Minutes from REC's 81st Annual Meeting
RURAL ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE, INC.
MINUTES OF THE 81st ANNUAL MEETING OF THE MEMBERS
October 3, 2020
The 81st Annual Meeting of the Members of Rural Electric Cooperative, Inc. was conducted virtually. Early registration was available from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 1, 2020. A total of 404 members took advantage of early registration. On Saturday, October 3, 2020, 449 additional members registered for a total of 853 registered members at the 81st Annual Meeting.
Determination of Quorum
REC has 6,197 members. Our bylaws require us to have 5% of our membership registered to constitute a quorum (5% of 6,197 is 310 required members.) Based upon a report given by REC’s Secretary-Treasurer, Mr. Brent Bacon, certifying registration of 853 members and that a quorum participated in the 2020 Annual Meeting of the Membership at Rural Electric Cooperative, Inc. The final count of members registered is shown by the attached “2020 Annual Meeting Registration” list which reflects a total of 853 members registered.
Notice of Proof of Publication and 2019 Minutes
It was acknowledged that the Annual Meeting Notice was published in six different area newspapers, as well as in REC’s monthly publication “Co-op Comments” and mailed to each member. The Official Notice mailed to each member also included an acknowledgment that the 2019 Annual Meeting minutes are posted on the REC web-site and the Official Ballot to vote for candidates to be seated on the Board of Trustees for each district.
President Gary Jones welcomed the membership to the 81st Annual Meeting of the Membership. This one is different from all the others. It was decided to have a drive-through annual meeting due to the Covid-19 Pandemic.
He encouraged the members to take time to look at the Annual Report - it shows the financial condition of the co-op. Mr. Jones reported this is the highest equity we’ve ever had.
He wanted to praise the employees of REC for their dedication and hard work to keep the power flowing. During the time of the pandemic, they have worked under some difficult conditions. They have their temps taken each morning, keep a safe distance from their co-workers, they’ve had to self-quarantine when they had been in contact with a Covid-positive person.
Mr. Jones noted that equity has increased from 37% in 2005 to 49% in 2020. We built a new headquarters building that helps REC operate more efficiently and provides a much better workplace for the employees. The value of the plant has increased to about 90 million dollars.
Rural Electric Cooperative has returned 10 million dollars in Capital Credits to the member/consumers and our rates are still lower than most co-ops in Oklahoma.
We are sad to announce our CEO of 15 years, Dale Nye has announced his retirement at the end of this year. REC has seen a lot of accomplishments during his tenure. We’ve added a new outage reporting system; a new meter system that helps the consumer/member with more information about their usage.
Under Dale’s leadership we’ve expanded our youth programs which includes: Energy Camp, Youth Tour, Scholarships, Leadership Summit and also supports the school projects in our service area.
Dale Nye has been a great CEO for Rural Electric Cooperative. We wish him well in his retirement. All the co-op members consider Dale as a friend, Mr. Jones concluded.
Dale Nye, CEO thanked the members for taking time to be a part of the 81st Annual Meeting of your Rural Electric Cooperative.
Mr. Nye stated that this years’ Annual Meeting is especially special because it is the first Drive-thru and Virtual Annual Meeting of our Membership.
Mr. Nye added he was sad that we cannot have our Annual Meeting in our traditional form and fashion. The opportunity to greet each of you and visit old friends and meet new friends is lost forever. The Covid-19 pandemic is causing hardships and heartbreak for each of us in various ways.
Mr. Nye noted that by having our first drive-thru Annual Meeting we are able to maintain our commitment to our members to share the financial standing of our co-op for 2019, celebrate the accomplishments of our youth and express our appreciation of your membership and cooperation to us.
Mr. Nye stated that Rural Electric Cooperative and Western Farmers Electric Cooperative, the Power and Generation and Transmission Co-op that provides electricity are very aware of our environment and strive to use solar, wind, and hydro power to produce electricity. Coal produced electricity is only 4% of the power generated WFEC.
