Brad Morton joined Loup in 1990 as Second Assistant Plant Operator at the Columbus
Powerhouse. He was promoted to First Assistant Plant Operator in 1991 and then
became Plant Operator. In 1993, he was named Monroe Powerhouse Chief Operator. He
was promoted to Assistant Hydro Superintendent in 2011 and the following year he was
promoted to his current position of Hydro Superintendent.
As Hydro Superintendent, Morton is responsible for the general operation and
maintenance of the District’s hydro system from the Genoa Headworks to the Columbus
Tailrace. The hydro system includes generating facilities at Columbus and Monroe, a
diversion and dredging operation at the Genoa Headworks, a 35-mile canal system, and
recreational facilities at five parks and two lakes.
Morton is a graduate of Pierce High School. He earned an Associate of Applied Science
Degree in Electrical Technology from Northeast Community College in Norfolk and a
Supervisory Management Certificate from Central Community College in Columbus. Brad
and his wife, Janet, have three children — Scott, Ryan, and Megan.
Drew Graham has been promoted to Monroe
Powerhouse Chief Operator at Loup Power
In his new role, Graham is responsible for
the operation, monitoring, and maintenance of
the Monroe Powerhouse including generators,
auxiliaries, substation, and structures.
Graham is a native of Silver Creek and
graduated from Twin River High School. He
earned a degree in Heating Ventilation and Air
Conditioning/Refrigeration from Northeast
He and his wife, Jordan, live in Monroe.
Aric Alt has been promoted to Engineering Technician.
He joined Loup in 2009 as a temporary part-time
Drafting Technician. In 2011, he became a full-time
Drafting Technician II in the Engineering Department.
In his new role as Engineering Technician, Alt works
on substation design. He coordinates the construction
and inspection of District projects, orders materials to
ensure they meet Loup’s specifications, and assists with
engineering projects throughout the District. Other duties
include designing distribution and transmission lines and
Alt is a graduate of Shelby Public High School and has an
Associate of Applied Science degree in Drafting Technology
from Central Community College in Columbus.
Dave Rosno joined Loup in 2000 as a Maintenance Man at the Genoa Headworks. In
2005, he was promoted to Equipment Operator at the Genoa Headworks. He was promoted
to Plant Operator at the Columbus Powerhouse in 2010 and transferred to the position of
Storekeeper I in 2016. Later that year he was promoted to Chief Storekeeper.
As Chief Storekeeper, Rosno’s duties include purchasing and storing materials and stock
for District projects across its multi-county service area. These materials include power
poles, connectors, wire, and any items that Loup needs for day-to-day operations.
Rosno graduated from Genoa High School and attended Central Community College. He
and his wife, Jeri, have two children — Mercedes and Megan. They also have a grandson,
Bentley, and a granddaughter, Brynlee.
Promotion + 1 Year
Jesse Hoffmeister passed the Equipment
Operator test and was promoted in February.
Hoffmeister is a member of the crew
responsible for the operation and maintenance of
the dredge that removes sand and sediment from
the settling basin of the Loup Canal. He also helps
maintain the District’s equipment and facilities
including Headworks Park.
Hoffmeister is a graduate of St. Edward High
He joined Loup Power District in 2019 as
Maintenance Man at the Genoa Headworks. He
and his wife, Haylee, have two sons — Mason and
Columbus Plant Operator
Jeremy Moore of Columbus joined Loup Power District
as a Plant Operator at the Columbus Powerhouse in 2019.
As a plant operator, Moore monitors and controls the
three generation units at Columbus and remotely controls
the Monroe Powerhouse. He also works closely with the
Genoa Headworks to divert maximum Loup River water
into the District canal system for power plant generation.
Moore’s other duties include coordinating generation
with NPPD’s control center in Doniphan and monitoring
Loup’s 115 kV and 34.5 kV subtransmission system.
