Over the years and still today, New Holstein Utilities has been a great supporter of community causes and willing to provide its skills and services in sometimes unusual ways. Above, a NHU employee helps take the Christmas lights down from the community Christmas tree next to the Fire Station in 1990. Putting the decorations up and down is something NHU employees do to this day. Below, NHU equipment was called in to pick up an airplane which had flipped over near the New Holstein Municipal Airport. At right, employee Paula Pethan (left) represents New Holstein Utilities as it makes a donation to a worthy community activity.

programs. In June 2002, former mayor Vern Rolbiecki received the Phillip LaFollette Public Official Award from MEUW for her support of public power during her tenure as mayor. As mayor, Rolbiecki was very active in working with local, state and federal officials to promote legislation and policy that would positively impact the customers of public power utilities.

On Aug. 27, 2002, the Utility Commission moved to recommend to the New Holstein Common Council to approve the resolution drafted to amend the WPPI Long-Term Power Supply Contract to extend to 2037.

In the fall of 2003, General Manager Skurupey received permission from the Utility Commission to obtain proposals to have an electric system study completed. The study was completed in 2004 and recommendations were made to have infrastructure improvements completed.

General Manager John Skurupey resigned in June 2006 to accept a managerial position with an electric cooperative in North Dakota. Like Dyer and Greuel, Skurupey was not only active in the community but at WPPI as well. Skurupey served on the WPPI Executive Committee from September 2000 to May 2006.

With the electric infrastructure project pushing forward, the Utility Commission decided to hire Carl Verhagen, a retired Menasha Utilities manager, as interim general manager while the search for a new general manager could be completed.

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In August 2006, New Holstein Utilities received its approvals to proceed with the financing for the project. Mr. Verhagen continued to manage at NHU through the remainder of 2006, specifically focused on the infrastructure project.

In mid-November of 2006, Randy Jaeckels was hired as New Holstein Utilities’ eighth superintendent/general manager. In November 2007, the new substation was energized. The original substation was updated in 2008 and the distribution line tying the two substations was also completed. With some design changes that were implemented early in the design phase of the project and competitive bidding on the various components of the project, the total cost came in hundreds of thousands of dollars under budget.

In September 2010, Jaeckels was elected to WPPI Energy’s Executive Committee, becoming the fourth NHU manager to serve on the EC. He also serves on two advisory groups at WPPI Energy. Paula Pethan, NHU’s office manager, serves as secretary for the WPPI Benefit Plan Trust.

The most recent bit of historic news for New Holstein Utilities occurred on Dec. 28, 2010 when Mayor Dianne Reese appointed Julie Woelfel to the Utility Commission. She became the first female to serve on the New Holstein Utility Commission.

New Holstein Utilities would like to thank Vern Rolbiecki for her contributions to this article.