BLOOMFIELD, Ind. (Dec. 4, 2019) -- The Utilities District of Western Indiana REMC held its November board meeting Monday, Nov. 25, where CEO Doug Childs presented the 2020 budget to the Board of Directors.
Highlights of the budget include planned capital credits distribution of $427,000 and a capital improvement budget totaling $6.725 million dollars with over $2.4 million allocated to the replacement of aging wire and equipment. The most significant announcement is that the budget requires no planned rate increases for UDWI members during 2020.
“We have an aggressive capital budget for the upcoming year, but it will make a big difference within our system reliability,” said Childs. “There is nothing more important that we are doing than working on increasing the vegetation management program. Vegetation management is absolutely critical to improving our safety and reliability and we will continue to work toward attaining a seven-year trimming cycle.
By the end of 2019, 40 miles of aging line will have been repaired or replaced, which is crucial to increasing our reliability. This 40 miles represents a record amount for UDWI for a single year. For 2020, UDWI has a goal to replace approximately 50 miles of aging line.
“With the hard work and support from our team, we are doing more with less and it is reflected in our budget,” said Childs. “We have cut costs while making significant improvements to our system. We have accomplished all this in addition to a robust job and safety training program that totaled more than 1,000 hours in training for our crews. I cannot thank our management team and employees enough for making all this happen.”
In other board news, capital credit distribution checks will go out the second week of December. These checks will cover operating margins from 1963-65.
Shane Smith, Director of Engineering and Operations, presented the RC3 Online Self-Assessment License Program. This program is designed for REMCs with smaller IT staffs to help bolster cyber-security. It provides an extra set of cyber-security tools, strategies and training for UDWI staff to work through real-life scenarios. There is no cost to the cooperative for this program and the board voted unanimously to authorize participation in it.
Members can expect to see the new UDWI quarterly newsletter with their December bill. The newsletter replaces UDWI’s costly subscription to the Electric Consumer magazine and is being produced by UDWI employees at a small fraction of the cost. Those members who pay bills electronically can access the newsletter on the cooperative’s website.
Districts 1, 2 and 4 are up for election in 2020. Candidates that are interested in running for UDWI’s Board of Directors must pick up a candidate packet from the main office. Candidates must return the completed packet by the close of business on Friday, January 24, 2020. More election information will be included in December’s newsletter and can be also be found on UDWI’s Facebook page.
The next UDWI Board Meeting will be held Monday, December 23 at 10 a.m. at the Greene County Community Event Center.
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.