Moore is a graduate of Cedar Rapids High School. He
and his wife, Carri, have three sons — Talon, Parker, and
SPRING 2020 13
Shop & Transportation Superintendent
Shop and Transportation Superintendent Jim Shanle is retiring from Loup Power District
after 28 years of service.
He joined Loup in 1992 as an Engineering Technician II in the Engineering Department
at the Columbus General Office. He was promoted to Engineering Technician in 1996 and
became Senior Engineering Technician in 2008. In 2012, Shanle was promoted to Shop and
Transportation Superintendent and stayed in that role until his retirement.
As Shop and Transportation Superintendent, Shanle provided leadership, supervision,
and guidance to all shop personnel responsible for inspecting, maintaining, and repairing
District vehicles and associated equipment. He also advised management on standards and
specifications for vehicle purchases for the District’s fleet.
Shanle is a graduate of Lakeview High School and earned an Associate of Applied Science
degree in Diesel Technology from Northeast Community College in Norfolk and an Associate
of Applied Science degree in Electrical-Mechanical from Southeast Community College in
Milford. He and his wife, Carrie, have three children: Jesse, Chantel, and Justin.
Joe Noyd of Shelby was recently
named Loup Power District’s
Powerhouse Maintenance Technician.
In this role, Noyd will monitor
and maintain the District’s hydro
equipment, generators and facilities.
He will also fill in as a Plant Operator
Noyd joined Loup in 2013 as a
Plant Operator at the Columbus
A native of Schuyler, Noyd earned
an Associate of Applied Science
Degree in Building Construction from
Southeast Community College in
Noyd and his wife, Amanda, have
two children — son, Nolan, and
Troy Dreifurst has joined Loup
Power District as a Utilityman
based out of the Columbus Service
Dreifurst’s duties include
servicing the District’s rental
water heaters, delivering
interoffice mail, and assisting on
other projects as needed.
Dreifurst previously worked at
Culligan Water. He is a graduate of
Lakeview High School. He and his
wife, Denise, have three children
— Brock, Ashton, and Lexi.
Adam Babl of Norfolk
joined Loup Power District as
a Journeyman Lineman on the
Albion Line Crew in 2015.
As a Journeyman Lineman,
Babl is a member of the line
crew that is responsible for
the construction, operation,
and maintenance of Loup’s
electrical transmission and
distribution system in the
Babl is a native of Norfolk
and a graduate of Norfolk High
School. He earned an Associate
of Applied Science Degree in
Utility Line from Northeast
Community College in Norfolk.
Babl has one son, Brantlee,
and a daughter, Blayr.
Shop & Transportation Superintendent
Mark Hanel was promoted to Shop & Transportation Superintendent in March.
In this new role, he provides leadership, supervision, and guidance to all shop
personnel. His team is responsible for inspecting, maintaining, and repairing District
vehicles and equipment. He also advises management on standards and specifications for
vehicle purchases for the District’s fleet.
Hanel joined Loup in 2011 as Automotive/Equipment Mechanic for the Shop and
Transportation Department at the Columbus Service Center. In 2017, he transferred to
Machinist/Welder and stayed in that position until this promotion.
Hanel is a native of Clarkson and earned an Associates of Applied Science Degree in
Automotive Technology from Northeast Community College in Norfolk.
He and his wife, Rhonda, have three children: Carter, Chloe, and Grant.
Customer Service Representative
Natalie Sharman transferred to a Full-Time Customer
Service Representative at Loup Power District’s
Sharman joined Loup as a part-time CSR in the St.
Edward office. In 2019, she was promoted to a full-time
CSR serving both the Fullerton and Albion offices. With
this transfer, she will work full-time in Fullerton.
As a Customer Service Representative, Sharman’s
responsibilities include greeting customers; processing
payments; setting up, transferring, or closing service;
taking service calls; and preparing reports.
Sharman is a native of Cambridge and a graduate of
Cambridge High School. She attended the University of
Nebraska–Kearney studying business and marketing.
