Chair’s Report: Dave Hunstad welcomed the Board and noted his appreciation to everyone for making time to attend the Board meeting. He expressed hope we would be meeting again in person soon.
Legislative Report: Dean Parker gave a brief legislative report summarizing legislative activity of the previous session.
Board Discussion: Reports from the Field The Board continued to engage in a wide discussion of experiences from the field. Phil Lesnar noted that he believed there were still apparently not enough locators.
Chief Operations Officer Report: Barbara Cederberg reviewed 2020 ticket volumes. Through July tickets are up over 11% versus the same time in 2019. Increases have varied widely month to month and even included one month where ticket numbers decreased (May).
Board discussion: Additional metrics: Keith Novy led a discussion concerning the role that GSOC might play in providing additional metric information for stakeholders.
Open Forum: Guest Hawthorn Bjorback addressed the Board. He noted his family’s long history in Minnesota’s utility locate industry and voiced his concern that safety in the underground damage prevention industry may be eroding as a whole.
MnOPS Update: Mike Mendiola indicated the 216D Stakeholder meetings were in process and a number of subgroup meetings were held the previous week. Further discussion will take place concerning proposed changes this Fall.
OCC Report: Kimberly Boyd advised the work from home initiative continues at the notification center and has been a great success. Currently, 56 CSRs are working from home with 17 well-spaced in the office for a total of 73.
Outreach and PR Report: Olivia Jensen advised the Board that more outreach on radio is being provided this year due to the cancellation of so many events, including Farm Fest and the State Fair. The 811 Run itself was cancelled.
Finance Committee Report: Tom Hoffman advised the Board that the Finance Committee has not met over the summer due to the pandemic. However, the audit of the 2019 financial statements has been successfully completed.
OCC Contract Extension: After an introduction and discussions by the Board, upon motion made and duly seconded, the Board voted unanimously to approve a five (5) year extension to the OCC agreement.
Summary of Election of Sam Richert to the Board: Dan Munthe reminded the Board that the Vetting Committee was unable to meet even virtually with Sam Richert prior to the last election, due to the pandemic and conflicting schedules.
Chair’s Report: Dave Hunstad welcomed new Board members Mark Sellin of Sellin Brothers Excavating, Jason Ponciano of Vanguard Partners and Ben Wallace of USIC.
Reports from the Field: Keith Novy noted the substantial increases in locate ticket requests that CenterPoint Energy was experiencing. He and others noted that constraints of the pandemic are making it tough to manage and staff personnel particularly because training has been adversely affected.
Chief Operations Officer Report: Barb Cederberg noted Homeowner tickets have increased up to 16% of the total ticket volume, probably due to more do it yourself projects being done as a result of the pandemic. Online ticket submission by homeowners has dramatically increased to approximately 70% of the homeowner volume.
PR Awareness and Outreach Report: Olivia Jensen addressed the Board regarding GSOC’s marketing and outreach activities. GSOC had an expanded presence at the Minneapolis Home and Garden Show this year.
OCC Report: Kimberly Boyd, general manager of the notification center, advised that the “work from home” model was fully adopted by the notification center early in the pandemic.
MnOPS Update: Jon Wolfgram furnished an update from the Office of Pipeline Safety. Most staff is working remotely now, some inspections are occurring remotely, social distancing and masks for inspections and investigators in the field as everyone adapts to new conditions required by the pandemic.