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$5,000 Co-op Community Grant Awarded to Prairieland Ambulance

Rural Electric Convenience Cooperative (RECC) has selected Prairieland Ambulance as the recipient of this year’s Co-op Community Grant. The gift was made possible with matching funds obtained through CoBank’s Sharing Success program. The $5,000 grant was the largest RECC has donated to a single organization.

After a competing transport company vacated the area, some worried that they would be under-served and experience additional delays in service. Prairieland’s goal was to help fill that void by providing two fully equipped ambulances. They had a second rig that was used sparingly, but keeping two functional units would prove costly.

Ambulance equipment is expensive, and continuous funding is always necessary. Local organizations and volunteers have donated labor, gave money, and organized fund-raising events. RECC is just one of the many contributors to this project, but the Co-op Community Grant should go a long way in keeping their second rig up and running. Their success will benefit the whole community and we believe this is a cause worth supporting.

 


$2,500 Co-op Community Grants Available

$2,500 Co-op Community Grant Application Form

 Rural Electric Convenience Cooperative is offering two schools the chance to receive a $2,500 Co-op Community Grant. The two grants, totaling $5,000, are comprised of RECC’s contribution of $2,500 and matching funds provide by CoBank’s Sharing Success program.  Only one grant may be given within the same school district. Rural Electric Convenience Cooperative reserves the right to photograph the grant winners and use the photos for publicity purposes. Projects must be completed within the 2018-2019 school year. Recipients must provide written proof of completion detailing how the grant funds were used.

All applications should include the following details:

  1. A description of the project and what it will accomplish.
  2. The estimated cost of the project itemized if appropriate.
  3. An explanation of why outside funds are necessary to carry out the project.
  4. When the project would be completed.
  5. The number of people affected by the project.
  6. Are items purchased reusable and will they benefit future students.

Eligibility is limited to schools located in RECC’s service area. Teachers and administrators of K-12 public and private schools may apply. While electricity and energy are not required to be the central topics of any project, entries that do include energy education will be weighted more favorably.

Deadline: Application forms must be received at Rural Electric Convenience Cooperative’s office by mail, drop-off delivery or e-mail no later than September 15, 2018. Awards will be announced by November 1, and the project must be completed by May 31, 2019.

Judging Process:

Applications will be reviewed by an impartial panel of judges. If necessary, applicants may be contacted for additional information.

 

Applicant’s Name ________________________________________ Title ______________________________

 

School Name ______________________________________________________________________________

 

School Address ____________________________________________________________________________

 

Daytime Phone Number (       ) _____________________ E-mail _____________________________________

 

Signed: _______________________________________ Date: _____________________________________

(Teacher or Administrator)

 

Contact Information:  

Mail to:            Sandy Lex, Member Services Liaison

E-mail to:         sandy.lex@recc.coop

Phone:             (217) 438-6198


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.


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.