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THUMB ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE HOLDS 77th ANNUAL MEETING SATURDAY
Mon, 16 Jun 2014 10:36:27 EDT
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THUMB ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE MEMBERS CAME OUT TO CASS CITY RECREATIONAL PARK FOR THE 77TH ANNUAL MEETING SATURDAY. RE-ELECTED TO THREE-YEAR TERMS OF DISTRICT 3 WERE BETH MCDONALD, HURON COUNTY; DUANE KURSINSKY, SANILAC COUNTY; AND CARL COUSINS TUSCOLA COUNTY. ELECTED IN A SPECIAL ELECTION TO SERVE THE REMAINING TERM OF THE THREE-YEAR TERM OF DISTRICT 2 OF SANILAC COUNTY WAS LYNN MORELL. FOR THE 900 PEOPLE ATTNEDING THERE WERE FINANCIAL REPORTS AND OTHER INFORMATION, BUT ALSO PLENTY OF FUN. IN ACTION TAKEN AFTER THE ANNUAL MEETING, THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS RE-ELECTED LOUIS WENZLAFF PRESIDENT; DONALD WOLSCHLEGER VICE-PRESIDENT; BETH MCDONALD SECRETARY; AND RANDALL DHYSE TREASURER. FURTHER INFORMATION ON THE MEETING CAN BE FOUND BELOW.
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Louis Wenzlaff, President of the Board of Directors, opened the 77th Annual Meeting of T.E.C. members held on June 14 at the Cass City Recreational Park. An estimated 900 people attended the meeting, which was highlighted by the election of four Direc≠tors, and numerous entertainment activities featured as a part of TECís Member Appreciation Day/Annual Meeting.
Re-elected to three-year terms of District 3 were Beth McDonald, Huron County; Duane Kursinsky, Sanilac County; and Carl Cousins Tuscola County. Others nominated for a Director position were Dan Cregeur, Huron County; and Ken Landsburg, Sanilac County.
Elected in a special election to serve the remaining term of the three-year term of District 2 of Sanilac County was Lynn Morell. Others nominated for this Director position were Edward Jakubiak.
President Wenzlaff introduced the members of the current T.E.C. Board of Directors including Donald Wolschleger, Beth McDonald and Randall Dhyse, Huron County; Kim Nunn, Lynn Morell and Duane Kursinsky, Sanilac County; and Karl DeSimpelare and Carl Cousins, Tuscola County. Also introduced were Cooperative Attorney James Woodworth and General Manager Dallas Braun.
General Manager Dallas Braun presented the 2013 financial statement, which was negatively impacted by the late December ice-storm that showed operating revenues of $18,555,204 and expenses of $18,392,140 resulting in an operating margin of $163,060. The Cooperative also earned $380,291 in interest on short-term investments, rental income, subsidiary income, and patronage capital from other Cooperative organizations. Total margins for the year 2013 were $543,351. Member's patronage capital accounts were allocated 2.5 cents on each dollar paid by TEC members in 2013, down from previous years due to the impact of the ice-storm. The 2013 general patronage retirement of $395,612 for the years 1981, 1982, and 2013 appeared as a credit on a separate line-item on members electric bills received in May 2014. The Cooperative remains financially strong.
TEC's Board President, Louis Wenzlaff, highlighted the following areas:
Since patronage capital retirements began, TEC has re≠funded over $6.2 million dollars to its members.
In 2013 TEC employees designed and constructed over $2.2 million dollars of new utility plant bringing TEC's total investment in the three county service area to over $80 million dollars serving 12,263 member-accounts in the three County areas of Huron, Sanilac, and Tuscola.
The Cooperative continues to make capital investments in the electrical system. ------- Over $4 million dollars of upgrades are planned and under construction for 2013. TEC employees and outside line-construction contractors will be performing the work.
The Cooperative paid $713,712 in property taxes to schools and other governmental bodies in Huron, Sanilac, and Tuscola Counties in 2013.
