Minutes from REC's 80th Annual Meeting
RURAL ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE, INC.
MINUTES OF THE 80th ANNUAL MEETING OF THE MEMBERS
October 5, 2019
The 80th Annual Meeting of the Members of Rural Electric Cooperative, Inc. was held in the REC Multi Purpose Center, Lindsay, Oklahoma, Garvin County, at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, the 5th day of October 2019.
A video presentation titled “Our Story – Touchstone Energy Cooperatives” opened the meeting.
Mr. Gary Jones, President of the Cooperative, welcomed the REC membership and guests to the 80th Annual Meeting of Rural Electric Cooperative. Mr. Jones thanked the members for their attendance at this year’s meeting.
Call to Order
President Jones, who presided over the meeting, called the 80th Annual Meeting of the Membership to order.
REC Board Vice-President Scott Christian gave the invocation.
Parade of Colors, National Anthem and Pledge of Allegiance
Mr. Christian introduced the Ball Smith Post 23 of the Lindsay American Legion, who presented the Parade of Colors.
After Mr. Christian led the members in the Pledge of Allegiance, Crossfire led the members in the singing of our National Anthem.
Mr. Dale Nye, Manager/CEO of Rural Electric Cooperative, also welcomed the group and told them how important it is for them to attend their Co-ops’ Annual Meeting.
Mr. Nye introduced REC’s Board of Trustees, Co-op Attorney and their spouses. Mr. Nye thanked the Board for their dedication and service. Among them, they have over 140 years of service to their cooperative.
Mr. Nye introduced the Credentials and Elections Committee which arrived at 7:30 a.m. to receive instructions from our Co-op Attorney, Dan Williams. The committee consists of: Randy Little, Joe Terrell, Scott McPherson, Sue Clagg, Jessica Jones, Renee Hoover-Payton, J. D. Scruggs and Jay Earp.
Also introduced were members of the Nominating Committee – James Castleberry, Preston Keck, Lynn Watkins, Les Nunn, Johnny Watson, Jessica Jones, Allen Carroll, J. D. Scruggs and Randy Little, and the Annual Meeting Planning Committee – Gary and Sandra Manning, Evan G. McConnell and Monica Kleinsasser. Mr. Nye thanked them all for serving their cooperative.
Mr. Nye made note that this has been a rough year for our co-op as we have lost three of our past Board members which were Tenys Parr, Reford Gage and Ray Anthony.
Mr. Nye then introduced special guests: City Manager Stephen Mills; Sid Sperry and his wife Lisa representing OAEC; Eddie Lee, Scott Williams and Gary Gilleland from WFEC who showcased the electric car for our members to see.
Mr. Nye recognized retired and current employees. He thanked them for their dedication to the co-op and its members. Mr. Nye recognized his wife Leschen and thanked her for her support.
Determination of Quorum
President Jones noted that he couldn’t remember the last time our co-op didn’t have a quorum and he stated, “that it was because of you good folks who support your organization.”
Mr. Jones reported that based upon a report given by REC’s Secretary-Treasurer, Mr. Brent Bacon, certifying registration of 414 members, that a quorum was present for the conducting of business at the 2019 Annual Meeting of the Membership of Rural Electric Cooperative, Inc. A total of 5% (309) of REC’s 6,186 members was required to be registered to constitute a quorum. The final count of members registered is shown by the attached “2019 Annual Meeting Registration” list which reflects a total of 414 members registered.
WFEC’s representative, Eddie Lee had registrants sign up at the Electric Vehicle site for a $100 gift card. David Ray from Cement was the winner and his name was placed in another drawing for $5,000 to be drawn on a later date.
A drawing of twenty-five (25) of the seventy-five (75) $75 gift certificates for electricity was held. It was explained that the $75 amount will appear as a credit on the winners’ November electric bills.
The drawing for the electric bike was held. Delmar Payne from Lindsay won the bike.
Motion to Dispense with the Reading of the Notice of Proof of Publication
President Jones explained to the group that the Annual Meeting notice was published in six different newspapers in our area, as well as in REC’s monthly publication “Co-op Comments”.
President Jones presented the Reading of Notice and Proof of Publication to the members. Mr. Michael Hancock from Wynnewood made the motion that the membership dispense with the reading of the Notice and Proof of Publication. Mr. Dale Schauer from Elmore City seconded the motion. With no further discussion, the motion was unanimously adopted.
Motion to Dispense with the Reading of the 2018 Annual Meeting Minutes
President Jones called for the reading of the 2018 Minutes of the Annual Meeting of the Membership. Mr. Dale Schauer from Elmore City made the motion that the membership dispense with the reading of the Minutes of the 2018 Annual Meeting. Mr. James Kuykendall from Lindsay seconded the motion. With no further discussion, the motion was unanimously adopted.
