Big News at 80th Annual Meeting
Transitioning to the Future
St. Croix Electric Cooperative Marks 80th Anniversary with Technology Upgrades, Return of $2.1M
HAMMOND, Wis., April 26, 2017 – More than 160 members and guests attended St. Croix Electric Cooperative’s 80th Annual Meeting on Saturday, April 8, at St. Croix Central High School. Registration
was open and a free breakfast buffet served from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. During this time, members of Boy Scout Troop #161 were on-hand to help carry trays, refill drinks and clear tables.
Prior to the start of the meeting, the video created in 2016 about the Cooperative was played for those in attendance. The meeting – with the theme Transitioning to the Future – was then called to order, followed by the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance. Current and former directors in attendance were recognized. Special guests to the meeting were Brittany Story and Abby Williamson, of Carlson Highland & Co., LLP.
Williamson presented the 2016 audit report, affirming St. Croix Electric Cooperative’s good financial condition.
SCEC President/CEO Mark Pendergast opened up his report by praising Co-op employees for a clean safety record in 2016. He then shared with members many of the ways recent investments in technology are already paying off for members.
“(Thanks to) our new metering and information system, Project Integration, there is hardly a day when someone at the Co-op isn’t able to answer a question or solve a problem, some even before they happen because of this technology,” Pendergast told members.
Members were made aware of the upcoming shift of full control times this summer to 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., to accommodate the shift in peak usage within the MISO region.
Continuing Education Scholarship recipients in attendance were recognized, and Pendergast closed his speech by encouraging members to hold on to the value of helping one another, which was at the heart of the cooperative movement 80 years ago. In 2017, SCEC’s directors initiated the creation of Community Cents, a program where members can round up their monthly electric bill to the nearest dollar. The extra “cents” are assigned to the Community Cents program, which will help supplement the current Commitment to Community Grant program.
In his presentation, Chairman of the Board, Bill Peavey briefly reflected on the 80-year history of the Cooperative and how each new decade brought growth and the task of helping improve the lives of members and surrounding communities, while also providing safe, reliable and affordable electricity.
“Today, those of us in this room carry on the tradition and legal obligation started in 1937 to come together at an annual meeting for a common purpose, and, yes, to even socialize and see old friends and neighbors,” Peavey said. “It’s important for us to be relevant for our membership and operate and do business like other progressive organizations in the 21st century.”
Peavey shared the news of Dairyland Power Cooperative’s mission to continue to expand its renewable energy portfolio. Following up on the 2016 announcement of Sunflower II, Peavey said the 2.34 megawatt array is expected to be in commercial operation by late May.
“I can’t think of another project your Cooperative has been involved with where a majority of the members I meet and talk with support the mission and purpose of what we are accomplishing,” Peavey said. “It is a profitable venture for the Co-op and will help keep electric rates lower in the years ahead.”
He went on to share what may have been the biggest news of the meeting: the results of DPC’s latest lawsuit against the Department of Energy as it relates to expenses incurred for storing spent nuclear fuel for the years 2007 to 2012.
“Dairyland reached an out-of-court settlement with the Department of Energy and received a $73 million payment late last year. Of this amount, $2.1 million was returned to St. Croix Electric,” he said.
Peavey announced the Board of Directors elected to return the entire $2.1 million back to the members who paid for the extra storage.
“Current members of the Co-op who were members any time between 2007 and 2012, will receive a credit on their July electric bills,” he said.
In the 2017 Director Election, only one district – District 6 – was uncontested, but all three incumbents return to the Board of Directors for the next three years. In District 3, David Orf defeated George Rude; in District 9, George Yates defeated Annie Coyle and Brenda Tjelta. Peavey was declared the winner in District 6.
The meeting concluded with a drawing for five $80 bill credits and each membership in attendance received a 1 lb. circle of cheese from SCEC member Cady Cheese, in Wilson, and two 80th anniversary commemorative coffee mugs.