The members of McLeod Cooperative Power Association gathered for the 83rd annual meeting of the Cooperative on Tuesday, April 10, 2018 at the Hutchinson Event Center. About 360 members and guests attended the meeting and were served lunch.
Three directors were elected for a three-year term each: Doug Kirtz of Hector, Allan Duesterhoeft of Hutchinson, and Gary Burdorf of Arlington were re-elected to serve Districts, 4, 5, and 6, respectively.
General Manager Carrie Buckley addressed the recent increase to the System Delivery Charge, explaining to members why it was necessary. She showed members how McLeod’s rates compare with other area utilities. Basically, utilities with many customers per mile have lower rates because their costs are spread over many more consumers. Co-ops tend to serve lower density areas so they have slightly higher rates because costs are shared by significantly fewer consumers per mile. McLeod Co-op Power’s rates are higher than Xcel Energy or metro Co-ops with high density, but very similar to other rural electric co-ops.
Buckley also talked about cost-cutting measures at the Co-op, a recent economic development loan for the new Learning Center in Buffalo Lake, and the Co-op’s new generator business. Buckley also explained how the Co-op is incorporating renewable energy into its generation mix in a cost-effective and fair way to all members. This has been most successful through Great River Energy (the Co-op’s wholesale power supplier) providing 25% of its generation from renewable resources and meeting the state’s renewable mandate eight years ahead of schedule, and also through the Co-op’s Community Solar Project.
The 2017 financial report was given by Manager of Finance, Susan Noyes. Cheryl Beilke, an Operation RoundUp board member, delivered an Operation RoundUp summary. Alison Deelstra, Director of Education and Communication for the Minnesota Rural Electric Association, was the Co-op’s guest speaker.
The grand prize of a $300 electric bill credit was won by Richard Prellwitz of Stewart.
Following the Annual meeting, the board of directors elected their officers for the coming year. Keith Peterson was selected as board president, Joe Griebie as vice-president, Doug Kirtz as secretary-treasurer, and Gerald Roepke as assistant secretary-treasurer. Randy Hlavka will continue as the cooperative’s representative to Great River Energy.