Another Successful Annual Meeting
Dakota Energy Cooperative, Inc. held its 22nd annual meeting on April 7th at James Valley Christian High School in Huron. The business meeting began at 6:00 p.m. and was called to order by President Garry Dearborn. Pastor Roy Burket, Bethesda Church in Huron, gave the Invocation.
Cooperative Attorney Don Petersen conducted the election of directors. Incumbent Directors David Allen, Dave E. Gross and Jeffrey J. Madison were re-elected to three-year terms.
Treasurer Dave Gross presented the financial report for 2015.
President Dearborn reviewed the history of the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) and how it provided cooperatives access to monies to build an electric system to rural America in the 1940’s. However, in recent years, the regulatory requirements for using money from RUS has greatly increased.
The board began looking for other financing options in 2014. After an exhaustive investigation and deliberation, the board of directors decided to refinance all loans with the National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation, a cooperative. He explained the Cooperative will receive interest savings over the life of the loan.
President Dearborn highlighted how the board has adapted to using iPads for their monthly meetings and the office continues the process of scanning records to become paper-less.
President Dearborn then introduced guest speaker Bob Sahr, East River Electric Cooperative’s General Counsel. Sahr presented information about East River Electric and the new Environmental Protection Regulations for Clean Air Act.
Manager Webster reported on several 2015 key statistics:
• retired 53 miles of overhead and installed 29 miles of underground, therefore, reducing the total miles of line to 2,562,
• no loss time accident,
• new bill payment options–pay-by-phone, online or ACH,
• addition of electrician to meet the growing demand for members’ electrical jobs,
• load management system has saved an estimated $253,000 in purchased power costs for 2015.
Manager Webster then recognized Director Gene Marone for 15 years of service. He then recognized employees Tim Goetz, lead lineman for 25 years of service, Jim Odegaard, utility person for 15 years of service, Kim Blackwell, customer service representative for 10 years of service and Stephen LaFreniere, journeyman lineman and Brandon Moore, journeyman lineman, for 5 years of service.
Door Prize Winners
Flat Screen Television
Brian Friedrichsen and Delano Hofer
Margery A. Dubro and Delbert D. Hoffmann
Solar gift set from East River
Mary Ann Biedler, Marles Dean, Richard Eck, Vic Kleinsasser, Donald Krueger, Lester Meyer, Norman Neuharth, Charles E. Schock, David Simons and Roger Zens
Renea Sanderson & Tony Lee Meyers