Economic Impact of the GRDA

Notice Of Waiver Request And Public Hearing

The Grand River Dam Authority (GRDA) is in receipt of an application for Thunder Bay Marina, LLC on Grand Lake, in Delaware County, Oklahoma. The applicant requests approval to modify an existing project by constructing two additional covered docks, one open air dock, rebuild one existing dock, and install a floating pool on one of the docks. The applicant has requested a waiver of GRDA’s 125 foot and parallel slip rule as part of this application.

A public hearing is scheduled for Monday, April 13, 2015 at 10:00 AM at the GRDA Administrative Headquarters, located at 226 W Dwain Willis Avenue, Vinita OK, 74301

GRDA wishes to solicit comments on this proposed project from all interested individuals and businesses. If you would like to submit written comments or have any questions, please contact Darrell E. Townsend II, Ph.D., Assistant General Manager of Ecosystems and Lake Management, PO Box 70, Langley, OK 74350, (918) 256-0616.

Notice Of Public Meeting

NOTICE OF PUBLIC MEETING

The Grand River Dam Authority (GRDA) will hold a public meeting on Friday, April 17, 2015 at 6:00 PM at:

Grove City Hall

104 W 3rd

Grove OK, 74344

The purpose of this meeting is to obtain public comments regarding the implementation of a “No Wake” zone in the Honey Creek arm of Grand Lake.

If you would like to submit written comments or have any questions, please contact Brian Edwards, AGM of Lake Operations and Chief of Law Enforcement, PO Box 70, Langley OK 74350 or 918-256-0880.

Notice To The Public

NOTICE TO THE PUBLIC

Please take notice that The Grand River Dam Authority has received an application for a private dock requiring directional bearing. Such directional bearing relates to a dock application for a private dock which if approved shall extend 78 feet across a cove, which measures 158 feet across from 745 feet mean sea level to 745 feet mean sea level on the nearest opposite shoreline.

Applicant: Kyle & Rachel Soper

Location: Court House Hollow

Lake Address: 59781 E 318 Lane, Grove OK 74344

Legal Description: Township 24N, Range 23E, Section 14

Project: Private Dock

If you would like to request additional information, please address your request to the Grand River Dam Authority Administration Headquarters, P. O. Box 409, Vinita, Oklahoma 74301 or call (918) 256-5545 ext. 40632.

Notice To The Public

NOTICE TO THE PUBLIC

Please take notice that The Grand River Dam Authority has received an application for a private dock requiring directional bearing. Such directional bearing relates to a dock application for a private dock which if approved shall extend 124 feet across a cove, which measures 194 feet across from 745 feet mean sea level to 745 feet mean sea level on the nearest opposite shoreline.

Applicant: Paul D. & Nancy K. Storts

Location: Woodard

Lake Address: 58191 E 332 Loop, Jay, Ok 74346

Legal Description: Township 24N, Range 23E, Section 27

Project: Private Dock

If you would like to request additional information, please address your request to the Grand River Dam Authority Administration Headquarters, P. O. Box 409, Vinita, Oklahoma 74301 or call (918) 256-5545 ext. 40632.

New initiatives will take a comprehensive approach to watershed management

GRDA to work with University of Oklahoma, Grand Lake Watershed Alliance Foundation …

Langley – A new agreement between the Grand River Dam Authority and the University of Oklahoma (OU) is intended to bring a greater focus to the waters of the Grand River watershed, while a related initiative will help share the importance of that watershed with the public across the four-state region.

A graphic illustrating the benefits of Grand River’s waters and the impacts on the surrounding communities and industries

A graphic illustrating the benefits of Grand River’s waters and the impacts on the surrounding communities and industries.

At its December 2014 meeting, the GRDA Board of Directors gave its approval to the five-year interagency agreement that will take a comprehensive approach to watershed conservation, lake management and GRDA’s plan for relicensing its hydroelectric facilities with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). In January 2015, the board also approved an agreement with the Grand Lake Watershed Alliance Foundation (GLWAF) for the development of a watershed educational campaign. Together, the initiatives represent a new and comprehensive approach to this important natural resource that lies within the boundaries of Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma.

According to GRDA Assistant General Manager of Ecosystems/Lake Management Dr. Darrell Townsend, the 1935 legislation that established GRDA as a conservation and reclamation district for the Grand River was also comprehensive in its approach. It addressed not only the waters, but also the entire watershed area in regards to irrigation, forestation and the “distribution of the waters of the Grand River and its tributaries … for other useful purposes.”

Today, nearly 75 years after GRDA constructed the first dam on the Grand River, plenty of useful purposes remain. Whether the realm is recreation, industry, real estate, municipal uses, hydroelectric production or even economic development, the waters of the Grand River watershed are vital to a large and diverse region.

It is diverse because the watershed covers roughly 10,000 square miles, stretches across those four states and even straddles two separate Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regions. From Joplin, Missouri to Fairland, Oklahoma and from Burlington, Kansas to Sulphur Springs, Arkansas, the watershed both impacts and is impacted by a large and diverse population area.

In his presentation to the GRDA Board, Townsend said the comprehensive agreement with the University of Oklahoma had several objectives, beginning with the establishment of a multidisciplinary team.

“This group will compile and assess watershed data” said Townsend. “They will also work to enhance public access to that data, target priority areas of watershed management and support GRDA’s FERC relicensing process for Pensacola Dam.”

Townsend also said the team will focus on parameters such as sedimentation, bacteria, dissolved oxygen, blue green algae and nutrients, as it works to develop and maintain a healthy watershed; another primary objective of the interagency agreement. In recent years, Grand Lake has faced many of the same issues that other lakes in the country have faced, such as blue green algae and E.Coli. Not only do those issues impact water quality but they also impact area economies. Townsend pointed out that, as recently as August 2014, the city of Toledo, Ohio, spent close to $200 thousand for bottled water, during an algae-related water emergency that affected the city’s primary water supplies. A comprehensive healthy watershed effort will address those issues going forward.

