Great door prizes and quality entertainment brought approximately 4,500 people, including 1,676 registered members, to the 2018 Covington Electric Cooperative Annual Meeting on April 5. The meeting was held at the Andalusia Kiwanis Community Building.
The Kingsmen Quartet provided the evening’s headline entertainment with traditional gospel music and The Kempters performed as the evening’s opening entertainment. Business highlights included the election of two members to the CEC board of trustees, reports on CEC’s operations in 2017, and information about member services and community support provided by the cooperative. 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 100 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 97 years old. They received $100 each and Ms. Kilgore received an extra $100 for being the oldest of the winners.
CEC General Manager Ed Short discussed various topics including renewable energy, community involvement, the need for diverse fuel sources for energy production, and he warned members to beware of scam attempts. “If you get a phone call demanding payment for a power bill, ask questions, get a phone number if you can, anything that might help us identify the caller,” said Short. “Do not send money to such a caller. If someone comes to your house saying they are representing CEC, ask for identification – call our office to verify if the person is with CEC. Our employees have identification with them, therefore if you are in doubt, ask for their ID card and/or give us a call,” he added.
Short also stated there was no rate increase projected for 2018. He reminded members about ongoing rate studies that indicate there is a need to implement full cost-based rates, which CEC began moving toward in 2009. With full cost-based rates according to Short, the facility charge would increase and the kwh charge would possibly decrease. He stated that 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 $1.7 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.
Short updated members about the current lawsuit challenging the way capital credits are disbursed to members. “The 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. Gary Harris of Dozier and Dr. Bill King of Andalusia were re-elected to three-year terms on the CEC board of trustees, representing Districts I and II respectively.
After the business session, attendance prizes were awarded. Three $2,500 bill credits were awarded as the top three major attendance prizes to Jannie Bush of Dozier, Dewanna Henderson of Andalusia and Vanessa Jones of Elba. Sherrie Sanders of Red Level was the winner of $600 cash, Daniel King of Andalusia won $500 cash, and Lillie Mims of Red Level won $400 cash.
Other prize winners were as follows: Five members won $300 cash—Pamela Kervin, Ada Knight, Brooks Baptist Church, Sue Maust and Kim Barber. Five members won $200 cash—Myra Ann Carter, Pine Level Senior Citizens, Willis Nelson, Betty Barefoot and Lois B. Jones. Ten members won $100 cash—Kenneth Northey, Glynn Broom, Grady Williamson, Clyde Northrop III, Betty Jean Daniels, Mt. Moriah Baptist Church, Michael S. Maddox, Frances Jackson, Bobbie B. Dozier and James Kelley. Ten members won $50 cash—Jewell Nowling, Barbara W. Johnson, Paul Finedore, Roxanne Powell, Georgia Stoudemire Germany, Bill McGinty, Harriet P. West, Bradley A. Bryan, Salena Miller and Charlene B. Holland.
Pictured above from left, CEC members Jannie Bush, Dewanna Henderson and Vanessa Jones were the top three grand prize winners with each receiving a $2,500 bill credit during the 2018 CEC Annual Meeting on April 5.