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IAMU Launching New Member Portal

Posted By IAMU, Friday, June 19, 2015
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IAMU is hard at work preparing to implement a new member community portal.  This community portal will greatly enhance our member’s experience with event registration and directory listing management.  In addition, new features will be added to iamu.org to include online credit card payment, forums, latest news, and more.  This new portal is scheduled to be implemented by the end of this month.

Some of the features of this new membership portal will include:
  • A personalized log-in to members-only content for each member of IAMU.
  • A personalized profile page for each member of IAMU that can be updated as needed. 
  • Each member city, utility, affiliate, or associate will have the ability to add as many of their employees to their member profile as they wish.  These employees will also be assigned their own log-in to the site to access members-only content.  This gives each member the flexibility to either log in to the site as their member organization itself, or to assign key employees their own logins to use on the site.  
  • Each member organization will have a history of all transactions with IAMU including upcoming and past event registrations and dues history.  Invoices for these transactions may be viewed and printed.  The ability to pay an outstanding invoice online will also be available.
  • Event registration will be greatly enhanced with maps to each event and more information on each event.  Registration forms will be automatically populated with the profile information for the logged in member account.  This information can be overwritten if needed, which will allow a logged in member to register another associate of their organization for an event.  Each form will also allow for multiple registrations from each organization, eliminating the need to fill out a registration form for each associate from the same organization attending the same event.
  • All price calculations for an event are performed onsite and an invoice will be created and emailed to the logged in user.  There will be an opportunity to also print this invoice from the site when registering.
  • Online payment methods will finally be possible through the iamu website.  No more having to wait for a phone call from IAMU to pay with a company credit card!
  • An online forum has been created for members to ask questions and network with other members and IAMU staff.
  • The online directory will be expanded to include affiliate and associate members.  Associate members will no longer be limited to a single product type category.  Each associate will now be listed in any and all product type categories that they specialize in.
  • More features to come in the months ahead!
Be on the lookout for correspondence from IAMU that will be sent to our organization soon.  This will include your initial login and password for your organization to get started on the new member portal!

Tags:  IAMU  Technology  YM 

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Thank You to 2015 Golfin' Fore Safety Sponsors!

Posted By IAMU, Friday, June 19, 2015

On Wednesday June 24th, nearly 90 golfers will step up to the tee at the 2015 Golfin' Fore Safety outing at Amana Colonies Golf Course. The annual event is a fundraiser fro IAMU's JT&S Department, and this year we've seen tremendous support from a number of companies who've signed on as sponsors. We'd like to take this opportunity to extend a warmTHANK YOU to the following companies and organizations!



Food & Hole-In-One Sponsors

  • Ahlers & Cooney, P.C.,our after-golf BBQ dinner sponsor
  • EMC Insurance, the sponsor of our Hole-In-One contest, a first at Golfin' Fore Safety
  • Jester Insurance Services, the sponsor of our lunch.


Event Sponsors

Hole Sponsors

  • Ahlers & Cooney, P.C.
  • Altec
  • Benefit Resources of Iowa
  • Border States Electric
  • EMC Insurance
  • G&L Clothing
  • Jester Insurance
  • KW Associates
  • IPAIT
  • Irby Utilities

  • NextEra Energy Power Marketing
  • Power Line Supply
  • PCS
  • RESCO
  • RPGI
  • SIMECA
  • Snyder and Associates
  • Van Wert, Inc.
  • WESCO

Tags:  Associates  Golfin' Fore Safety  IAMU  Sponsorship 

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A Busy Month at IAMU

Posted By IAMU, Friday, June 19, 2015
by Jim Wolfe, IAMU Electric Services Coordinator

The month of May has come and gone extremely fast at IAMU. This month has been full of workshops and events involving all departments. As always, weather was challenging at times, but overall, things went very well.

The annual Overhead Distribution Workshop was held on the 13th-15th at IAMU. There were 48 attendees from utilities around the state. The first day of our workshop was dedicated to fall protection for electric utility workers. This subject has been in the spotlight for a long time due to the changes in OSHA regulations that mandate fall protection while climbing poles and structures and the use of arc tested harnesses and lanyards while using aerial devices. We had tons of support from some of the major companies that manufacture and supply this equipment to workers in this field. Attendees were able to demo different brands of equipment and learn how to properly adjust and use the equipment. A demonstration was also given regarding the importance of harness and lanyard use and inspection. I would like to thank Process Marketing Group for their harness presentation, Cahoon Sales for representing Buckingham Products, Capital Safety for representing DBI SALA, and Bashlin.

Day two of the workshop turned very soggy. The committee was force to move things inside and with help from Ken Rieck of McCaskey, we were able to continue with the program. There was a break in the weather that allowed everyone to spend the afternoon on the field for a very accelerated program. A number of different stations were set around the field. We also had great last minute help from Kriz-Davis and Cahoon Sales with their stations. Energy Solutions was able to showcase our recently completed transmission switch and provide some hands on training and Shaver Mfg was able to demo a skid loader mounted pole puller. Attendees were able to operate aerial trucks at a few of the stations that were supplied by Altec, ABM, ETI and Winterset Municipal Utilities. It is wonderful to have support from these great people so that our attendees can use the latest equipment on the market. The day concluded with a reception at the Best Western in Ankeny. The reception was sponsored by Wesco, Utilities Plus Energy Services, Resco, Power Line Supply, Moehn Sales, Irby, Holophane Lighting, G&L Clothing, Fletcher Reinhardt,  Evans, Lipka & Associates, Border States, Energy Solutions, McCaskey Co., ABM, ETI and Kriz-Davis.

