Board of Directors 

On Tuesday, July 8, 1986, a quiet neighborhood in Mounds View, Minnesota, was roused from its slumber when a wall of fire roared down that street. A mother and her six-year old daughter, shocked by the noise and obviously frightened, opened their door, stepped outside; and were incinerated. Mailboxes melted. Trees wilted. The road buckled. A third woman was severely injured. Over a quarter of a million dollars in property damage was caused. The origin of the fire: a hazardous liquid pipeline running through this neighborhood.Congressman James Oberstar (8th District) presented this chilling account of the Mounds View accident when he testified before the National Transportation Safety Board.

 

LEGISLATION
As a result of that horrific incident in Mounds View, the Minnesota Legislature undertook a study of pipeline safety and third party damages. Chief among the study’s findings was the recommendation that Minnesota enact comprehensive damage prevention legislation. This resulted in the passage of State Statutes Chapter 216D in 1987. The legislation, co-sponsored by Representatives Daniel Knuth, Dave Bishop and Senator Steve Novak, required the establishment of a state-wide “one call” center as well as the formation of a non-profit corporation for the provision of the call center services. The call center would receive notices of intent to excavate from any person engaged in excavation activity and would in turn notify underground facility operators in the area of the excavation.


GSOC IS BORN

Gopher State One Call (GSOC) was formally approved by the Commissioner of Public Safety in 1987. GSOC has always been governed by a volunteer board of about 20 directors, representing facility operators, excavators and other persons eligible to participate in the One Call Center. The only permanent board seat designated by the legislation is reserved for the Director of the Minnesota Office of Pipeline Safety; a position subsequently merged with State Fire Marshal at a later date. The initial Board developed all of the policies and direction that much of which remains as guiding principles today. GSOC accepted its first locate request on October 1, 1988. By the end its first year of operation, GSOC had handled over 900,000 incoming requests.

 

EDUCATION

Shortly after the initial start-up, the Board of Directors initiated a Public Relations and Education Campaign. The goal was to conduct a multi-pronged outreach program that would reach all potential excavators in Minnesota, including homeowners, with the “Call Before You Dig” message. At a time when many state’s one-call centers chose to de-emphasize outreach to homeowners and other “casual” or one-time excavators, GSOC’s Board recognized the important role this group played in preventing damages. Radio advertising, print media and opportunities for “one-on-one” contact served as the cornerstones of this program.

The story of GSOC’s history is also one of an ongoing effort to manage its responsibility and improving its users’ GSOC experience. Since the center opened, Minnesotans in ever-increasing numbers are calling before they dig. In fact, Minnesota receives a higher percentage of homeowner and “casual” excavation notifications than any other state in the United States. GSOC thanks the public for this support in improving damage prevention for all people digging in Minnesota, professional excavator and casual user alike.

 

WEBSITE TICKET SUBMISSIONS

Excavator access to GSOC has changed since it began in 1988. Originally, contact between excavators and the one call center was only by telephone. Soon this expanded into fax and direct dedicated terminal communications. As the Web morphed into a viable business communications tool, GSOC expanded into web based ticket entry in 2004. In 2006, GSOC became the first one call center in the United States to offer web ticket entry for homeowners.

The acceptance and subsequent utilization of internet usage by Minnesota’s facility operators and excavators alike has introduced new vistas of opportunity for GSOC and further benefits for the excavation community. Currently, over 65% of locate requests are submitted online.

Next GSOC Board Meeting, Wednesday, January 9, 2019

The next Gopher State One Call Board Meeting is on Wednesday, January 9th, 2019. The Open Session of the Board Meeting starts at 9:00 am. The public is invited to attend the Open Session portion of the meeting. If you plan to attend, please contact Barb Cederberg GSOC COO at 651-681-7303 or at Barbara.cederberg@gopherstateonecall.org.


BOARD ELECTION POLICY

Gopher State One Call is a non-member Minnesota nonprofit corporation with oversight provided by its Board of Directors, consisting of Directors from a wide spectrum of damage prevention industry stakeholders. For further information, history and background, see the Board Election Policy.