The Cooperative continues to work with its Statewide and National Organizations to ensure that any issues that may affect the availability, reliability and affordability of electricity to its membership are heard by our elected officials in Lansing and Washington, DC.
The Cooperative continues to support the future leaders by sponsoring eligible teens to attend the Statewide Youth Leadership Summit near Cadillac, Michigan and also the Youth Tour in Washington, DC.
Recognized long-time TEC Board Member Len Briolat who recently retired after serving 27 years on the Board, 14 years as Treasurer.
Recognized TECís employees for continuing to work safely and thanked the employees for their continued dedication and hard work during the past year.
TECís General Manager, Dallas Braun, highlighted the Cooperative's financial status, rates, member services, marketing activities, patronage capital retirement, and power supply activities. The report included the following:
The Cooperative was impacted by a severe ice-storm in late December that resulted in lower than required margin levels. As a result, a 3% rate increase is expected later in 2014. The Cooperative was able to continue to meet all of its other financial and credit requirements. The Cooperative will continue to balance needed infrastructure improvements and their impact on electric rates.
The Cooperative continues to offer Energy Optimization Programs to its members to encourage them to use energy more efficiently and thus allow them to save money. Energy Optimization is targeted at the elimination of electricity waste by encouraging the use of energy efficient devices, and its goal is to not only reduce emissions but delay the need for the construction of new power plants.
∑ The Cooperative continues to offer other money saving programs to its members. Members were thanked for their participation in TEC's energy management programs. Over 6,200 members are participating in TEC's managed water heating and dual-fueled heating and air-conditioning programs. TEC's high efficiency free electric water heater program continues to flourish with over 5,000 high efficiency water heaters being placed in member's homes and businesses saving members money over other energy sources. TECís Energy Management Programs combine high efficiency money-saving systems along with conservation during periods of peak demands.
∑ Through its subsidiary, Thumb Energy Services, the Cooperative continues to offer propane service to approximately 1,100 members and non-members alike. The most popular program is the metered program where the user does not pay for the propane until after they use it.
∑ The Cooperative continues to meet the State-mandated Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), which requires that all Michigan utilities purchase a certain percentage of electricity from Michigan renewable resources growing to a maximum of 10% by 2015. The Cooperative is complying by purchasing qualified renewable energy credits (RECs) from their wholesale power supplier at a much lower cost compared to constructing its own renewable generation source.
TEC continues its system maintenance program, including right-of-way-clearing, vegetation spraying, pole testing, and other improvement pro≠grams.
U.S. Congresswoman Candice Miller's Aide - Ed Smith, State Senator Mike Green, State Representatives Terry Brown and Paul Muxlow were introduced and briefly spoke to the membership. All were recognized for their support of Thumb Electric Coopera≠tive and the rural electric program.
Alden Knowlton from NRECA was introduced and spoke to the membership regarding the new ACRE for Co-op Member-Owners, a Political Action Committee that was officially presented to the membership.
In the Fall of 2014, TEC will roll out an updated website along with an updated online "SMARTHUB" self-serve billing/payment center. The new ďSMARTHUBĒ smartphone app will also be available this Fall. The new app will allow members to manage their account remotely on their smartphone to pay their energy bills, enter meter readings, and manage their energy consumption by viewing their billing information/history.
In closing his report, General Manager Dallas Braun urged members to continue their strong interest in Thumb Electric Cooperative, to stay engaged, and thanked them for their support.
After the business meeting, a lunch was served which was followed by entertainment featuring Impressionist, Magician, Comedian; Brandon Styles act of RUSCH entertainment along with bucket truck rides, pony rides, candy drop, face painting, and other family activities.
In action taken after the annual meeting, the Board of Directors re-elected Louis Wenzlaff President; Donald Wolschleger Vice-President; Beth McDonald Secretary; and Randall Dhyse Treasurer.