As for the agreement itself, Townsend added that GRDA already has a beneficial working history with OU. That partnership has led to scientific collaboration, new equipment for the GRDA Water Lab, and internship opportunities in the lab for university students. Together, the two partners have addressed issues such as habitable structures on the lake shore, environmental remediation (in the tri-state mining district), storm water runoff (in Langley and Grove), and a flood routing study to assess rule curve modifications on water surface elevations in Miami, along with several others.

Townsend said university partners will provide technical expertise, experienced leadership and institutional support throughout the five-year comprehensive watershed plan.

“The OU partnership taps into a broad scientific knowledge base spanning multiple disciplines, said Townsend, “and that expertise becomes a valuable asset when working with a watershed of this size.”

Educating the public across such a large area is the primary goal of the GLWAF and the new agreement with GRDA will help both organizations raise awareness of the watershed and share the important ways the public can help care for this valuable natural resource.

GLWAF was formed in 2007 to help preserve, protect, and improve water quality within the four-state watershed. A 501(c) (3) non-profit corporation, GLWAF is the only organizational voice for the entire watershed.

Headquartered in Vinita, GRDA is Oklahoma’s state-owned electric utility; fully funded by revenues from electric and water sales instead of taxes. GRDA’s low-cost, reliable power touches 75 of 77 counties in the state and serves as an important economic development engine for Oklahoma. At no cost to Oklahoma taxpayers, GRDA also manages 70,000 surface acres of lakes in the state, including Grand Lake, Lake Hudson and the W.R. Holway Reservoir. Today, GRDA’s 500 employees continue to produce the same “power for progress” that has benefited the state for 75 years. The efforts of Team GRDA facilitate over $450 million in economic activity in Oklahoma annually.

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GRDA Breaks Ground on new combined cycle electric generation facility

“A win-win for our customers and the state of Oklahoma …”

Approximately 300 guests were on hand on Friday, January 23, to help the Grand River Dam Authority break ground on its new Unit 3 combined cycle generation plant at the Grand River Energy Center (GREC, east of Chouteau).

Approximately 300 guests were on hand on Friday, January 23, to help the Grand River Dam Authority break ground on its new Unit 3 combined cycle generation plant at the Grand River Energy Center (GREC, east of Chouteau).

Chouteau — January 23, 2015 was an historic day for the Grand River Dam Authority as it officially broke ground on a new, 495 megawatt (MW) combined cycle gas plant.

The event marked the first time in over 30 years that the Authority began construction on a new electric generation project, and took place at the Grand River Energy Center (GREC, formerly Coal Fired Complex) in the shadow of the last generation GRDA constructed, in the early 1980s.

“This is a great day,” said GRDA Chief Executive Officer Dan Sullivan. “It’s nice weather, but even if there were a foot of snow on the ground, this would still be a great day.”

It was great not only for GRDA, but also for the state of Oklahoma, added Sullivan. He told a crowd of approximately 300 guests at the groundbreaking ceremony that the day was really about the future of GRDA and its long-term commitment to serving its customers all across the state. Those customers (many who had representatives in attendance) include municipalities, electric cooperatives and industries in Oklahoma. Together, he said, they were very involved in helping GRDA get to this day.

“I want to start by thanking our customers,” said Sullivan. “It’s because of the relationships with our customers that [GRDA] exists. You stood with us in the decision to build this facility and you’ve made a long-term commitment to GRDA.”

Sullivan reminded the crowd that all of GRDA’s municipal customer communities have signed long-term contracts with the Authority that will continue the partnerships through 2042.

“We’re returning that long-term commitment by building this facility,” he said.

The new unit, which will cost approximately $296 million to complete, will have the potential to be the most efficient combined cycle generator in the United States. GRDA is purchasing the unit from Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Americas (MHPSA) and it will be constructed in Savannah, Georgia. While several of these models are in operation in Asia, GRDA’s will be the first MHPSA unit of this type in the western hemisphere.

Of course, getting the unit from the idea phase to the point of ground breaking was a long process, as many other options were also weighed, researched and discussed.

“Our committee reviewed numerous options by our GRDA staff and our consulting engineers,” GRDA Director Steve Spears told the crowd. Spears, the

Miss Grand Lake 2015 Gretchen Neftzger was on hand during the Grand River Dam Authority’s groundbreaking ceremony for its new Unit 3 combined cycle gas plant, on Friday, January 23, at the Grand River Energy Center (GREC, east of Chouteau). Neftzger sang “God Bless America” during the ceremony.

Miss Grand Lake 2015 Gretchen Neftzger was on hand during the Grand River Dam Authority’s groundbreaking ceremony for its new Unit 3 combined cycle gas plant, on Friday, January 23, at the Grand River Energy Center (GREC, east of Chouteau). Neftzger sang “God Bless America” during the ceremony.

city manager in Cushing and longtime municipal customer representative on the GRDA Board, chaired the special ad hoc committee put in place several years ago to explore new generation options.

“Let me assure you that every option was considered and fully vetted,” said Spears. “This new facility will burn Oklahoma natural gas and allow us to further diversify our resources. I consider this a win-win for our customers and the state of Oklahoma.”

Unit 3 will produce electricity in two ways: natural gas will be used to fuel a combustion turbine-generator, and then heat from that process will be recaptured and used to produce steam to turn another steam turbine-generator. Because of this heat recovery process, it is expected to be a very efficient generation source.

The facility’s potential was not lost on Oklahoma Secretary of Energy and Environment Michael Teague. In his address to the crowd, Teague said successful power generation really requires three things to be present: reliability, affordability and sustainability.