  • Jan. 9, 2019 - DRAFT
  • Nov. 14, 2018 - DRAFT
  • Aug. 15, 2018 - APPROVED
  • Apr. 9, 2018 APPROVED

Highlights:  Jan. 9, 2019

  • COO Report: Operational summary for Nov & Dec, test interface for new user interface, & Upper Midwest Regional Users' Group
  • Strategic Planning: Audrey Epstein introduction and the development of a meaningful strategic business plan.

 

Highlights:  Nov. 14, 2018

  • Chairs Report:  Encouragement to increase attendance at OCC Users Group for the opportunity to gain additional insight on what other states are doing operationally and post mid-term election legislative report.
  • NULCA introduction from speaker Ron Peterson discussing recommended damage prevention practices from the perspective of the locator. Emphasis on private facility awareness. 
  • Previojs Meeting Items: MNCAER's potentially misleading presentation slide has been removed and split rule for non-excavation tickets at township boundaries will remain in effect. 
  • Encouraging Greater Use of Meets: Does the MN statute allow a routine ticket to be converted into a meet and ,if so, are there any unintended consequences of doing so. A subcommittee will be formed to address some of these concerns.
  • COO report: Ticket volumes, the contact information collection project status, delayed request feature initial usage numbers, MetroNet fiberoptic installation project in Rochester, and the piblic awarenss surveyon recogniztion of GSOC and 811, and 3 year strategic plan for GSOC.
  • OCC report: After a very slow start to 2018, the numbers for the year are finally on par with where they were at this time last year, online ticket submission has gone up every month, online emergency locate pilot will continue, and OCC plans to do more training in 2019 regarding the extended start time. 
  • PR report: 14 major events were attended creating approximately 1500 in-person interactions, over 45 education sessions, successful use of targeted radio ads, 2019 proposed campaigns with MN United and All Over Media using truck facades, and revisions to the new GSOC app.

 

Highlights:  Aug. 15, 2018

  • Chairs Report: Legislative report on SB 3870, encouragement to attend CGA and OCC Users Group to increase national engagement.
  • Discussion of After Hours Online Ticket Submission and Work Start Date Designation
  • MNCAER: discussion of GSOC slide on MNCAER presentation on pipeline safety and the role of GSOC in emergency situations.
  • Possible Additional Map Layers: Sewer as built maps from the city of Mpls, posibility of 3D augmented reality locating in the future.
  • COO report: Ticket numbers, OCC Users' Group, Extended start time feature, 3 year strategic plan and 3 year technology plan.
  • OCC report: Call Center performance, ITIC training sessions changes, and system upgrades.
  • MnOps Update: Damage analyses performed by MnOps, process of enforcement, violations, and penalties. 
  • PR report: Participation in several CGA initiatives, upcoming events including the State Fair, and review of radio and media sponsorships.

Highlights:  April 9, 2018

  • Chair's Report: Thank you for excellent colunteer attendance at the CGA conference as well as the Minneapolis Home and Garden Show.
  • Outreach and PR Review:
    • 2 videos produced by channel 9
    • Radio interview for National Safe Digging Month
    • Promotion with Papa Murphy's for an .11 pizza special
    • 811 tree tags at Home Depot and Lowes
  • COO Report:
    • 2018 ticket volume is down, likely due to weather through the first 3 months of the year, though higher ticket volume overall is still expected for the year.
    • Automated marking will not be adopted by GSOC yet. 
    • Update on the facility operator contact information collection.
    • Extended start time feature.
    • Pilot porjects with Centerpoint Energy and Minnesota Power.
    • Major awareness events this year at the State Fair, Big Iron, Farm Fest and media campaigns with KFAN and Star Tribune.
    • 216D update. 
  • MnOps Update: Expected to hold another 216D meeting specifically on the issue of contact info. Also plans for the locate rodeo. 
  • OCC Report: User interface redesign and extended start time features are in quality control testing. OCC is in the midst of several software and feature updates to improve user experience. And the center is prepping for busy season by adjusting staffing and schedules as necessary.
  • Finance Committee Update: GSOC had an accounting audit this year. Results are expected shortly. Financial performance was slightly higher than expected in 2017. 

Next Meeting: August 2018

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