Despite storms the night before when linemen with Intercounty Electric Cooperative were restoring power, the co-op’s association's 77th annual meeting held June 28 was a success, organizers said.
The business meeting served as a forum to share the previous year’s financial and business reports, keep co-op members informed of progress in various projects and system upgrades and development.
During this time the members also voted for their representatives on the board management of the cooperative.
The association member owners re-elected incumbents James E. White from the North District and Richard H. Ichord III from the South District. In the race to fill the vacancy left by retiring board member Harold “Hal” T. Dandridge, member owners elected Matt Duncan of Licking to represent the Central District.
In the board president’s report, Jim White talked about the 2 percent rate increase that went into effect earlier this year and assured the membership that raising rates is not done lightly but at times is necessary to keep the co-op financially strong.
He touched on the added and improved services such as electronic billing, prepay power and the digital mapping of the co-op’s system, which are all done to provide members with the most reliable and convenient service possible.
White closed by giving recognition to Hal Dandridge, who has served Intercounty as a director for the past 25 years, by sharing, “His wisdom, leadership and dedication will certainly be missed.”
General Manager Aaron Bradshaw discussed the three categories of most importance to the majority of members: reliability, affordability and service. He shared that the key to reliability is the co-op’s right-of-way maintenance, which the co-op continues to invest in.
Bradshaw recognized joint efforts with the co-op’s statewide organization, AMEC, and its generation partners at AECI as part of the key to defending its right to affordable electricity against both regulatory and legislative threats.
He then discussed some of the services that Intercounty offers. Bradshaw closed by extending a promise to the co-op members: “Expect to see a focused effort to serve you better in the three key areas mentioned…continuous improvement in reliability, affordability and service.”
The special guest speaker this year was David Klindt, vice president of AMEC. Klindt began by highlighting the success of past grassroots efforts and thanking Intercounty’s membership for its role in those efforts.
He then outlined the current legislative and regulatory threats to affordable electricity and detailed the electric cooperatives’ plans for combating those efforts, stating that Missourians could see drastic increases in their power bills if some of the plans developed in Washington, D.C. aren’t derailed.
Finally, he asked Intercounty’s members to once again join the fight to keep power bills reasonable by joining ACRE-COPA, the Co-op Owners for Political Action program.
Page 2 of 2 - A presentation of colors by Mountain Grove Junior ROTC was made after an invocation by Dr. James Miller, pastor of Abounding Hope Church in Licking. The Heritage Boys, a local gospel trio, performed the national anthem and performed later in the afternoon.
In addition, there was barbecue and a craft fair as well as health tents, which featured Texas County Memorial Hospital staff.
There were several other health care booths set up, such as adult eye health, Missouri Lions Eye Research, hearing tests, Roby Lions Club and blood pressure tests and heart health education by the Texas County Health Department.
Other services and information were provided by Three Rivers Hospice, Tri-County Center for Independent Living and Meadowbrook Natural Foods.
Each registered member received a gift bag and was eligible to win one of many prizes.
Ann Leibert of Licking claimed the grand prize, a $600 electric credit.
Winners of the $100 electric credits were: Hickory Ridge Church of Bucyrus; Jay and Claudia Dickson of Salem; Belinda Gale of Licking; and Lillian Morse of Rolla.
The winner of the 32-inch flat screen TV, courtesy of Sho Me Power, was David Owens of Beulah.
Bicycle winners were Nate Case, James Scavatta, Tory Knox and Zoey Collgan. Coloring contest winners were Aleksey Cook and Allie Decker.
Intercounty Electric Cooperative Association, which serves 2,916 square miles covering Phelps, Dent and Texas counties and parts of seven other counties, operates 5,840 miles of line, serving more than 30,000 active meters and employs 116 local citizens.