“Oklahoma has the fifth cheapest electricity in our country right now, because of the work that goes on, as a great example, right here at the Grand River Energy Center,” said Teague, adding that in order to balance all the successful power generation components, “ it takes a long term vision, it takes leadership and it takes a team.”

GRDA Chairman Tom Kimball addresses the crowd during the Grand River Dam Authority’s groundbreaking ceremony for its new Unit 3 combined cycle gas plant, on Friday, January 23, at the Grand River Energy Center (GREC, east of Chouteau).

GRDA Chairman Tom Kimball addresses the crowd during the Grand River Dam Authority’s groundbreaking ceremony for its new Unit 3 combined cycle gas plant, on Friday, January 23, at the Grand River Energy Center (GREC, east of Chouteau).

GRDA Chairman Tom Kimball spoke highly of that team – the GRDA workforce – that operates and maintains the Authority’s facilities round-the-clock, 24/7/365.

“You can call them associates, you can call them employees or you can call them staff, but when you call them, they respond,” said Kimball. He also thanked the customers for signing the long-term deals with GRDA, which in turn helped the Authority’s credit rating and made financing of the Unit 3 less expensive with better credit ratings.

“We showed the rating agencies the strength of our customers; the people who had enough foresight to stand up and sign a 30-year contract with GRDA going forward,” said Kimball. “That is the kind of commitment it takes to make something like this happen.”

Along with MHPSA, other major contractors/suppliers in the project will include Black & Veatch (owner’s engineer), Hitachi HVB (electrical equipment), Nooter/Eriksen (heat recovery steam generator) TIC/Kiewit (construction) and Enable Midstream (natural gas pipeline). Unit 3 is expected to be operational by the spring of 2017.

Headquartered in Vinita, GRDA is Oklahoma’s state-owned electric utility; fully funded by revenues from electric and water sales instead of taxes. GRDA’s low-cost, reliable power touches 75 of 77 counties in the state and serves as an important economic development engine for Oklahoma. At no cost to Oklahoma taxpayers, GRDA also manages 70,000 surface acres of lakes in the state, including Grand Lake, Lake Hudson and the W.R. Holway Reservoir. Today, GRDA’s 500 employees continue to produce the same “power for progress” that has benefited the state for 75 years. The efforts of Team GRDA facilitate over $450 million in economic activity in Oklahoma annually.

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Police Promotions

The Grand River Dam Authority recently recognized the promotions of three members of the GRDA Police Department. During a special ceremony on Tuesday, January 27, GRDA Superintendent of Homeland Security Chris Carlson (second from left), was promoted to the rank of major while GRDA Officers Tyler Brown (center) and Casey King (second from right) were also promoted to the rank of captain. The officers received their promotions and new insignia from GRDA Assistant General Manager of Law Enforcement/Lake Operations Brian Edwards (right) and GRDA Chief Executive Officer Dan Sullivan (left).

“This was a special day for GRDA and our department,” said Edwards. “These men have done a great job for us and we will continue to depend on their professionalism, expertise and dedication in the future. These promotions were very well-deserved.”

 

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Notice Of Public Meeting

NOTICE OF PUBLIC MEETING

 

The Grand River Dam Authority (GRDA) will hold a public meeting on Friday, February 13, 2014 at 2:00 p.m. at:

Grand River Dam Authority

Ecosystems & Education Center

Grand Hall

420 E. Hwy 28

Langley, OK 74350

The purpose of this meeting is to educate and to obtain public comments regarding proposed changes to the Grand River Dam Authority Lake Rules and Regulations. These proposed changes are on the GRDA website at www.grda.com.

Comments will also be accepted at a formal public hearing on February 18, 2015 at 9:00 a.m. at 226 W. Dwain Willis Ave., Vinita, Ok.

GRDA wishes to solicit comments on these changes from all interested individuals and businesses. If you would like to submit written comments or have any questions, please contact Darrell E. Townsend II, Ph.D., Assistant General Manager of Ecosystems and Lake Management, P. O. Box 70, Langley, OK 74350, (918) 256-0616.

Public Notice of Event Attendance

PUBLIC NOTICE
OF EVENT ATTENDANCE
OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS, GRAND RIVER DAM AUTHORITY
AND
THE HONORABLE MARY FALLIN, GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF OKLAHOMA
FRIDAY, January 23, 2015

Notice is hereby given that three or more members of the Board of Directors of
the Grand River Dam Authority (GRDA) and the Honorable Mary Fallin,
Governor of the State, may gather together to attend the Groundbreaking
Ceremony for the GRDA’s Grand River Energy Center’s Unit 3 Combined Cycle
Natural Gas Electric Power Generation Unit, on Friday, January 23RD, 2015,
at 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. This event will be held at GRDA’s Grand River
Energy Center, 812 Highway 412B, Chouteau, Oklahoma. This event is by
invitation only. No action will be taken.

Note: Posted at Craig County Clerk’s Office, Vinita, Oklahoma; Grand River Dam Authority Administration
Headquarters, 226 W. Dwain Willis Avenue, Vinita, Oklahoma; Mayes County Clerk’s Office, Pryor, Oklahoma;
GRDA’s Grand River Energy Center, 812 Highway 412B, Chouteau, Oklahoma; and at www.grda.com.

Floodplain analysis associated with proposed rule curve modifications for Grand Lake

GRDA Police share safe boating tips for the winter season

Langley – Even though the calendar says winter, many people still find their way to the lakes this time of year for cold weather fishing, duck hunting and other outings. However, when the water and air are much colder, and there is less boat traffic on the lakes and river, there are a few special boating tips to keep in mind.

“Cell phones are of greater importance in the winter,” said GRDA Superintendent of Homeland Security Chris Carlson. “There are just fewer boaters around to flag down for emergency and non-emergency help.”

Because of that, Carlson added it is very important to keep those phones dry at all times in some sort of waterproof container.

