BLOOMFIELD, Ind. (June 25, 2019) -- The Utilities District of Western Indiana REMC held its June Board of Directors meeting last night, which was called to order by Vice President Todd Carpenter who was filling in for President Michael Williams.
Kristina Reitzel representing the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association presented a 457b retirement plan option for the cooperative.
The 457b is a deferred compensation retirement savings plan that allows for up to $19,000 in annual contributions. This plan is designed for key employees in a supervisory role, without contribution restrictions associated with traditional 401k plans.
The Board passed a resolution to allow qualified employees to begin using the plan, which will be owned by UDWI and could be expanded to allow Board members to also use the plan in the future.
CEO Doug Childs expressed his intention to join the plan and will pay the one-time $550 establishment fee for his participation and will not pass that cost onto the cooperative. If other employees or board members use the plan in the future, the board will discuss if the cooperative will cover the establishment fee for those individuals.
Childs reported that Hoosier Energy power costs will increase during the next two quarters, and subsequently, that cost must be absorbed by UDWI, which is estimated at nearly $250,000. Traditionally, cooperatives immediately pass this cost along to members in the form of a rate increase, but UDWI will not increase rates at this time. Instead, the cooperative will look for ways to reduce spending for other programs and services such as tree trimming or capital improvements in order to keep member rates stable for as long as possible.
In other Board news, the Board approved a 2 percent cost of living pay increase for all employees.
UDWI will begin interviewing for the Lead Mechanic job in early July.
A first-year Apprenticeship position is now available at UDWI and applications will be accepted until July 14. A skills test will be included in the interview process, including evaluating the candidate’s pole and groundwork proficiencies.
UDWI would like to thank Dubois REC, Harrison REMC and Parke County REMC for the help that was offered from their crews to restore the outages that occurred during the June 15 storm.
After the first inspection of storm damage, some members were projected to be without power for a week, but the hard work and long hours offered from the UDWI linemen and the help from its neighbors had all members back on by Tuesday night.
The next UDWI Board Meeting will be held Monday, July 22 at 6:30 p.m. at its headquarters in Bloomfield.
Utilities District of Western Indiana REMC (UDWI REMC), located in Bloomfield, Ind., is an electric utility cooperative that serves nearly 16,000 members in Clay, Dubois, Daviess, Greene, Knox, Lawrence, Martin, Monroe, Owen, Sullivan and Vigo Counties and maintains over 2,000 miles of line.