Mr. Nye reported that 63% of the total cost of providing electricity to our members is to purchase that electricity from WFEC. 37% of that cost is used for maintenance.
The total value of Plant or Distribution System continues to grow. Just five short years ago our plant was valued at almost $77 million and at the end of 2019 was valued over $89 million – an increase of more than $12 million dollars. Our equity in that $89 million is almost $43 million or 48.9%.
REC is fortunate to have a well-balanced system by revenue source. While 73% of our accounts are farm and residential, they only provide 37% of our revenue. 27% of our accounts are large commercial and industrial accounts that provide 63% of our revenue.
Mr. Nye reported on the 2019 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 $708,208. Since 1947, REC has paid $17.9 million in Gross Receipts Taxes. WFEC paid an additional $965,116. These 2019 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 2019, REC paid $874,547 in Capital Credits to our members. WFEC returned additional capital credits in the amount of $331,803.
Mr. Nye noted REC shares a concern for our communities just like our members. We participate in a number of community, youth and school events to support our members.
REC provides scholarships to 10 deserving seniors each year. We support youth leadership by sending 3 students to Washington D.C. Youth Tour and 3 students to a Co-op Leadership Camp in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. REC also supports the attendance of eight (8) soon-to-be freshmen students to Oklahoma’s Energy Camp in Hinton, Oklahoma.
Mr. Nye 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. The most you could donate in a year is $11.88 and the least is 12 cents. The money is placed in our Operation Round-Up Foundation and used to help families with financial hardships.
In 1996, a group of co-op members formed a political action group called ACRE-Action Committee for Rural Electrification. Mr. Nye encouraged each member to contact the co-op and become an ACRE member.
The Credentials and Elections Committee of Rural Electric Cooperative, Inc. met pursuant to the Bylaws, on October 3, 2020 at 7:30 a.m. in the REC Multi-Purpose Center, Lindsay, Oklahoma, with the following members present:
District 1 District 2 District 3
Roland Little Steven Combes Kathy Ellithorp
Darrell Cheshier Jessica Jones Lynn Watkins
Jay Earp Caitlin Collett
The meeting was called to order by Dan Williams, Co-op Attorney. The following persons were elected officers of the Committee:
Chairperson: Jay Earp
Recording Secretary: Kathy Ellithorp
Mr. Williams advised the Committee on the duties and responsibilities of the Committee. He also presented the proposed ballot and procedures for voting for Trustees by the membership at the Annual Meeting of the Members set for Saturday, October 3, 2020, at the REC Multi-Purpose Center. Early registration was set for Thursday, October 1, 2020 from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.
On motion made and seconded and on vote, the ballot and procedures were approved.
The balloting by the membership was opened at 10:00 a.m. and closed at 2:00 p.m. on October 1 for early registration and re-opened at 8:00 a.m. and closed at 11:00 a.m. on October 3. All votes cast were examined and recorded by the committee members.
Mr. Jay Earp, Chairperson gave a report on the Election of Trustees. Mr. Earp
stated that a total of 749 votes were cast. He then reported to the membership the results of the election as follows:
For Office 2, District 1 – Brent Bacon 699 yes votes 32 no votes
For Office 2, District 2 – Larry Anderson 694 yes votes 36 no votes
For Office 2, District 3 – Charles Crawford 708 yes votes 27 no votes
From these results, Chairperson Earp declared the following persons were elected to the Board of Trustees of Rural Electric Cooperative, Inc. for a three-year term:
Office 2- District 1 – BRENT BACON
Office 2– District 2 – LARRY ANDERSON
Office 2– District 3 – CHARLES CRAWFORD
The Minutes of the Meeting of the 2020 Credentials and Elections Committee reflecting the results of the Trustee election are attached to these minutes.
Immediately following the announcement of the election results, prize drawings were held. Each registered member received a $25 credit on their bill. The Credentials & Elections Committee drew for seventy-five (75), $75 gift certificates for electricity and for three (3) grand prizes of $500 gift certificates for electricity. The winner’s names will be posted in the November Co-op Comments.