GRDA Police Officers, bundled up for cold weather conditions, make their way down the Grand River on a winter day in 2014. If you are planning on visiting the lake or rivers during the winter months, GRDA Police offer some seasonal safe boating tips you should keep in mind.

GRDA Police Officers, bundled up for cold weather conditions, make their way down the Grand River on a winter day in 2014. If you are planning on visiting the lake or rivers during the winter months, GRDA Police offer some seasonal safe boating tips you should keep in mind.

A whistle – attached to your life jacket – is also an important piece of equipment for wintertime boaters. Producing a loud and effective call for help with a whistle will take much less energy than shouting for help and waving your arms, especially in cold, wet conditions.

It is also important to remember that cold water can rob the body of its heat 25 times faster than cold air. That can drastically reduce the time of exposure needed to experience hypothermia.

“So if your boat does capsize, your main priority is to get as much of your body out of the water as possible,” said Carlson. “If you can, climb on to the overturned vessel or nearby debris or get to the nearest shore or dock.”

Also, in cold winter temperatures, wet clothing is actually colder than less clothing and can lead to hypothermia more quickly.

“So you should remove as much of the wet clothing as possible as soon as possible,” said Carlson. “You will be warmer with less clothing than with wet clothing.”

In fact, dressing properly for winter boating is a very important step that should not be overlooked. While many people dress in additional layers to guard against the cold temperatures, they need to know that those layers can present a hazard if you do accidentally go into the water. When other clothing is tucked into bibbed overalls or wading pants it can actually cause the water to be trapped. That can cause the amount of energy needed to stay afloat to increase considerably at a time when muscles are cramping and movements are increasingly more difficult. It is very important that life jackets have sufficient flotation to support heavy, water-logged clothing.

Of course, the other option is to simply dress for the outing in proper winter boating attire, said Carlson. “There is a wide range of flotation-equipped cold weather gear available. It is designed to provide an individual with all the warmth they need without sacrificing safety.”

Whether you are boating in January or July, it is also important to file a “float plan” any time you visit the water. Let someone know where you intend to be boating, who is going with you and when you expect to return. Providing a description of the vessel and the number of occupants is also critical. Having a vessel that is in good working order is also very important.

Finally, when lake waters turn to ice patches, its best to stay clear of the area, whether you are in a boat or just walking along the shore. Typically Oklahoma does not get those below-freezing periods that generate ice thick enough to safely stand on.

“With that being said, it is possible for the ice to be weak enough to fall through in one area and thick enough to trap you underneath if you didn’t come right up to the top of the water in the same location,” said Carlson. “With no leverage in the water, and no chance of getting a gasp of air between the ice and water, this could prove deadly fast.”

By taking proper winter-time precautions, wearing proper gear and practicing the common sense boating safety tips that are applicable year-round, boaters can still enjoy the waters of Grand and Hudson lakes no matter what the calendar is showing.

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Notice to the Public

NOTICE TO THE PUBLIC

Please be advised Grand River Dam Authority is proposing changes to its Lake Rules and Purchasing Policy. In addition, new rules are proposed for Repairs and Improvements to Grand River Dam Authority Facilities. Written and oral comments will be accepted January 15, 2015 through February 16, 2015. Please note the Lake Rules were updated on January 29, 2015, with the changes highlighted in yellow.

For more information and the proposed rules
Chapter 20 Notice of Rulemaking Intent
Chapter 20 Proposed Acquisition Policy
Chapter 20 Rule Impact Statement
Chapter 35 Notice of Rulemaking Intent
Chapter 35 Proposed Lake Rules
Chapter 35 Rule Impact Statement

Notice To The Public

NOTICE TO THE PUBLIC

Please take notice that The Grand River Dam Authority has received an application for a private dock requiring directional bearing. Such directional bearing relates to a dock application for a private dock which if approved shall extend 125 feet across a cove, which measures 225 feet across from 745 feet mean sea level to 745 feet mean sea level on the nearest opposite shoreline.

Applicant: Christopher Helt

Location: Honey Creek

Lake Address: 902 Inwood Drive, Grove, OK

Legal Description: Township 24N, Range 24E, Section 7

Project: Private Dock

If you would like to request additional information, please address your request to the Grand River Dam Authority Administration Headquarters, P. O. Box 409, Vinita, Oklahoma 74301 or call (918) 256-5545 ext 40632.

Wagoner citizens hear from retail development specialist

Wagoner Mayor James Jennings (standing) welcomes participants to the community’s latest economic development visioning meeting, on Monday, November 17, at the Wagoner Civic Center.  Rickey Hayes, founder/principal of Retail Attractions, LLC was on hand to address the participants.

Wagoner Mayor James Jennings (standing) welcomes participants to the community’s latest economic development visioning meeting, on Monday, November 17, at the Wagoner Civic Center. Rickey Hayes, founder/principal of Retail Attractions, LLC was on hand to address the participants.

Wagoner – Approximately 30 Wagoner citizens and community leaders were on hand Monday night (November 17) for the latest meeting in a series of meetings geared towards boosting economic development in the community.

This most recent gathering was an opportunity for citizens to hear from Rickey Hayes, founder and principal of Retail Attractions, LLC. Hayes served as the economic development director for Owasso for six years, at a time when that community began to experience rapid retail growth. In 2007, he founded Retail Attractions and has since worked to attract new retail business to client communities in Oklahoma and surrounding states.

In April 2014, the Grand River Dam Authority contracted with Retail Attractions, as well as Smith & Gray LLC (industrial development) to assist all of its Oklahoma wholesale electric customer communities with economic development efforts. Like 15 other public power communities in the state, Wagoner owns and operates its own electric distribution system but purchases its wholesale electricity from GRDA. The community has been a public power partner with GRDA since 1947.