Day three concluded with round table topics and a short discussion about the ongoing emerald ash borer issue. To finish out the day, we invited Dave Swanson with ITC/ULC to share a very important message about focus, attitude and safety on the jobsite.

I want to thank everyone from the Electric Safety Committee for all of their help during the workshop and for time spent preparing. Special thanks to their utility organizations for allowing them to be a member of the committee.

On a different note, we are still taking orders for the OSHA Electric Distribution, Transmission, and Generation Manual in a printed or electronic version. Please contact me at jwolfe@iamu.org or call our office at 515-289-1999 to request  a copy. Have a safe start to your summer!

Tags:  Electric  IAMU  Jim Wolfe 

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IAMU Files Comments in Jurisdictional Docket to Support Municipal Home Rule

Posted By IAMU, Friday, June 19, 2015

by Julie Smith, IAMU Legislative and Regulatory Counsel

Background.  In the IUB’s payment plan agreement docket from 2014, IAMU protested that municipal gas and electric utilities were not subject to IUB rules on level payment plan agreements, or budget billing.  The IUB started a new docket to address that issue and other issues raised by MidAmerican Energy in regard to the statute of limitations and its application to reinstatement of service.  On January 12, 2015, IAMU filed Initial Comments in Docket No. 2014-0004 asking the IUB for clarification of its basis for asserting jurisdiction over municipal gas and electric utilities in recent formal complaints.   Specifically,  IAMU stated:

“Over the past two years, some individual complaints have been lodged against municipal gas and electric utilities stating that municipal utilities were not following Board rules in regard to various issues. The Board determined in its proceedings on these complaints that it has jurisdiction over municipal utility deposits and the imposition of late payment fees, with the basis for that authority being an expanded interpretation of “disconnection”. IAMU requests that the Board advise IAMU of the parameters of the Board’s interpretation of “disconnection”. At this point, it appears that the definition of “disconnection” as it is being interpreted in these recent proceedings encompasses or could potentially encompass many of the activities that municipal utilities view as a normal conducting of business and gravely impacts local control over the management of municipal electric and gas utilities. This incremental expansion of Board regulation over municipal gas and electric utilities disrupts 28 years of interpretation of the statutes, and creates confusion as to the appropriate course of action and the legal consequences.”

Workshop and Additional Comments.  The IUB scheduled a workshop to discuss all of the issues.  IAMU and several municipal utilities, Muscatine Power and Water, Cedar Falls Utilities, Atlantic, Pella, Mount Pleasant and Waukee participated in the Workshop on April 8.  We were given ample opportunity to talk to staff and make our case that the IUB has started to encroach into municipal utility home rule.  IAMU offered a copy of a newsletter from May 1986 discussing the municipal utility home rule statute that had passed that session. 

Following the workshop, an Order was filed requesting Additional Comments.  On Tuesday, May 26, 2015, IAMU filed Additional Comments in Docket No. 2014-0004.  This is an excerpt from the filing: 

At the workshop, IAMU provided copies of a newsletter written by IAMU in May 1986. That newsletter displayed a picture of then Governor Terry Branstad in a bill signing ceremony for legislation that created the “Municipal Utilities Home Rule Bill” codified as Iowa Code section 476.1B. The article included the following comment:

“The Bill as passed certainly is a major step in moving our municipal utility control from the Commerce Commission to our local governing bodies. Undoubtedly the greatest benefit from the Bill will be in the future in that when new utility laws are passed we will be excluded from Commerce Commission regulation unless we are specifically included. Of course the reverse has been our problem in the past, in that we were usually included unless specifically exempted by provision of the law. “

This passage is included in these comments and was discussed at the Workshop to provide a backdrop for IAMU’s interpretation of questions regarding the Board’s jurisdiction. IAMU strongly asserts that the purpose of section 476.1B was to clarify that the Legislature did not intend for municipal utilities to be regulated by the Board unless it was clearly stated in the Code and that the presumption when making such interpretation should be against regulation by the Board. For the past 29 years, municipal utilities have operated from the premise that the passage of section 476.1B limited the Board’s jurisdiction. It was clear at the Workshop that Iowa’s municipal utilities feel strongly about Home Rule. The fact that the Board does not have jurisdiction over certain actions of municipal gas and electric utilities does not mean that they are unregulated. Municipal gas and electric utilities ARE subject to local regulation by their governing bodies.

Issues of Board jurisdiction have arisen within the last two to three years when it has become clear that the Board and Staff have expressed and acted upon a more expansive view of their authority over municipal gas and electric utilities. This expansion crosses over into activities that municipal utilities view as within the purview of local regulation, including but not limited to setting the amount and interest on deposits and the establishment of late payments fees. This expansion of Board regulation over municipal gas and electric utilities disrupts 28 years of interpretation of the statutes, and creates confusion as to the appropriate course of action and the legal consequences.

IAMU respectfully requests that the Board clarify when Board jurisdiction begins in relation to disconnection – as this recent broad interpretation has led to much uncertainty and inconsistency with past Board and Staff practices and training. IAMU asserts that the Board does not have jurisdiction over municipal gas and electric utilities until such time as the act of disconnection comes into play.”

Tags:  Home Rule  IAMU  Julie Smith  Legislative 

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Save the Date - Grant Workshop on August 3rd

Posted By IAMU, Thursday, May 21, 2015
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IAMU will be hosting a new event for members on Monday, August 3, 2015.  The IAMU Grant Workshop will be held at the IAMU Office and Training Facility in Ankeny and is designed to help members identify grants available to your municipality and how to write winning applications.  Keep watching for more details!

Tags:  Ankeny  August  Events  Grant  IAMU 

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