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2018 RECC Annual Meeting Report

Members of Rural Electric Convenience Cooperative (RECC) were apprised of the organization’s financial condition and billing changes, power supply, advances in technology and community commitment during its 81st annual meeting held Thursday, June 7, 2018 at Glenwood High School.

Treasurer John Beatty provided the financial report. He said that of the $14,984,565 of total revenue collected, 81 percent accounted for power costs and related utility plant expenses, and just 19 percent accounted for costs to operate the cooperative. Due to lower than expected revenue and higher power costs, the co-op ended 2017 with a deficit of $100,487. Beatty said, “Over the years, we have made great strides in managing our operating costs and have used technology to improve productivity and the overall efficiency of the co-op.”

Thanks to a 10-year, five-month wholesale power supply contract with NextEra Energy Marketing, the co-op’s costs have been reduced and member rates are now lower than they were in 2009. This will enable the co-op to build equity and retire past capital credits more rapidly.

Renewable energy, such as wind and solar generation, has been growing in the co-op territory. According to Chairman Melvin Repscher, the co-op’s GobNob wind turbine at the I-55 Farmersville exit can provide enough power for over 200 homes and farms at full production. Several co-op members have installed small wind turbines and solar systems as well. Repscher said the co-op has interconnection and net metering policies in place to assure safe operation of the member-owned generation systems, with a 10-kilowatt maximum size. All systems must be pre-approved by the cooperative and a safety inspection performed before they can be connected to the electric grid.

RECC leadership is very engaged in the political process. They met earlier this year with state and national elected officials through the National Rural Electric Cooperative’s legislative conference in Washington D.C. and the Association of Illinois Electric Cooperatives’ (AIEC) Lobby Day in Springfield to discuss energy issues and other issues that affect co-ops and their members. “The co-op will continue to monitor legislative issues that affect rural residents and business,” said Repscher. “It’s part of our long-term commitment to maintain the quality of life in our local communities.”

President/CEO David Stuva discussed SmartHub, from NISC, the co-op’s technology cooperative, which is helping to improve communication with members. Through SmartHub, members can visit RECC’s website to access their account 24 hours per day, pay their bill online, view their energy use, report service issues and access outage maps without calling the co-op. The co-op can send customized messages to alert members of planned outages and the cause of outages. NISC software has enabled line crews to use software and iPads to perform tasks while in the field that in the past required hand-written work orders and calls back and forth to the office.

Stuva explained, “By embracing technology, RECC has implemented numerous services well ahead of many larger investor-owned utilities and municipals. We’ve proven that even though we may be small in comparison, technology enables us to compete with anyone.”

RECC is deeply committed to its local communities. Chris Wilcox highlighted some examples of this, which included the co-op’s participation in Youth Day at the Capitol in Springfield and the Youth to Washington tour, both coordinated through the AIEC. In March RECC sponsored six students to attend Youth Day; and on June 8, two students, also sponsored by RECC, headed to Washington, D.C. The students are Riley Meredith from Northwestern High School and Hailey Winslow from Glenwood High School. During the two events, students visited with state and federal elected officials and toured sites.

Two-$2,000 educational grants were provided through RECC and its banker, CoBank. The winners were Waverly Elementary Teacher and Librarian Michelle Wagner and Ball Chatham Elementary Teacher Debora Lee and several of her fellow teachers.

In December, as part of their Christmas tradition, RECC employees demonstrated their community spirit by collecting $475 for the Pawnee Food Pantry. The amount raised was matched by the co-op, totaling a $950 donation.

The cooperative takes pride in the dedication of its employees and directors. During the meeting, four employees and President/CEO Stuva were recognized for total service to the cooperative of 90 years. Two directors were recognized for a combined 50 years of service.

Several employees have retired in the past year in several areas of the cooperative, giving opportunities to a new generation of workers.

During the meeting, Cassie Eigenmann of Modesto, Andy Goleman of Divernon and Lou Weitekamp of Raymond were re-elected to the cooperative’s board of directors.

 


2018 Rural Electric Youth Day at Capitol

The 2018 Illinois Rural Electric Youth Day introduced over 210 high school students to several of our state’s elected leaders, along with some insights about electric and telephone cooperatives.