Hayes told the audience that Wagoner’s public power status can be an important advantage for recruiting new retail businesses. He also said that strong community involvement, as displayed by a large turnout for the meeting, is also a good starting point.

“I’ve been in communities of 250,000 people that couldn’t get this many interested people in the room,” Hayes told participants. “So it’s obvious you all want the same things for Wagoner.”

Being able to think outside the box and taking advantage of its location along Highway 69 were others ways Hayes said the community could benefit in an enhanced economic development effort.

This latest meeting comes after four “visioning” sessions facilitated by the Wagoner Public Works Authority (WPWA) and GRDA and led by Smith & Gray’s Tom Gray and Sherri Smith-Gray. Those sessions allowed participants to produce an action plan for future growth and begin building consensus on what that could look like.

The group’s next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, December 11, at 6PM (Wagoner Civic Center). At that meeting, a special guest speaker — Wes Stucky – will address the group. Stucky is president of Development Management, Inc., a consulting firm assisting economic development agencies and private developers in organization management and industrial site development. For 25 years, he served as president of the Ardmore Development Authority and Ardmore Chamber of Commerce. During his career, he has been known for finding innovative solutions to funding and developing projects.

All interested citizens are invited to attend this important community event. For more information, contact WPWA Director Dwayne Elam at (918) 485-4586.

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GRDA welcomes Owasso’s Vandevier to board of directors

GRDA Director Joseph “Joe” Vandevier

GRDA Director Joseph “Joe” Vandevier

Vinita – With a background in engineering and the oil and gas industry, Owasso’s Joseph “Joe” Vandevier is expected to bring a wealth of knowledge to his new role as a member of the Grand River Dam Authority (GRDA) Board of Directors.

On Tuesday (October 14), Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin announced that she was appointing Vandevier to a five-year term on the GRDA Board, through August 2019. He replaces outgoing GRDA Director Allen Wright (Edmond).

Vandevier began his service on the GRDA Board on Monday (October 20), during a special meeting in Tulsa.

“We look forward to Director Vandevier’s service and contributions to our organization,” said GRDA Chief Executive Officer Dan Sullivan. “His experience speaks for itself and his leadership will be valuable to GRDA as we enter this exciting time in our history.”

Recently, GRDA completed pricing on a $320 million bond issue and will soon began construction on a 495 megawatt (MW) combined-cycle natural gas generation plant. The Authority has also expanded its wind generation portfolio in recent months and will also begin a major emissions control upgrade on one of its coal-fired units at its Grand River Energy Center.

“Joe Vandevier’s experience in management, business development and engineering brings a valuable perspective to the GRDA,” said Governor Fallin in a news release announcing his appointment. “His leadership and dedication will serve the GRDA and its members well.”

Vandevier is the founder and current managing member of Downhole Dynamics, a company that provides business and technical consulting for enhanced production in the oil and gas industry.

He has worked in that industry for the past 40 years in a variety of roles, having served as vice president of operations in the United States, Canada and Russia for Centrilift. He also served as president and chief operating officer of Wood Group ESP, and as a senior adviser for Baker Hughes. Vandevier also served as president of ProductionQuest, a business branch of Baker Hughes.

A member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, he received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and a master’s degree in engineering management from the University of Tulsa. Vandevier is also a member of the University Of Tulsa College Of Hall of Fame, where he is recognized for his contributions in the field of academic support, community service and professional achievement.

GRDA is governed by a seven-member board of directors comprised of representatives from each GRDA customer class (municipals, electric cooperatives and industrials) as well as the GRDA lakes area. Two at-large representatives also sit on the board. Appointments are made by the Oklahoma Governor (3), Speaker of the Oklahoma State House of Representatives and President Pro Tempore of the Oklahoma State Senate. Two other board positions are ex-officio positions, filled by the general manager of the Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives (OAEC) and executive director of the Municipal Electric Systems of Oklahoma (MESO) or by their designees. Board members serve staggered, five-year terms, with one position opening each year, to ensure continuity.

Headquartered in Vinita, GRDA is Oklahoma’s state-owned electric utility; fully funded by revenues from electric and water sales instead of taxes. Directly or indirectly, GRDA’s low-cost, reliable electricity touches75 of 77 counties in the state. At no cost to taxpayers, GRDA also manages 70,000 surface acres of lakes in the state, including Grand Lake, Lake Hudson and the W.R. Holway Reservoir. Today, GRDA’s 500 employees continue to produce the same “power for progress” that has benefited the state for 75 years

# # #

Floodwater release bulletin

At 10:30AM on Friday, October 17:

• Grand Lake elevation was 744.81. Daily target elevation for October 17 is 741.07 feet.
• At the direction of the United States Army Corps of Engineers, one (1) floodgate was open at Pensacola Dam, discharging 177 cubic feet per second (cfs) of water.
• Five (5) units were online at the Pensacola Dam powerhouse, releasing 11,108 cfs of water through generation.
• Releases through floodgates and generation totaled 11,285 cfs.
• Inflows into Grand Lake totaled 6,697 cfs.

• Lake Hudson elevation was 621.28 feet. Normal elevation is 619 feet.
• No floodgates were open at the Robert S. Kerr Dam.
• Three (3) units were online at Robert S. Kerr Dam powerhouse releasing 25,380 cfs of water through generation.
• Releases through floodgates and generation totaled 25,380 cfs.
• Inflows into Lake Hudson totaled 12,508 cfs.

The United States Army Corps of Engineers has requested the remaining floodgate be closed Saturday morning.

