CEO’s Report – Rates steady for 2018
We recently spent three days traveling to various customer communities to host our annual series of budget meetings. Thank you to everyone who attended. We appreciate the opportunity to present our budget for the upcoming year and provide insight on Heartland’s financial planning.
It’s always great to get out and see customers and the welcome was warm in each of the communities we visited: Madelia, MN; Langford, SD; and Madison, SD.
Heartland exists to serve our customers – not only with reliable power, but also with services to help communities thrive.
Casey Crabtree spent time at the meetings reviewing our economic development programs and the businesses and communities that have benefited from them. Ironically, our hosts in both Madelia and Langford have received low-interest financing from our HELP Fund to build beautiful new facilities.
La Plaza Fiesta re-built after a fire devastated several buildings on Main Street Madelia in 2016 and The Front Porch filled a void in the community of Langford by providing not only a new restaurant and bar, but a gathering space for local residents.
Both businesses are thriving, and Heartland is proud to be just a small part of their success.
Ann Hyland also reviewed the final results of the customer survey that was performed this past summer. She also hit on the importance of cybersecurity to help protect our customer utilities. If you haven’t invested in a program, I encourage you to reach out to Ann. The cost is less than what you might think–certainly less than paying a ransom to a hacker.
Finally, Mike Malone reviewed the 2018 budget and brought the best news of the meeting: steady rates for 2018.
We at Heartland, just like our customers, know the value of careful planning and the importance of being prepared. We continually look to the future, set goals and make decisions with the best interests of our customers in mind.
Over the past three years, customers have withstood incremental rate increases in order to meet financial projections, increase our credit rating and ensure a stable financial future for our customers.
We asked our customers to believe in our plan three years ago and they did. Because of this careful planning and our customers’ resolve, we are happy to announce we are sticking with our projections and promises and will not change rates for 2018.
Just as we support our customer communities with programs and services, we are extremely grateful for the support our customers provide us. As the saying goes, there are strength in numbers and by working together, we have achieved the goals set to this point, together.
We look forward to a successful year!