Truman talks power service

TRUMAN — The Truman City Council on Monday heard from Scott Reimer, general manager at Federated Rural Electric, who was there to present some information to the council. Federated primarily serves Jackson and Martin counties.

Heartland Consumers Power District has been supplying the city of Truman with wholesale power. Truman is contracted with Heartland through 2041. Federated has made an offer to take over the electrical for the city of Truman.

Reimer shared that Federated’s average residential rate in 2018 was 9.93 cents, the lowest among Minnesota co-ops and several municipalities. He said that their rates have been steady since the last increase in 2012.

“There’s nobody in the city of Truman that would be paying more under the Federated rates,” Reimer said. He admitted that their rates are a little complicated, but they’re working on simplifying them so it’s easier for consumers to understand.

Council member Brandon Mosloski said he’s heard concerns about infrastructure updates and repairs being put on the back burner.

Reimer said they work on four year work plans and are just finishing up their last plan that started in 2016. He said they would create a work plan specifically for the city of Truman and would update facilities over time.

“We do a lot of support for community efforts,” Reimer shared. Those include scholarships and Ekstrom told the council she had inquired about a potential donation to the Truman Pool.

Reimer said he would love for Truman to become a part of the Federated family, but understands it’s a big decision. He said the first step would be for them to sit down and talk to Heartland.

“Heartland is the one we really need to speak to and work with.We would really like them to be a player in this. We don’t want to cut them out of the picture. We would like to negotiate with them,” Reimer said of Heartland.

Mayor Lynn Brownlee asked if Reimer thinks it would be possible to shorten the contract with Heartland. Reimer said he doubts Heartland would be willing to throw its existing contract with Truman away, but they may be able to negotiate some aspects.

“If they are going to cut a huge number on rates, then we have to do that for our community,” council member Jake Ebert said.

The council made a motion to have Reimer contact Heartland.

Moving to other matters, city administrator Bethanie Ekstrom shared two quotes for replacing computers operating on Windows 7. They have received quotes from Computer Lodge and another from Bevcomm. She is still waiting for a quote from JL computers.

Ekstrom’s desktop would be replaced with a laptop so she can bring it along to meetings. Sherry Hansen’s computer would also be replaced as well as a desktop in the power plant.

Ekstrom suggested to go with BevComm, at $4,995, since they are already familiar with Truman’s server system.

The council made a motion to go with BevComm, contingent on whether labor is included in the quote to transfer data.

Quotes for replacing a broken water fountain outside of city hall were also reviewed. They were from Watson’s Plumbing and Heating and from Day Plumbing and Heating. The council approved of the quote from Watson’s for a total of $2,405.

In other news, the council discussed setting up interviews with applicants for various positions. Ekstrom shared that she has a whole manilla folder of applications for the waste water position, lineman position and administrative assistant position. The council discussed dates and Ekstrom said she would be contacting applicants to let them know.