The President made his remarks to the membership. Mr. Jones reported that each member should have received an Annual Report when they registered. He encouraged them to read over the President and Secretary/Treasurer’s reports along with the financial portion to see how their co-op is doing financially.
Mr. Jones noted that 80 years ago, the cost to join the cooperative was $5.00 and in the depression era, that wasn’t easy. He noted that today it is still $5.00 to be a member. He stated that today we have 3,000 miles of lines, 11,000 meters, we support our schools, fire departments and our future - our kids. For example, REC takes eight, 8th graders to Energy Camp at Canyon Camp in Hinton, OK. where they meet up with 90 other kids. They teach them about electrical safety, co-op career opportunities and learn leadership skills. We want them to return home, raise their families here and become leaders in our communities.
Mr. Jones added we have our Youth Tour program which high school juniors in our service area have the opportunity to write an essay - the top six students’ essay has to be given orally at REC’s Youth Banquet. The top three winners are sent to our nation’s capital where they get to visit all the historical monuments, get to meet with government officials and learn how our government works. We have had students that have taken this trip, tell us that it changed their lives for forever. The runners-up get a week-long trip to a leadership camp in Steamboat Springs, Colorado in the summertime to attend a camp and meet up with other co-op kids. They also develop leadership skills and have fun. We receive thank you notes from these kids telling us how much attending this camp has helped them.
Another program we are really proud of is our Leadership Summit. We know of no other co-op in Oklahoma or possibly the United States that has one. This is a former board member, Merlene Rust’s brainchild. She saw the need to instill leadership in our kids that aren’t receiving these skills in schools. We invite ten juniors or seniors from each school in our service area to attend a strenuous day of training in leadership skills.
Mr. Jones explained our Scholarship program requirements. We offer 10-$1,000 scholarships and 2-$1,500 scholarships to seniors whose parents or guardians are members of REC. The students fill out an application with the top ten going through an interview process. This assists them with their college education.
Mr. Jones stated that our kids are our future and encouraged us all to support our youth.
A drawing of twenty-five (25) of the seventy-five (75) $75 gift certificates for electricity was held and one (1) $500 grand prize was drawn. Barbara Slay from Lindsay was the first grand prize winner.
Mr. Nye explained that “Annual Meetings are a big part of all the Electric Cooperatives in the state. It gives us a chance to report on our financials and update you on where we are and what we are doing. You received a booklet when you came in and it is a synopsis of our Annual Report. We are good financially”.
Mr. Nye pointed out the professionalism, the skill, the diligence and most of all, the heart of our employees. Our employees are dedicated, not to the electric industry, not to the job but dedicated to serving you – our members. All we do goes back to the employees, they are always training, always learning and growing.
Mr. Nye stated how important Western Farmers Electric Cooperative is to REC. Rural Electric Cooperative is a distribution cooperative. WFEC is a generation and transmission cooperative, which produces, acquires and transfers electricity to our substations. This allows REC to get the electricity to our members. We are lucky that WFEC is innovative and looks to the future.
Mr. Nye explained that ten years ago he reported to us that coal was 50% of our generation source. Today coal is 23%; natural gas is 23%; hydropower is 8% which we get from northeastern Oklahoma; contract power is 19%; wind energy is 26%; solar is 1% and it is growing. WFEC proposes that by 2023 they will build a 250 MW solar farm, backing it up with a 200 MW battery. It will store electricity when there is sunshine and if it’s cloudy it will discharge electricity to you so we don’t have to use the more expensive coal.
Mr. Nye noted that each year following the annual meeting REC sends out surveys to members that attended. We receive feedback from them as to how we can make improvements for next year’s meeting. Some say we talk too much, etc. The question was asked, How do we come up with the average cost of electricity on our bill? Mr. Nye explained 4.0 cents is the cost of electricity. 7.2 cents of an average electric bill can be attributed to fixed costs. These costs include the maintenance of plant, transmission lines, substations and facilities. The residential cost is the average based on 1150 kWh. This gives us the average of 11.2 cents per kWh.
Mr. Nye stated that REC’s total plant value was $85,394,913 in 2018 compared to $68,420,509 in 2014. In 2018, REC’s equity was 49.7% compared to 46.6% in 2014.
It was reported that REC’s accounts consist of 73% residential accounts and 27% commercial/industrial accounts. REC’s revenues are 31% residential and 69% is commercial/industrial. Mr. Nye stated we are fortunate that we live where our commercial accounts carry us.
