CEO’s Report: Teamwork

March 31, 2017

South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard recently signed Senate Bill 60, an act to revise certain provisions regarding the sale of consumers power district assets.

Existing state statutes limited the sale of a consumers power district’s assets to another district, rural electric association, cooperative, municipality or other public body. SB 60 eliminates those restrictions, allowing a district to sell an asset to anyone, as approved by the board of directors.

Like any law, the original state consumers power district laws that were adopted in the 1950s have been periodically updated over the years. Heartland continues to be the only consumers power district in the state affected by these statutes and as the industry continues to evolve, it is important laws reflect a changing industry.

Should the need arise for Heartland to sell an asset, it would be in our customers’ best interests to have the largest pool of prospective buyers possible. An asset doesn’t have any value if there aren’t any eligible buyers.

SB 60 gives us greater flexibility moving forward and I appreciate all the support we received from our customers in South Dakota for reaching out to your senators and representatives in support of this bill. You helped them understand the importance of making this change and how it could affect your cities and your residents. The bill passed both the Senate and House overwhelmingly which proves the impact your calls and emails had as well as what we can accomplish when we work together.

Speaking of teamwork, Heartland’s Annual Meeting is coming up April 20 and as always, we will be electing new members to the Customer Connections Committee. There are currently three positions up for re-election and two additional open seats.

The Customer Connections Committee was created to increase transparency between Heartland’s staff, board of directors and our customers. Committee members have actively attended our monthly board meetings and meets quarterly or as needed with staff.

Communication is key to any good relationship and I believe Heartland’s relationship with our customers has been strengthened by this committee. It has provided a forum for customers to ask questions and provide input and for Heartland to bounce ideas off those impacted by decision making.

Any representative from a long-term Heartland customer may serve on the committee. If you would like to be more involved and have a greater understanding of Heartland operations, I encourage you to throw your name in for consideration to serve. We look forward to continuing to build a stronger relationship with our customers with open communication and increased transparency.

I look forward to seeing all of our customers at our Annual Meeting. We have some great speakers lined up as well as a Heartland Year in Review including updates on our strategic plan. If you haven’t already, be sure to RSVP by April 12.