NMPP, MEAN present service awards

March 27, 2018

The Nebraska Municipal Power Pool and the Municipal Energy Agency of Nebraska each awarded an individual with a service award at the NMPP Energy Annual Meeting and Conference in Lincoln, Neb., March 27.  

NMPP Bob Arraj Innovative Service Award

NMPP awarded Lance Hedquist, city administrator for the City of South Sioux City, Neb., with the Bob Arraj Innovative Service Award. The award is presented annually to an official or employee of a NMPP member utility system who has excelled in the area of service and/or used innovative technological changes in the utility industry. The award is a memorial tribute to Bob Arraj, former city administrator and utilities superintendent of Kimball, Neb. Arraj’s years of knowledge, insight and expertise in the energy field allowed NMPP members to benefit from numerous innovative energy and service projects.

Hedquist was honored for his work in creating numerous partnerships with public and private agencies resulting in cost-savings in taxes and utility rates for South Sioux City residents. Under Hedquists’ leadership South Sioux City has various partnerships in the areas of housing, infrastructure, renewable energy, public safety and general quality of life in advancing the community.

The partnerships have resulted in improved services to South Sioux City’s citizens, an enhanced environment and provided a focus for the community’s future.

As the recipient of the award, Hedquist received $350 which will be designated to go to the South Sioux City Public Library Foundation.

MEAN Rudy Hultgren Dedicated Service Award

MEAN announced Duane Hoffman, utilities superintendent for the Village of Oxford, Neb., as the recipient of its Rudy Hultgren Dedicated Service Award.

The award is presented annually to an individual of a MEAN member utility who has displayed commendable efforts in promoting the use of public power and its ideals. MEAN, the wholesale power supply organization of NMPP Energy, serves wholesale power supply and related services to 69 communities in Colorado, Iowa, Nebraska and Wyoming. The award is a memorial tribute to Rudy Hultgren, a utility consultant and well-known and respected citizen of Lyons, Colo., who played an active role in community service and leadership.

Hoffman and his staff maintain and operate the Oxford power plant and is always responsive when requested to run Oxford’s electric generating units, said Tim Cerveny, manager of resources and transmission for MEAN.

“Duane is an excellent example of an individual that goes above and beyond in order to ensure the success of his community and MEAN,” said Cerveny.

The Oxford electric department recently installed individual fuel gas meters on generating units, providing accurate heat rate calculations which are key in determining operational costs of the units.

Cerveny noted Hoffman recently implemented an innovative solution to cold weather issues impacting power plant units. Hoffman designed, fabricated and installed a water recirculating/heating system that warms each engine while in standby mode during cold weather. This improves start reliability and reduces heating requirements of the power plant building, providing potential savings in heating costs.

Hoffman is active in the MEAN organization by serving as on the MEAN Board of Directors, Management Committee, Services Committee and Power Supply Committee.

As the recipient of the award, Hoffman received $350 which will be designated to go to a community project or group.