MEUW Weekly :: Oct. 2, 2018

Save the date: MEUW will hold its annual Watt-Hour Meter Workshop on March 18-20, 2019, at the Northeast Wisconsin Technical College in Green Bay. This three-day workshop is a must-attend event for meter technicians as industry leaders will explain new technologies and approved work practices. Other agenda highlights include verifying and identifying metering inaccuracies, and choosing the correct metering equipment.

Watch our web site for more details and registration information on this workshop soon.

FCC issues Small Cell Preemption Order:  On Sept. 26, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to approve a declaratory order imposing harsh new preemptions of local authority over small cell wireless facility deployment and the management of local rights-of-way.

The Order, which will go into effect 90 days after the final version is published, will:

  • Shorten the time that cities have to process applications for small cells;
  • Limit application fees for small cells;
  • Prohibit cities from assessing fees that include anything other than a “reasonable approximation” of “reasonable costs” for maintaining the rights-of-way and the small cell facility; and
  • Limit aesthetic review and requirements.

The Order also affects public power utilities’ ability to regulate pole attachments, while allowing wireless providers the ability to cherry-pick the most marketable areas to build infrastructure — potentially leaving rural areas behind.

In short, the FCC is taking steps to eliminate regulatory impediments in order to quickly build new infrastructure to support the deployment of 5G technology. We expect there will be a legal challenge to this ruling, and the Order will eventually end up in the courts.  We will continue to update you of any changes as the information become available.

Join us for dinner in Two Rivers:  Don’t forget to sign up to attend the District Dinner in Two Rivers on Oct. 10. The registration deadline is tomorrow, Oct. 3. You won’t want to miss attending this or one of the other seven planned dinners as they provide a great opportunity for public power leaders throughout the state to connect and share ideas.

MEUW members are encouraged to bring commission or council members and also their spouses, and to attend whichever dinner is most convenient (whether it is in their district or not).

The District Dinner schedule is:

  • Wednesday, Oct. 10 – Machut’s Supper Club, Two Rivers (District 4)
  • Wednesday, Oct. 17 – Badger Crossing Pub, Cashton (District 5)
  • Tuesday, Oct. 23 – Hi-Way Harry’s, Johnson Creek (Districts 7, 9 and 10)
  • Thursday, Nov. 1 – Woodlands Supper Club, Gresham (District 3)
  • Tuesday, Nov. 6 – Reedsburg Country Club (District 6)
  • Tuesday, Nov. 13 – Lehman’s Supper Club, Rice Lake (District 1)
  • Wednesday, Nov. 14 – Skyline Golf Course, Black River Falls (District 2)
  • Thursday, Nov. 15 – Red’s Supper Club, Cuba City (District 8)

Each dinner begins with a cash bar at 6 p.m. and dinner at 6:30, followed by a brief program.  The cost will be approximately $20 to $25 per person, depending upon location, menu and final number of attendees.  MEUW will bill the utility for the dinner after each event take place.

To register, please visit MEUW’s Website, click on “Events” and choose the correct date/location from the Events Calendar.

Consider joining MEUW’s S&E Committee: We are now looking to fill one open position on MEUW’s Safety and Education Committee. If you are interested in joining the committee or have questions regarding the position, please contact Committee Chair Lonnie Pichler or MEUW’s Manager of Safety Services Mike Czuprynko or any of the other committee members.

Send us your job postings: Remember that MEUW welcomes the opportunity to help you attract qualified applicants to your utility’s job openings. In fact, a recent review of our web site activity showed that our “Employment” page has the most visits of any of our web pages!

Send your open job postings to whenever they become available. We will work to post your position in a timely fashion and also publicize it in the next issue of Live Lines (if the position is not filled before its monthly publication date).

Register for National Electrical Code Training: MEUW will host a National Electrical Safety Code (NESC) Seminar on Dec. 4-5, 2018, at Southwest Wisconsin Technical College in Fennimore.

Topics for this two-day conference include overhead and underground settings, substation clearance requirements, communication facilities clearance requirements, cable markings, and safety signs that conform with the National Electrical Safety Code and Wisconsin PSC 114 Code. Information on True Pulse laser technology, which can be used to assist in determining angles and distance in the field, will also be presented.

The registration fee for MEUW member utility employees who sign up on or before Oct. 31 is $175. After Oct. 31, the registration cost goes up to $225. Please click here for more information or to register.

Lions, tigers, bears … or something else? One part of MEUW’s mission is to celebrate what municipal electric utilities have in common.  As we look for those connections, we wondered which mascot is used most often among the public and private high schools in Wisconsin’s 81 public power communities.  Do more high schools in our public power communities connect themselves to lions, tigers or bears … or maybe they fashion themselves as panthers or rockets or birds? We’ve researched the answer and we want to know your best guess.

To take part in this contest, simply send us an email with your guess about which mascot is most prevalent among Wisconsin’s municipal electric power communities. Send your guess – along with your name and phone number – to no later than Friday, Oct. 19 The winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card. The correct answer will be revealed in the Oct. 23 edition of MEUW Weekly.

S&E Committee Notes:  MEUW’s Safety and Education Committee held a meeting on Sept. 6.  The draft minutes can be accessed here.

Board of Directors’ Meeting Notes:  MEUW’s Board of Directors met in Marshfield on Sept. 20 for a regular meeting and discussion of a long-term strategic plan for the association.  The draft minutes can be accessed here.

Join the celebration of Public Power Week: Public Power Week 2018 is set for next week: October 7 to 13.

Led by the American Public Power Association (APPA), Public Power Week is a national celebration that recognizes the contributions of community-owned electric utilities and strives to educate customers nationwide about the distinct advantages that public power offers.

Take the opportunity to participate in Public Power Week this year. Over the years, MEUW members have publicized Public Power Week in many different ways, from hosting contests and customer open houses to simply submitting news releases or advertisements to local media outlets.

APPA has many resources available on its web site to help you plan for Public Power Week.

Contact MEUW Communications Specialist Karen Whitmer if you’d like assistance tailoring a news release, op-ed or advertisement for your community. Also plan to let her know how you celebrated Public Power Week, so we can share your story in a future issue of Live Lines!