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Lincoln County Commissioner Chris Bruns at Dawson Public Power District

Lincoln County Commissioner Chris Bruns updates the Dawson PPD board on the Nebraska International Port of the Plains, located by Hershey. The District serves this area.

LEXINGTON, Feb. 12, 2024 – Dawson Public Power District’s February board agenda focused on the District’s future.

Chris Bruns, Lincoln County Commissioner, spoke about the creation of the Nebraska International Port of the Plains and the larger industrial rail park development at Hershey. It is slated to receive significant investment from the State of Nebraska. A soybean crush plant is planned as an anchor development in the project. Dawson PPD is working with Nebraska Public Power District on plans to deliver electricity to the site.

Like many other electric utilities, Dawson PPD is being contacted by entities who are interested in building industries in the service area.

The board reviewed financial reports showing the District with a strong 2023 net margin.  A routine financial audit is slated for April. Dawson PPD added $8.94 million to plant in 2023. Plant refers to long-term assets used to provide electricity.

Jeremy Kaiser, Manager of Operations, talked about the District’s program for rebuilding aging power lines. For over 10 years, Dawson PPD has designated funds to rebuild or refurbish the distribution system to increase reliability. It has reduced employee overtime hours and increased customer satisfaction.

In other business:

  • General Manager Gwen Kautz reported on her legislative testimony in favor of LB969, which updates bidding requirements for large purchases. Currently, smaller public power districts like Dawson PPD use a sealed bid process for purchases over $250,000 as required by a law passed in 2009. The proposed changes would increase that amount to $750,000.
  • Dawson PPD directors and staff recapped the irrigation customer meetings held in January.
  • Directors discussed the recent Nebraska Rural Electric Association’s legislative meetings and director education workshops.
  • Board member Brad Brodine attended the January employee safety meeting. He commended employees for sharing information to educate and improve safety.
  • Director Joe Jeffrey reported on the South-Central Water Conference. Topics included farming practices and an update on the condition of The Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District’s Kinglsey Dam.
  • The board entered an executive session to discuss the search process for a general manager to lead the District after Kautz retires.


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