A beautiful spring day and quality entertainment brought approximately 3,500 people, including 1,524 registered members, to the 2017 Covington Electric Cooperative Annual Meeting on April 6. The meeting was held at the Andalusia Kiwanis Community Building.
The Jim Brady Trio provided the evening’s headline entertainment with southern gospel music and the First Baptist Church Whatley Street Men’s Choir performed first as the evening’s local entertainment. Business highlights included the election of two members to the CEC board of trustees, reports on CEC’s operations in 2016, and information about member services and community support provided by CEC.
Willie Smith, CEC’s board chairman, opened the business session of the meeting. He recognized the oldest female and male members present. Lucy Kilgore, age 99, of Red Level was the oldest female member present and she received $100. T.J. Booth of Opp and L.C. Brannon of Andalusia, tied for oldest male member present with both being 96 years old. They received $100 each and Ms. Kilgore received an extra $50 for being the oldest of the winners.
CEC General Manager Ed Short discussed the need for a balanced approach to power production saying, “We agree with efforts to keep our environment clean. We just want the EPA to use a common sense approach to energy generation.”
He also stated there was no rate increase projected for 2017 and thanked PowerSouth Energy Cooperative for their help in keeping rates stable in recent years. Short noted that recent rate studies do indicate the need to implement full cost-based rates which CEC began moving toward in 2009. With full cost-based rates, the facility charge would increase and the kwh charge would decrease. CEC will continue to evaluate rates in the future to ensure the cooperative remains financially stable.
Short discussed capital credits stating the board has approved $2.8 million in capital credits to be paid this year based on member patronage to the cooperative. Capital credits are margins or profits credited to cooperative members based on their purchases from the cooperative. These credits are used by the cooperative as working capital for a period of time, and then paid back to the membership as conditions permit. He updated members about the current lawsuit challenging the way capital credits are disbursed to members. “This capital credit litigation is still in the courts, but it is encouraging that two other co-ops in the state have received favorable rulings in their suits,” said Short. “Covington Electric Cooperative has credited and paid capital credits to our members in amounts and on a schedule as permitted under Alabama law, the CEC by-laws, the requirement of our lenders, and as approved by the CEC board of trustees,” he added.
Other business highlights included the election of two members to the CEC board of trustees. James F. “Jimmy” Martin of Enterprise and Patricia Janasky of Samson were re-elected to three-year terms on the CEC board of trustees, representing Districts V and VI respectively.
After the business session, attendance prizes were awarded. The 2004 Chevrolet Venture minivan was awarded as the major attendance prize to Christopher Martin of Andalusia (pictured above with CEC General Manager Ed Short). Judith C. Kelley of Andalusia was the winner of $600 cash, Norman Huppert (wife pictured) of Enterprise won $500 cash, Ernest Cleland Sr. of Red Level won $400 cash, Sonja P. Godwin of Red Level won $300 cash and Alesia D. McClain of Dozier won $200 cash.
Other prize winners were as follows:
40V Pro Battery Blower—Bama Farms; Stihl Chainsaw—Maryanne J. Worley; Kawasaki Cordless Drill Set—Kenny Baker; Stihl Weedeater—Bufus Tillis Jr.; 6 Gallon Wet/Dry Vacuum—William H. Terrell; Black and Decker Airswivel Vacuum—Kenneth Willis Reed; Paper Shredder—Clarence Brown; $50 Visa Credit Card—New Song Community Church; Pioneer Woman Dutch Oven—Ronald Williamson; DeWalt Wrench Set—Clayton Henderson; Twin Head Work Light—Richard Byron Terry; Ceramic Tower Heater—Sonya Williamson; Ratchet Tie Straps—Johnny H. Dubose; Magic Bullet Blender—Herman Castleberry; Outdoor Solar Lights—Nellie Mae Broadus; Floor Lamp—Jean Williamson; Crockpot Slow Cooker—Shelia R. Foster; Black & Decker Hand Vacuum—William Stringer; Vtech Telephones—Charles R. Bitel; DeWalt Water Seal Tool Box—Bonita D. Best; Black & Decker Coffee Maker—Matthew R. Cobb; Shark Clothes Iron—Terry L. Harrison; 2-Gallon Stand-N-Spray Container—Fred C. Beverly; $25 Walmart Gift Card—Elden L. Teall; $25 Walmart Gift Card—James E. Phillips; $25 Walmart Gift Card—Voncille B. King; Orca 27 oz. Tumbler—Albert Weeden; Copper Bird Feeder—Carolyn W. Hart; Toaster Oven—Thomas Jackson; Presto Kettle Cooker—Roger A. Moore; Scented Wax Warmer Starter Set—Lossie L. Brown; Electric Skillet—Don R. Ringer; and 5 Gallon Gas Can—Nellie H. English.