 

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Floodwater release bulletin

At 10:00AM on Tuesday, October 14:

o Grand Lake elevation was 745.38. Daily target elevation for October 14 is 741 feet.
o At the direction of the United States Army Corps of Engineers, nine (9) floodgates were open at Pensacola Dam, discharging 13,968 cubic feet per second (cfs) of water.
o Five (5) units were online at the Pensacola Dam powerhouse, releasing 10,682 cfs of water through generation.
o Releases through floodgates and generation totaled 24,650 cfs.
o Inflows into Grand Lake totaled 30,302 cfs.

o Lake Hudson elevation was 619.60 feet. Normal elevation is 619 feet.
o No floodgates were open at the Robert S. Kerr Dam.
o Three (3) units were online at Robert S. Kerr Dam powerhouse releasing 24,300 cfs of water through generation.
o Releases through floodgates and generation totaled 24,734 cfs.
o Inflows into Lake Hudson totaled 28,807 cfs.

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GRDA’s Sullivan addresses infrastructure financing at DOE meeting

GRDA CEO Dan Sullivan (second from left) speaks to participants at a United States Department of Energy Quadrennial Energy Review (QER) public meeting on Monday, October 6, in New York City. Sullivan was a member of a panel of industry experts that addressed municipal bond tax exemptions and the relation to electric industry infrastructure. A member of the American Public Power Association (APPA) Board of Directors, Sullivan served on the panel on behalf of APPA. (APPA photo by John Godfrey)

GRDA CEO Dan Sullivan (second from left) speaks to participants at a United States Department of Energy Quadrennial Energy Review (QER) public meeting on Monday, October 6, in New York City. Sullivan was a member of a panel of industry experts that addressed municipal bond tax exemptions and the relation to electric industry infrastructure. A member of the American Public Power Association (APPA) Board of Directors, Sullivan served on the panel on behalf of APPA. (APPA photo by John Godfrey)

Vinita – For publicly-owned electric utilities like the Grand River Dam Authority, tax-exempt bonds continue to be an important financing tool. However, alterations to that exempt status could make it more difficult for these utilities to build the infrastructure they need to serve customers reliably.

That was one of the points made by Grand River Dam Authority Chief Executive Officer Dan Sullivan at a recent United States Department of Energy (DOE) event focused on national energy issues.

Speaking on behalf of the American Public Power Association (APPA) Sullivan was a panelist during DOE’s Quadrennial Energy Review (QER) on Monday, October 6, in New York City. The panel was put together to discuss the future of municipal bond tax exemptions and how that might affect investments in transmission, storage and distribution (TS&D) infrastructure. In other words, the infrastructure needed to support the national electric grid.

“We believe that if a new federal tax were imposed on municipal bond interest, it would increase the cost of issuing these bonds,” said Sullivan in his address. “This, in turn, would make infrastructure investments more difficult.”

In recent years, GRDA has joined with APPA, the Large Public Power Council and the nation’s public power industry in stressing the importance of tax-exempt bonds as a financing tool for publicly-owned utilities. Sullivan noted that even discussions about possible changes to the tax treatment of municipal bonds can drive up financing costs for public power utilities. If these utilities are left with stranded costs, it can make financing new infrastructure investments — needed to meet customer demand and maintain reliability — more expensive.

“I will focus my remarks today on the potential damage a change in the tax treatment of municipal bonds could have on my and other public power utilities’ ability to finance infrastructure investments,” added Sullivan. “While investor-owned utilities finance such investments through debt and equity, for a variety of reasons public power utilities rely almost exclusively on municipal bonds. In the last decade, nearly 1,400 power-related municipal bonds providing roughly $110 billion in new money financing were issued.”

That has been GRDA’s approach. In fact, Sullivan spoke at the QER just a day before retail pricing on GRDA’s $320 million bond issue. Most of the proceeds from that issue will be used to construct a new, combined cycle natural gas generation plant at GRDA’s Grand River Energy Center (GREC) near Chouteau, Oklahoma.

“This is certainly an issue we understand at GRDA,” said Sullivan, “and I think our recent bond offering is a good example of why it’s so important. Altering the tax exempt status could adversely affect public power ratepayers all across the country.”

In closing, Sullivan also addressed regulatory uncertainty as another issued faced by publicly-owned electric utilities as they look to build new infrastructure and prepare to meet the future needs of consumers.

“If the question is how to make infrastructure investments more bankable, the clear answer is to eliminate uncertainty,” Sullivan said. “I have talked about the risk of an unprecedented tax on municipal bonds, but the same is true about the risk utilities, our investors, and our customers face from regulatory uncertainty.”

He added that the risk of investments being rendered obsolete by new regulations and inconsistent policy objectives could make future policy decisions difficult and thus “limit the portfolio diversity that is foundational to our credit strength.”

Hosted by DOE Secretary Ernest Moniz, the QER meeting was open to the public for the purpose of gathering input on the energy infrastructure finance issue.

Based in Washington, D.C., APPA is the service organization for the nation’s more than 2,000 community-owned electric utilities. Collectively, these utilities serve more than 47 million Americans.

Headquartered in Vinita, GRDA is Oklahoma’s state-owned electric utility; fully funded by revenues from electric and water sales instead of taxes. Directly or indirectly, GRDA’s low-cost, reliable electricity touches75 of 77 counties in the state. At no cost to taxpayers, GRDA also manages 70,000 surface acres of lakes in the state, including Grand Lake, Lake Hudson and the W.R. Holway Reservoir. Today, GRDA’s 500 employees continue to produce the same “power for progress” that has benefited the state for 75 years.

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Along with nation’s other large public power utilities … GRDA participating in first LPPC Investor Conference

Vinita – Just ahead of a major bond issue, the Grand River Dam Authority is taking the opportunity to spread the word about the benefits of its public power bonds and its future plans.

GRDA Chief Executive Officer Dan Sullivan, Chief Operating Officer Tim Brown and Chief Financial Officer Carolyn Dougherty were in New York City on Wednesday and Thursday (October 1 and 2), along with Oklahoma State Bond Advisor Jim Joseph, to take part in the first Large Public Power Council (LPPC) Investor Conference. The event was the opportunity for the nation’s largest publicly-owned electric utilities, like GRDA, to meet with 45 of the top investors in municipal and public power bonds.

