Two public power districts in southeast Nebraska are in talks over a plan to merge.
Officials with Norris Public Power District and Seward County Public Power District have approved a memorandum of understanding on their intent to merge.
Norris district manager Bruce Vitosh says the discussions began when Seward County contacted Norris about the potential.
“Our customers bases are a little different,” Vitosh says. “They’re more heavily weighted towards residential customers where at Norris Public Power District, we’re more heavily weighted towards large industrial and commercial customers. The combination of the two customer bases will fit very well with each district coming together.”
Norris has about 18,900 customers and 76 employees in Gage, Jefferson, Lancaster, Saline and Thayer counties. Seward County Public Power serves 4,900 customers and has 17 employees.
If the merger is completed, the existing Seward County Public Power District facility in Seward would continue to be used as an area operations and customer service facility.
Norris is based in Beatrice. Both districts say they are in a solid financial position and Vitosh says it’s a win-win.
“It was just the right time for them to consider a merger,” he says. “It relates to not only their size but the age of their current workforce. There were some opportunities here with retirements upcoming, it provides the right time for this merger to take place. There will definitely be some operational savings by combining the two customer bases together.”
May 1st is the target effective date for the merger. Boards of Directors of both Seward and Norris would have to formally approve the merger and it would also have to be approved by the Nebraska Power Review Board.
By Doug Kennedy, KWBE, Beatrice