CEO, Wheat Belt Public Power District
Tim Lindahl has served as the general manager and Chief Executive Officer of Wheat Belt Public Power District in Sidney, Nebraska since 2008. Prior to joining Wheat Belt, he spent ten years as a part of a technology group, providing strategic technology guidance to people and organizations in rural America.
PUF's Steve Mitnick: Tim, tell me about Wheat Belt. What part of the country are you in? How big is your utility? Who are your customers and owners?
Tim Lindahl: We are in western Nebraska. We serve thirty-six hundred square miles in the panhandle of Nebraska.
We border Colorado. We're not too far from Wyoming, and then we go about halfway up the panhandle for service territory.
We're very agriculturally based. We only have five thousand utility meters in the thirty-six hundred square miles. If you take the meters away and just count people, we probably have about twenty-two hundred actual households that we serve.
PUF: How many people work for Wheat Belt?
Tim Lindahl: We have twenty-eight people working at Wheat Belt. Wheat Belt started as a co-operative in 1941. We took some time off for the war, so we really got started in about 1946. Then we converted in 1954 to a public power district from a co-operative.
Nebraska decided at that time that they wanted to be a hundred percent all-public-power state. They changed the rules so that investor-owned utilities had to sell out to either a co-operative, a power district, or a municipal utility.
We could've stayed a co-operative, but we elected to move to a PPD, primarily for tax-exempt municipal bonding.