At the first day of the conference, attendees gathered for a broad discussion on public power bonds. On day two, the GRDA team was able to sit down with various investors to talk about the specifics of GRDA bonds.

With GRDA expected to move forward with pricing on its $320 million bond issue next week (retail pricing on Tuesday, Oct. 7 and institutional pricing on Wednesday, Oct. 8) the timing was right for these meetings with investors.

“This is a great opportunity for us to tell our story to a very important audience,” said Sullivan. “It gives us the time we need to answer any questions they might have, while also detailing GRDA’s operations, recent successes and plans for the future. We were very pleased to be a part of this program.”

The LPPC is a group of the nation’s 26 largest publicly-owned electric utilities. GRDA has been a member since June of 2012. Sullivan currently serves on the LPPC Board of Governance and also spoke at the conference, as part of a panel addressing the impacts of new environmental regulations on public power utilities.

“LPPC is a very good fit for us,” said Sullivan. “The organization’s public policy priorities really mirror GRDA’s and that includes areas like tax and finance issues. Other utilities at this conference finance their infrastructure projects the same way we do at GRDA, through public power bonds.”

While GRDA will use the majority of the proceeds from this bond issue to construct the new gas plant, other proceeds will be used to complete emissions control upgrades on Unit 2. That unit is one of two existing coal fired generators at the Grand River Energy Center (east of Chouteau).

Headquartered in Vinita, GRDA is Oklahoma’s state-owned electric utility; fully funded by revenues from electric and water sales instead of taxes. Directly or indirectly, GRDA’s low-cost, reliable electricity touches75 of 77 counties in the state. At no cost to taxpayers, GRDA also manages 70,000 surface acres of lakes in the state, including Grand Lake, Lake Hudson and the W.R. Holway Reservoir. Today, GRDA’s 500 employees continue to produce the same “power for progress” that has benefited the state for 75 years.

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October 13 – 17 … Pensacola Dam roadway to be temporarily closed for inspection

In an effort to complete a required, federal inspection of the Pensacola Dam roadway and bridge decking, the Grand River Dam Authority is announcing that the portion of Highway 28 that crosses the dam will be closed October 13 - 17, from 8:30AM to 4:30PM.

In an effort to complete a required, federal inspection of the Pensacola Dam roadway and bridge decking, the Grand River Dam Authority is announcing that the portion of Highway 28 that crosses the dam will be closed October 13 – 17, from 8:30AM to 4:30PM.

Langley – In an effort to complete a required, federal inspection of the Pensacola Dam roadway and bridge decking, the Grand River Dam Authority is announcing that the portion of Highway 28 that crosses the dam will be closed October 13 – 17, from 8:30AM to 4:30PM (daily). The required inspection must take place every two years.

“A total road closure during the inspection hours allows us to complete this work more quickly and safely,” said GRDA Corporate Communications Director Justin Alberty. “We understand it will present an inconvenience for many travelers, but a total closing is necessary for the safety of the inspectors.”

Alberty added that GRDA will be working with contractors to complete the inspection of the structure and a roadway that has been accommodating traffic since its completion in 1940. Inspectors will use a special “snooper truck” to get an up close look at the bridge decking from the bottom side, at the top of each of the main dam’s 51 arches. The east spillways will also be inspected.

He also added that informational flyers, including a map for alternate routes, are being distributed to the public. That information will also be available at grda.com and on GRDA’s Facebook page. Temporary signs are also being posted near the dam to remind the traffic of the closing dates.

“We appreciate the public’s cooperation during this time, so that the work can progress smoothly,” said Alberty.

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Pensacola Road Closing Alternate Routes
This map shows the alternate routes that can be taken during the temporary closure of the Pensacola Dam roadway, October 13-17, for a required inspection.
Traveling from Disney to Langley:
• Head east out of Disney on Highway 28 for approximately 10 miles, until the junction with Highway 20.
• Turn right (west) on Highway 20 and follow it, approximately 9 miles, to the Highway 20/82 junction.
• Stay straight through the junction on Highway 82 for approximately 4 miles into Langley.

Traveling from Langley to Disney:
• Head south out of Langley on Highway 82 for approximately 4 miles to the Highway 20/82 junction.
• Stay straight through the junction to follow Highway 20 east for approximately 9 miles.
• Then turn left (north) onto Highway 28 and follow it approximately 10 miles into Disney.

Notice to the public

NOTICE TO THE PUBLIC

Please take notice that The Grand River Dam Authority has received an application for a private dock requiring directional bearing. Such directional bearing relates to a dock application for a private dock which if approved shall extend 76 feet across a cove, which measures 117 feet across from 745 feet mean sea level to 745 feet mean sea level on the nearest opposite shoreline.

Applicant: Bob Warford

Location: Sun Harbor Estates

Lake Address: 26461 S 615 Loop, Grove, OK 74344

Legal Description: Township 25N, Range 23E, Section 24

Project: Private Dock

If you would like to request additional information, please address your request to the Grand River Dam Authority Administration Headquarters, P. O. Box 409, Vinita, Oklahoma 74301 or call (918) 256-5545 ext 40632.

GRDA receives credit rating upgrades, new outlooks

Grand River Dam Authority linemen at work on a portion of the Authority’s electric distribution service in the MidAmerica Industrial Park near Pryor. GRDA’s low electric rates for industrial, municipal and electric cooperative customers across Oklahoma were key reasons why the Authority received credit rating upgrades last week.

Grand River Dam Authority linemen at work on a portion of the Authority’s electric distribution service in the MidAmerica Industrial Park near Pryor. GRDA’s low electric rates for industrial, municipal and electric cooperative customers across Oklahoma were key reasons why the Authority received credit rating upgrades last week.