Sharman and her husband, Les, are the parents of
two children, Braden and Kinzie. They also own Sharmz
Auto Body in Fullerton.
Lance Ferris has been promoted to Canal Foreman
at Loup Power District.
As Canal Foreman, Ferris’ primary responsibility
is overseeing canal-related projects from the railroad
siphon east of Genoa to the tailrace area southeast of
Columbus. His crew also assists with substation and
construction work throughout the District.
Ferris joined Loup in 1982 as a Maintenance Man
at the Genoa Headworks. In 1985, he was promoted
to Assistant Dredge Operator. The following year,
his title changed to Equipment Operator. He was
promoted to Dredge Operator in 1988. In 2015, Ferris
transferred to Equipment Operator at the Columbus
Service Center and remained in that position until
Ferris and his wife, Teresa, have seven children
and 17 grandchildren. They live in Monroe.
SPRING 2020 15
This illustration shows the basic equipment found on an electric utility pole.
The equipment varies according to the location and the service it provides.
Primary wires carry 7,200 volts of
electricity from a substation. That voltage is
60 times higher than the voltage that runs
through your home’s electrical outlets!
These protect the transformer
from lightning strikes.
The neutral wire acts as a line
back to the substation and is tied
to the ground, balancing the
electricity on the system.
energized wires from
contacting each other
or the pole.
SECONDARY SERVICE DROP
Carries 120/240-volts of electricity to
consumers’ homes. It has two “hot” wires from
the transformer and a bare “neutral” wire that’s
connected to the ground wire on the pole.
The ground wire connects to the
neutral wire to complete the circuit
inside the transformer. It also directs
electricity from lightning safely into
TV, AND FIBER WIRES
These are typically the
lowest wires on the pole.
NEVER NAIL POSTERS OR
OTHER ITEMS TO UTILITY
POLES. THESE CREATE A
SAFETY HAZARD FOR
Original illustration by Erin Binkley
County payments total
more than $2 million
Loup Power District recently delivered
its inside revenue payments and the
second half of the 2019 “in-lieuof-tax”
payment to the counties
it serves. This is a benefit of being
served by a locally controlled, notfor-profit
Like other businesses, Loup Power
District pays sales tax, gasoline taxes,
motor vehicle license fees and permit
The “in-lieu-of-tax” payments are
made to service area counties in lieu
of occupation, personal property and
real estate taxes.
County treasurers will distribute the
funds to the various taxing bodies in
Total in-lieu-of-tax payments:
Platte — $9,713.77
Boone — $5,078.34
Nance — $6,445.84
Colfax — $240.48
Madison — $359.27
Total — $21,837.70
The District is also required to make
additional payments to the counties
to guarantee they receive 5 percent of
the inside revenues from the various
towns in their areas subject to the in
Additional payments to the counties:
Madison — $38,895.57
Platte — $1,657,861.79
Nance — $126,051.65
Colfax — $116,412.96
Boone — $194,948.52
Total — $2,134,170.49
Loup officials presented lease payment checks to area
communities in February and March. Each of these communities
owns their electric distribution systems. These payments
compensate them for the use of those systems.
Communities use the funds for a variety of public projects.
Primrose — $2,869.63
St. Edward — $34,250.77
Humphrey — $35,429.93
Cornlea — $3,139.79
Monroe — $20,763.15
Tarnov — $2,396.04
Platte Center — $18,572.89
Petersburg — $18,608.02
Columbus — $828,706.47
Genoa — $20,784.04
Creston — $5,333.10
Second Half of 2019
Albion — $88,743.32
Fourth Quarter of 2019
Cedar Rapids — $29,869.37
Richland — $5,027.33
Belgrade — $6,245.43
Fullerton — $59,118.10
Duncan — $29,764.98
Howells — $34,995.92
Clarkson — $35,848.57
Lindsay — $42,764.30
Leigh — $14,238.08
Newman Grove — $16,536.98
Loup Power District renewed its
membership in Community Clubs and
Chambers of Commerce in towns throughout
its service area.
