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Fedorchak speaks on PSC at Rotary; new members inducted

From left, Evan Workin and Frank Conlon are inducted into the Jamestown Rotary Club by Carrie Orn, Rotary Club president.Submitted photo

Julie Fedorchak of the North Dakota Public Service Commission spoke at Rotary’s last meeting.

Prior to her work on the PSC, Fedorchak, a North Dakota native, worked on the staff for Gov. Ed Shafer and Gov. John Hoeven. She was appointed by Gov. Jack Dalrymple to fill the vacancy left by Kevin Cramer, who was elected to the Congress. Fedorchak is now running for the position she was appointed to this fall.

Fedorchak shared information about what the PSC regulates and members’ responsibilities to the citizens of North Dakota. They permit, site and regulate public utilities like power companies and grain elevators, give permits to coal mining companies and oversee the scales for weighting of commodities. Wind farms have been a large part of the PSC in the last few years.

Fedorchak noted the power line project for Basin Electric Cooperative, which costs $375 million, is a 197-mile-long transmission line that will run from Basin’s Antelope Valley Station near Beulah to a substation near Tioga, to provide much needed electrical power. This is a big undertaking for Basin and for North Dakota, she said. Pipelines for oil and gas are also regulated by the PSC. The commission is responsible for holding public hearings on all of the business it regulates to hear pros and cons, environmental impact, clean up and any other concerns the public and the businesses wish to present. Once all of the information is complete, the commission will then act on those requests.

Carrie Orn presided over the meeting, Gary Riffe gave the table prayer, Rick Pfeiffer and Jackie Tews led the group in singing, and Nick Schmidt collected “Happy Dollars” which go to fund Rotary projects. Dakota Central’s staff and the driver of the boom truck were thanked for assisting with taking down the Mill Hill Christmas lights.

Orn mentioned the Rotary Exchange program and also the need for two to three homes for a Japanese student who wishes to come to North Dakota in the fall. Those interested in hosting the student do not have to be Rotary members. If the club can secure at least three families for the student, then the student will only spend about three months in each home. Special thanks were given to the Brew Ha! Ha! Committee for a successful evening and to all who helped. The student guest was Tommy Bruns, a senior at Jamestown High School who plans on attending North Dakota State University in the fall. Other guests were Ross Stark and John Jensen.

Chuck Gulsvig, director of public affairs for Sanford Health, is today’s program, Marv Tokash is sergeant-at-arms, and Katie Andersen and Jack Tewes will lead the group in singing.