Vinita – When the Grand River Dam Authority goes forward with its bond issue, totaling approximately $320 million next month, it will do so with improved credit ratings.

Last week, both Moody’s Investors Services and Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services issued upgrades and new outlooks on GRDA’s ratings.

For GRDA, it is action that comes at a very important time, just before the issuance of new debt. Another rating agency, Fitch, also improved its outlook on GRDA bonds last week.

“This is great news for GRDA,” said Chief Executive Officer Dan Sullivan. “I think it reflects the hard work and important decisions on the part of our board, management and workforce but more importantly, it will benefit all our ratepayers.”

Higher credit ratings can equal lower interest rates, Sullivan added, and they will also enable GRDA to save money on natural gas hedging in the future.

“That is very important as we moved towards construction of the new GRDA Unit 3,” said Sullivan. Construction of that facility – a combined cycle natural gas generation plant – will be funded with proceeds from the October bond issue.

On Tuesday (September 16) Moody’s announced it was raising GRDA’s from A2 to A1, with a stable outlook. The agency based its findings on several key factors including GRDA’s improved financial outlook and low rates. According to Moody’s, GRDA’s electric rates consistently rank among the lowest in Oklahoma while also ranking in the lowest 20 percent nationwide.

On Wednesday (September 17), Standard & Poor’s raised its rating of GRDA to an “A+” from an “A.” In a news release issued by the agency, S&P Credit Analyst Judith Waite said the GRDA “upgrade mainly reflects our view of stronger debt service coverage due primarily to lower debt service.”

Earlier this year, S&P had revised GRDA’s outlook, based on the previous “A” rating, from stable to positive. However, this latest action is the first rating upgrade GRDA has received from the agency since it moved GRDA to the “A” in 2008. Both the S&P and Moody’s upgrades are historic and represent the highest credit ratings GRDA has ever received.

Following those upgrades, Fitch announced on Friday (September 19) that it was affirming the “A” rating it had given to GRDA in 2008. The agency is also moving GRDA’s outlook from “stable” to “positive”.

“All these agency announcements followed their very thorough reviews of GRDA operations and financial position,” said Sullivan. “We are very pleased with their assessments and look forward to the bond issue and the upcoming projects it will fund.”

While GRDA will use the majority of the proceeds from this bond issue to construct the new gas plant, other proceeds will be used to complete emissions control upgrades on Unit 2. That unit is one of two existing coal fired generators at the Grand River Energy Center (east of Chouteau).

Headquartered in Vinita, GRDA is Oklahoma’s state-owned electric utility; fully funded by revenues from electric and water sales instead of taxes. Directly or indirectly, GRDA’s low-cost, reliable electricity touches75 of 77 counties in the state. At no cost to taxpayers, GRDA also manages 70,000 surface acres of lakes in the state, including Grand Lake, Lake Hudson and the W.R. Holway Reservoir. Today, GRDA’s 500 employees continue to produce the same “power for progress” that has benefited the state for 75 years.

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GRDA reminds public of hunting, camping rules for lakes area

An aerial view of GRDA’s W.R. Holway Reservoir (southeast of Salina). GRDA is reminding the public of the important rules in place for hunting and camping around its waters. GRDA photo by Katie Robbins.

An aerial view of GRDA’s W.R. Holway Reservoir (southeast of Salina). GRDA is reminding the public of the important rules in place for hunting and camping around its waters. GRDA photo by Katie Robbins.

Langley – As summer begins to give way to fall, the Grand River Dam Authority is reminding the public of the hunting and camping rules related to GRDA property.

Those rules, which can be found online at grda.com and are also available in hard copy at the GRDA Ecosystems and Education Center, cover the areas of hunting and fishing, firearms, ammo, and camping on GRDA property. While the public has free access to GRDA waters and is not charged for the right to engage in hunting, fishing, swimming or non-commercial boating, there are several rules that deal more specifically with firearms and camping.

Two very important rules that all should remember are that all hunting on GRDA property shall be conducted in accordance with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation’s regulations. It is also important to note that no camping is allowed on GRDA property except in designated areas.

GRDA is also reminding the public of the hunting moratorium for GRDA properties along the Neosho River in Ottawa County. In the interest of public health and safety, that moratorium is in place through December 31, 2016. No hunting is allowed on that property prior to that date. However, there are many other areas and options in the GRDA lakes area.

“We encourage the public to take advantage of the wonderful hunting, fishing and camping opportunities the lakes area offers,” said GRDA Assistant General Manager/Chief of Law Enforcement and Lake Operations Brian Edwards. “We also encourage them to be familiar with the rules that are in place to help protect the properties and those who enjoy them.”

To access the GRDA rules online, click on the “Lake Information” drop down menu on grda.com, then click the “GRDA Police” link. A GRDA Lake Rules booklet is also available, and the complete rules can also be found in the 2014-15 GRDA Lake Guide.

For more information, contact the GRDA Ecosystems Management Department at (918) 256 0723 or the GRDA Police Department at (918) 256 0911.

 

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Notice to the public

NOTICE TO THE PUBLIC

Please take notice that The Grand River Dam Authority has received an application for a private dock requiring directional bearing. Such directional bearing relates to a dock application for a private dock which if approved shall extend 88 feet across a cove, which measures 72.4 feet across from 745 feet mean sea level to 745 feet mean sea level on the nearest opposite shoreline.

Applicant: Bret Thompson

Location: Stoney Point

Lake Address: 31690 S 571 Lane, Jay, Ok

Legal Description: Township 24N, Range 23E, Section 17

Project: Private Dock

If you would like to request additional information, please address your request to the Grand River Dam Authority Administration Headquarters, P. O. Box 409, Vinita, Oklahoma 74301 or call (918) 256-5545 ext 40632.