EaseOut to Reduce Legal Easement Costs at Beltrami Electric

Beltrami Electric Cooperative (Bemidji, Minnesota, U.S.) will soon implement EaseOut, MiniMax Corp.'s (St. Paul, Minnesota) legal easement generator. EaseOut generates the legal language and visual representation required for creating legal easements. Beltrami's rapidly growing customer base creates the need to write and file between 800 and 1000 easements every year. EaseOut will replace a third-party contractor, allow the utility to complete easements in just one trip to the site and will significantly reduce the cost per easement.

Rich Riewer, manager of engineering for Beltrami Electric Cooperative, said, “The addition of EaseOut with integrated GPS will improve our legal easement process and easement accuracy.” Riewer continued, “We plan to use EaseOut for both overhead and underground lines. For example, we will use EaseOut to define our 30-ft (9-m) overhead line-clearing right-of-ways, which will be an advantage in cases where a property owner disputes our legal right to trim their trees.”

Beltrami will run both EaseOut and StakeOut (MiniMax's field design and work order automation system) in the field on Fujitsu tablet PCs. Earlier this year, Beltrami experienced 30% turnover in its engineering workforce as a result of retirement and restructuring. The utility chose to implement StakeOut to improve efficiency and eliminate the data entry of units into Beltrami's ESRI mapping and NISC accounting systems. StakeOut will further the utility's goal of improving interdepartmental communications, because it will increase information sharing while reducing the need to go to other departments for information.
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