Tri-County Electric Cooperative (TCEC) consumer-members gathered for their 85th Annual Meeting on Saturday, July 8 at the co-op’s headquarters facility in Mount Vernon to hear updates about their cooperative. Members were treated to a live line demonstration, activities for kids, an informational booth comparing a 1939 Model A next to an all-electric Rivian truck, vendors and more.
During the business meeting, Donnie Laird, president of the board of directors, welcomed the TCEC members to the meeting and thanked them for coming. In his report, he discussed the history of the co-op, saying that lines were first energized July 29, 1939, serving 1,124 members. Today the co-op serves more than 16,500 members.
“The founding fathers of our electric co-op knew [having electricity] was a better way of life for their families,” Laird said. “Today, our goal is the same as it was for the early co-op members… to safely provide member-owners with reliable electric service, superior customer service and practical energy solutions at a reasonable cost.”
Secretary/Treasurer Sam Phillips reported that the co-op had margins of $2,406,000 in 2022. The margins have been assigned as capital credits to the accounts of members that received service during 2022 and will be returned to members in the future.
Recently, the co-op board approved the retirement of capital credits from 2000 for members who had electric service during that year. The retirement added up to more than $1 million. All members should have their retirement checks. If you received service from the cooperative in 2000 but did not receive a check, please contact the office at 618-244-5151.
Luke Johnson, general manager of TCEC, addressed the membership and applauded the co-op for its excellent safety culture, saying, “We’re committed to safety here, and it is our number 1 priority.”
In his report, Johnson stated that TCEC is in good financial and physical condition. “Your co-op is a not-for-profit entity,” he said. “We’re not in the business of making millions and billions of dollars.”
He went on to discuss the electric grid and the recent storm that left more than 2,000 members without power and 65 broken utility poles. Johnson commended co-op employees for going above and beyond to get power restored.
“It’s been a privilege to serve with you the last year and a half,” Johnson concluded. “What a blessing it has been.”
During the meeting, Donnie Laird of Jefferson County, Jordan Brink of Washington County and Sam Phillips of Marion County were re-elected to the cooperative’s board of directors for three-year terms.
At the close of the meeting, attendance prizes were drawn for kids and adults, and members were treated to a BBQ lunch and lemon shakeups.
Tri-County Electric Cooperative is a member of Touchstone Energy — a national alliance of local, consumer-owned electric cooperatives providing high standards of service to members large and small. More than 700 Touchstone Energy cooperatives in 46 states deliver energy and energy solutions to more than 30 million members every day. Tri-County Electric is committed to providing superior service based on four core principles: integrity, accountability, innovation and commitment to community. The co-op serves 16,513 meters over 3,410 miles of line in parts of Franklin, Jefferson, Marion, Perry and Washington counties. For more information, visit www.tricountycoop.com.