Youth Day was sponsored on April 18 by the Association of Illinois Electric Cooperatives, with 25 co-ops from across the state participating. Rural Electric Convenience Cooperative sponsored six students from area schools at the day-long event. The group included Riley Meredith from Northwestern High School; Hailey Winslow from Glenwood High School; Kyle Dickman, Emily Curry, Abbie Simpson and Braeden Scheerer from New Berlin High School.

At the State Capitol, the RECC group met with Representatives Avery Bourne and C. D. Davidsmeyer along with Senator Andy Manar. During lunch, Lt. Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti addressed the students and chaperones.  Sanguinetti discussed her humble beginnings and being encouraged to not allow her background to limit her future. With her passion for volunteerism in local communities, she challenged students, “you never know where life may take you. Volunteer, make a difference. If not you, then who?”. Illinois State Fair Manager, Luke Sailer, a former Illinois Youth Leadership Council representative, challenged the students to take an interest in the political process and stressed how important their voices and actions are. He encouraged them to “take a leap of faith and work hard and doors will open for you and your future.” Faye Yang, the 2017-18 Illinois Youth Leadership Council Representative from Wayne-White Counties Electric Cooperative, spoke about her experiences on the Youth to Washington tour and challenged attendees to maintain an interest in their cooperatives and the political process. After lunch, the students also visited the Old State Capitol and Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum.


Now Hiring: Engineering Technician

We are seeking a highly qualified individual for the position of Engineering Technician. This position reports directly to the Manager of Operations & Maintenance.

A Bachelor’s Degree in Geographical Information Systems (GIS), Electrical Engineering or a related field is preferred but not required. Any combination of experience and training, that would provide the required knowledge and abilities, will be considered.

RECC offers a competitive salary and benefit plan. Please e-mail a resume, salary history and three references (PDF) by April 20, 2018 to:

RECC Engineering Technician Position
Attention: Tim Hemberger
recc@recc.coop

For more information click here.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider and employer


2018 RECC Annual Meeting

RECC will hold its Annual Meeting on June 7, 2018 at Glenwood High School in Chatham.  The free dinner will start at 5 p.m., with displays and activities open to both adults and youngsters. The business meeting begins at 6:50 p.m., followed by cash prizes and a Grand Prize award of $300. Just like our other Annual Meetings, we will have election of directors and a report on the business standing of the cooperative. It’s still also a social gathering of the membership with a chance to visit with co-op employees, directors and fellow members.  A $10 bill credit for all registered members is a more recent addition that’s been appreciated by our attendees.
We hope to see you at our Annual Meeting, to help celebrate the past and plan the future of Rural Electric Convenience Cooperative!


Rural Electric Youth Day at the Capitol

High School Juniors – win a trip to Washington!

RECC will sponsor two local students on the Youth To Washington Tour in June, and the application process is now open! Juniors at schools in our service area are invited to attend the Illinois Rural Electric Youth Day program in Springfield on April 18, 2018 where two winners will be chosen for the free trip to D.C.

Application are available by calling our office at (217) 438-6917, or e-mailing us. All applications are due by March 14. To learn more about Youth Day, check out this short video


Tree Trimming Underway!

On Monday, February 5th, tree crews contracted by Rural Electric began vegetation management in the Palmyra area. The crews began their work at the Palmyra substation, marked in red on the map below, and continued along the east circuit highlighted in green on the map below. The crews delivered notices to homes along each circuit that they worked on. They used well-marked vehicles and mostly worked during the weekdays.  If you see unmarked vehicles or suspicious activity around our lines, please let us know immediately.

These line maintenance efforts will help greatly in reducing line loss, power blinks, and outages. If any RECC member would like free mulch from this project, or if there are additional questions, please contact the office at 217-438-6197.

 

 


RECC Employees select Pawnee Food Pantry for Donation

RECC employees collected $475 in cash and checks for the Pawnee Food Pantry. President/CEO David Stuva agreed that RECC would match their donations.  The pantry was grateful to receive the $950 charitable donation and said it would really help their efforts this year. RECC employees have made similar donations the past. This has become a tradition that we would like to see continue for many more years.