Checks totaling $30,651 were presented to
communities in Boone, Colfax, Nance, Platte,
and Madison counties. Payment amounts are
based on the 2019 gross revenues inside each
Albion Chamber — $1,556
Cedar Rapids Community Club — $519
Clarkson Commercial Club — $598
Columbus Area Chamber — $21,365
Fullerton Chamber — $1,091
Genoa Chamber — $771
Howells Community Club — $627
Humphrey Community Club — $665
Lindsay Community Club — $1,457
Leigh Community Club —$439
Newman Grove Community Club — $596
Petersburg Community Club — $293
Primrose Community Club — $100
St. Edward Community Club — $574
SPRING 2020 17
Although the official date for Earth Day is April
22, public power utilities celebrate Earth Day
every day of the year.
Nebraska is the only state in the nation where
every electric utility is a public power partner.
Therefore, you can be certain your local utility has your best interests in mind.
People served by communities, cooperatives and power districts have more
control over their local utility. That means all benefits produced by public power —
including affordable, reliable and sustainable energy, better service and a focus on
local goals — stay local.
This commitment extends past the electric meter and into homes and businesses
by providing assistance in making the most efficient use of the primary product public
power provides — electricity!
AND USE CEILING FANS. You should be able to
adjust your thermostat up four degrees and experience
the same comfort as you would have with only the air
EVERYWHERE HEAT IS LOST. This includes
hot water pipes, air ducts, attic, basement, windows and
THE THERMOSTAT AS HIGH AS POSSIBLE TO
WHERE YOU ARE STILL COMFORTABLE. By turning your
thermostat back 10° to 15° for eight hours, you can save
5 to 15 percent a year on your heating bill.
THE AIR CONDITIONER FILTER AND CHANGE IT
IF NECESSARY. Filters should be changed every 30–90
days. We recommend using HEPA (high efficiency
particulate air) filters, setting calendar reminders and
writing the date on the filter when you replace it.
ANNUAL AIR CONDITIONING
MAINTENANCE TUNE-UP to help reduce repairs and
keep your system operating at peak efficiency. What you
spend on the tune-up you’ll make back on your energy
bill. If your unit is older than 15 years and often breaks
down, consider replacement.
NOT RUN YOUR HEATING OR AIR CONDITIONING
WHILE YOU ARE AWAY from home. Either schedule the
times you are gone with a programmable thermostat
or remember to turn it off before you leave the house.
With a programmable thermostat, you can set the
desired temperature 30 minutes before you arrive so
the desired temperature is reached by the time you get
THE THERMOSTAT AWAY FROM HEAT SOURCES
including the sun, candles, lamps and appliances.
Temperature misreading by the thermostat can cause
your air conditioner to work longer than necessary.
DRAFTS FROM DOORS AND WINDOWS by using
caulk, door sweeps and thresholds.
DRAPES AND BLINDS CLOSED DURING THE DAY
in the summer to reduce the amount of solar heat gain.
Consider installing solar screens, insulating drapes, and
planting trees outside of sun-facing windows for more
protection against the sun’s rays.
Open drapes and blinds during sunny winter days to
take advantage of solar heat gain. Once the sun no
longer shines in, close drapes and blinds to help retain
heat in your home.
SPRING 2020 19
2404 15th Street | PO Box 988
Columbus, NE 68602-0988
10' 20' 30' 40' 50' 60' 70'
NO TREE ZONE
No trees within
25' of power lines
SMALL TREE ZONE
Plant trees less than 25'
at least 25' from
MEDIUM TREE ZONE
Plant trees 25'–40' in
height/spread at least
40' from overhead
LARGE TREE ZONE
Plant trees larger than 40'
in height/spread at least
60' from overhead