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Beatrice, NE 68310
Rural Electric Systems are…Working for Nebraska
Norris Public Power District Pursuing Merger with Seward County Public Power District
Bruce Vitosh--General Manager and CEO
Norris Public Power District (Norris) and Seward County Public Power District (Seward PPD) have entered into discussions involving a potential merger of the two public power districts in southeastern Nebraska. The Board of Directors of each organization has approved a Memorandum of Understanding regarding their intent to merge the two districts. Both districts are in solid financial condition, but feel a merger will provide financial, service and operational benefits to the customers of both districts.
Seward PPD believes that this is an opportune time for a merger as the management team, certain directors and some employees are near retirement age. Seward PPD personnel will be integrated into the Norris organization and will be instrumental during the merger transition and well into the future. Seward PPD and Norris have been good neighbors and have worked well together for many years.
With a merger, an elimination of certain Seward PPD operating costs and the efficiencies to be gained with a larger customer base will benefit the customers of both districts. The electrical load of each district are complementary as Seward PPD revenues are heavily dependent on residential sales, while Norris industrial and commercial customers are responsible for over half of the Norris revenues. The diverse customer base and the duplicated services that will be eliminated will be beneficial for long term rate stability.
The two districts have many operational similarities and common territory boundaries that will be beneficial during the merger transition. Both districts purchase power from Nebraska Public Power District and utilize the same rural electric industry organizations for information technology and property and liability insurance. Seward PPD and Norris are members of the Nebraska Rural Electric Association and National Rural Electric Cooperative Association who provide many services for the districts, including a rural electric industry voice in federal and state legislative issues, safety and electric industry education and certain employee benefits.
The existing Seward PPD facility located in Seward will continue to be utilized as an area operations and customer service facility allowing employees to continue providing excellent service for customers in that area. Customers located within Seward County will have representation on the Norris Board of Directors. With the addition of the Seward area operations facility, Norris will have more resources available to utilize during outages and for large construction and maintenance projects.
The districts will diligently continue merger discussions with a final merger plan to be in place early in 2017. During the merger discussions, customers will continue receiving service as presently being provided. The districts encourage customers to follow the merger progress by reading communications provided by the districts through newsletters, social media and internet websites.
ABOUT SEWARD COUNTY PUBLIC POWER DISTRICT
Seward County Public Power District is a public corporation and a political subdivision of the State of Nebraska providing electric power to approximately 4,900 customers with 19 employees in Seward PPD in southeastern Nebraska. The District’s electric system includes 1,052 miles of subtransmission and distribution lines.
ABOUT NORRIS PUBLIC POWER DISTRICT
Norris Public Power District is a public corporation and a political subdivision of the State of Nebraska providing electric power to approximately 18,900 customers with 76 employees in a five-county area of southeastern Nebraska consisting of Gage, Jefferson, Lancaster, Saline and Thayer counties. The District’s electric system includes 5,085 miles of subtransmission and distribution lines.
Questions and Answers
What will the merged district be named?
Norris Public Power District.
Q. When will the merger be effective?
A. The effective date of the merger is being planned for May 1, 2017.
Q. How will the merger impact my electric rates?
A. It is anticipated that all former Seward PPD customers and Norris customers will remain on their existing rate schedules until a cost of service analysis is completed. Long term rate stability is projected by combining the diverse customer bases and eliminating costs that are currently being duplicated between the two public power districts.
Q. Will any employees be layed off?
A. No, the dedicated employees of Norris and Seward PPD will be needed through the merger transition and beyond. Norris has an ongoing practice of evaluating each job position that is open through retirement or attrition before the open position is filled. The evaluation will determine if efficiencies may be gained by reassigning job responsibilities to other employees.
Q. Will Seward PPD customers have Board representation?
A. Yes, Seward PPD will have two Board Members that will become Directors on the Norris Board.
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Outage Phone Numbers
If you experience a power outage, please report it to the appropriate number below:
Thayer & Jefferson Counties
Local (402) 768-6515
or (402) 729-3835
Toll Free 1-800-827-8099
Lancaster & Saline Counties
Local (402) 794-9900
or Toll Free 1-800-743-3899
Local (402) 223-4038
Toll Free 1-800-858-4707
Interactive Service Area Map
The Nebraska Power Review Board is pleased to announce the creation of an interactive online digital map that shows every Nebraska electric power supplier's certified service area.