Touchstone Energy/CoBank Sharing Success Classroom Empowerment Grants

RECC sponsored the Touchstone Energy Classroom Empowerment Grants again this year. With the assistance of the CoBank Sharring Success Program, we were able to obtain matching funds and turn two $1,000 grants into two 2,000 grants. The higher grant amounts turned out to be quite popular, which led to greater participation among area schools. We received several more applications this year.

The classroom grants were designed for local area teachers to carry out education enhancement projects that were not included in their school budgets. Grant appplicants were limited to grades K-8 with emphasis on science and technology. Consideration was also given for how how each project related to Touchstone Energy’s four core values of integrity, accountability, innovation and commitment to community.

CoBank’s Sharing Success Matching Grant Program was designed to celebrate the vital role that RECC plays in their community. Partnering with RECC to support the causes and organizations we care about most is a great way for CoBank to make a positive impact and fulfill its mission of service to rural America. The only stipulation was that the minimum grant amount was $1,000, so we just altered our format from 4-$500 grants to 2- $1,000 grants. This small change allowed us to receive an additional $2,000 in matching grants that will now be shared in our community.

RECC awards $2,000 grant to Waverly Elementary School

Teacher and Librarian, Michelle Wagner submitted the first winning grant application.  She chose to focus on creating makerspaces, and STEM learning activities. Makerspaces is a hands-on activity approach and STEM is an education curriculum that focuses heavily on the subjects of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. STEM catagories are integrated so that elements of each subject are applied to the others.

Michelle summarizes, that Makerspaces and STEM center activieies provide students opportunities to be innovators that will be leaders in the science carreers. Innovators will lead us in other areas of society, for they are the people who will think up new ideas and implement them.

The grant money provides the initial boost to create makerspaces, reading, writing, and STEM learning centers in our school that will continue in the years to come. Students are essentially responsible for their own learning as they take ownership of research and where it leads them in the learning process.

RECC awards $2,000 to Ball Elementary School

Debora Lee submitted the second winning grant application. Her grant request also represents fellow Kindergarten Teachers; Roxanne Gardner, Danielle Snedigar, Tracey Lex, and Joanne Carter. Their grant will provide hands-on science related activities for 115 students. The grant will provide each of the five teachers with their very own set of learning kits.

The majority of grant money will be spent on these explorative learning aids. Purchased kits include; Scientific Classification Center, Master Marble Set, Specimens Sorting Center, and a Seasons & Weather Theme Box. The new activities will be used throughout the school year and will benefit future Kindergarten classes since they are not consumable.

Congratulations to Ball-Chatham and Waverly School Districts. A special ‘Thanks’ goes out to our bank, CoBank, for matching RECC’s $1000 grant.

 


2018 Scholarship Applications Due Dec. 31

The IEC Memorial Scholarship Program offers ten co-op scholarships for 2018, with $2,000 awarded to each winner! RECC member families are eligible for nine of the academic scholarships, with one offered for co-op employee or director families. All information is available online and applications are due by December 31, 2017.


2016 Capital Credit Allocation Notification

The allocation of 2016 margins to members doing business with Rural Electric Convenience Cooperative have been calculated and assigned.  The total of $233,073 of 2016 margins were allocated as capital credits.  We have calculated each member’s share of the total margins based on members use of electricity in 2016.  That amount has been credited to your capital credit account.

The allocations will be on your July bill, which will be mailed on or about August 7th. You will see a message on the left-hand side of the bill indicating the amount that was allocated to your capital credit account for the electricity you purchased in 2016.  This message only appears on your master account and only appears if you were a customer in 2016. This amount is only an accounting credit.  It cannot be claimed at the present time nor can it be applied against your current electric bill. Your board of directors reviews the financial condition of the Cooperative before determining when and how much capital credits can be returned or retired to the members.

Remember, you must be a member and have service in your name to have capital credits allocated to you. If you are receiving electric service in someone else’s membership or the service is in the name of a deceased person, you will not receive capital credits. Any capital credit retirements will be issued in the name of the person on the membership or the estate of a deceased member.