Mr. Nye reported on the 2018 Gross Receipts Taxes paid to schools located in REC’s six county service territory which includes Garvin, Grady, McClain, Stephens, Comanche and Carter counties totaling $692,182. Since 1947, REC has paid $17.1 million in Gross Receipts Taxes. WFEC paid an additional $819,922.15. These 2018 taxes are distributed to the following schools: Alex, Bray, Chickasha, Davis, Dibble, Elmore City-Pernell, Lindsay, Maysville, Ninnekah, Paoli, Pauls Valley, Purcell, Rush Springs, Wayne and Wynnewood.
Mr. Nye explained to the membership that Patronage Capital (Capital Credits) is capital above the cost of doing business. In 2018, REC paid $860,204 in Capital Credits to members for 1986,1987 and a partial year of 1988. Capital Credits are credited to the active members’ December electric bills each year they are paid out instead of being mailed out in the form of a check. WFEC returned capital credits to REC in the amount of $454,761.
Mr. Nye noted some of REC’s involvement in our communities such as Energy Camp, Youth Tour, Youth Leadership Camp, Scholarships, Youth Leadership Summit, Tree Give-Away, Membership in Civic Organizations, Coaching Little League, and 4-H/FFA involvement. Photos of REC’s youth program winners were shown to the membership.
Mr. Nye also explained the process of REC’s Operation Round-Up program and encouraged members to participate by electing to round-up their electric bill to the next dollar. These funds are used to help friends and neighbors in their time of need. Operation Round-Up has helped people who have lost their homes to fire/tornados and have even helped with dental work for people who couldn’t afford it. He noted that the program was started in 1995 and presently has 681participants. The most amount of money it can cost a year per account is $11.88 and the least amount would be 12¢. He encouraged members to stop by the Operation Round-Up booth and sign up to participate in this worthwhile program.
Mr. Nye explained that members could also sign up for ACRE (Action Committee for Rural Electrification) at the ACRE booth. The most important benefit of being an ACRE member is having a voice in helping elect state and federal officials who will support your cooperative and your community. Mr. Nye concluded his remarks by thanking the members for their attendance.
Mr. Nye called on Mr. Dan Williams, Co-op Attorney, for presentation of the 2019 election report.
Mr. Williams explained the voting procedures. He reported that Mr. Joe Terrell had been elected Chairperson and Mr. Randy Little had been elected Recording Secretary for the committee.
Mr. Williams then called on the Chairperson of the Credentials and Elections Committee, Mr. Terrell to give a report on the Election of Trustees. Mr. Terrell
stated that a total of 264 votes were cast. He then reported to the membership the results of the election as follows:
For Office 1, District 1 – Gary Jones 251 yes votes 12 no votes
For Office 1, District 2 – Terri Hays 249 yes votes 8 no votes
For Office 1, District 3 – Randy Griswold 250 yes votes 8 no votes
From these results, Chairperson Terrell declared the following persons were elected to the Board of Trustees of Rural Electric Cooperative, Inc. for a three-year term:
Office 1- District 1 – GARY JONES
Office 1– District 2 – TERRI HAYS
Office 1– District 3 – RANDY GRISWOLD
The Minutes of the Meeting of the 2019 Credentials and Elections Committee reflecting the results of the Trustee election are attached to these minutes.
Mr. Williams expressed his appreciation to Mr. Terrell and the Credentials and Elections Committee, as well as the members of the Nominating Committee for the time they committed to serving on these committees. He reminded the group of the importance of serving on a co-op committee and to please consider serving if called upon.
President Jones asked the membership if there was any unfinished business. It was determined there was no unfinished business.
Mr. Jones announced there would be another drawing of twenty-five (25) of the seventy-five (75) $75 gift certificates for electricity and the Treager grill which Damon Bartlett of Foster won.
President Jones then asked the membership for any items of new business to be discussed. It was determined there was no new business.
Adjournment of REC’s 80th Annual Meeting of the Membership
With there being no further business to come before the membership, President Jones declared REC’s 80th Annual Meeting of the Membership adjourned. The business meeting adjourned at 11:25 a.m.
Immediately following the business session, additional prize drawings were held. Approximately 40 electrical prizes, and two grand prizes of $500 gift certificates for electricity were among the gifts given away by Rural Electric Cooperative. Winners of the two remaining $500 certificates for electricity were Mr. James Kuykendall of Lindsay and Mr. Glen McDaniel of Bradley.
Two children’s bicycles were given away to Hutch Simonton and Georgia Miller during the Children’s Program.
Entertainment by Crossfire, a five-member band from various parts of our service territory provided entertainment for the membership. All five members have played together for 25 years and are involved with vocals and providing the harmony for which they are known. They played a wide variety of country music and a few classic rock songs.
Dated this 28th day of October 2019