DONGOLA – After a year’s delay due to the pandemic, the members of Southern Illinois Electric Cooperative (SIEC) gathered for the electric cooperative’s annual meeting on Oct. 7 at Shawnee Community College, Ullin.
During a special business meeting, members voted on board seats for the 2020 elections. Elected to board seats to expire in 2023 were Scott Miller, Alexander County; Toni Snell, Johnson County; David Martin, Massac County; and Gerald Thurston, Pulaski County (to fill a vacancy). Members also re-elected three directors to new three-year terms during the annual meeting: Randall Rushing, Massac County; Gerald Thurston, Pulaski County; and William Littrell, Union County. Steve Heisner was elected to serve a term to expire in 2022.
Randy Rushing, SIEC board president, expressed his pleasure at being able to meet in person and explained how the cooperative was able to continue business. Rushing reminded members that board directors are members and the decisions they make affect them also.
“Ultimately the dedication and experience of these nine individuals [directors] along with the manager and employees help the cooperative achieve success,” he said. “By carefully managing our resources, we have not had to ask for a rate increase or add to our long-term debt and have accelerated our distribution of capital credit distributions.”
SIEC General Manager David Johnston expressed his appreciation for employees who have kept the co-op operating during unprecedented times. Johnston reported that 2019 and 2020 were strong financial years for the cooperative. He attributed part of that to minimizing the use of subcontractors and SIEC employees stepping up to handle this formerly contracted work. “While our assets have grown, so has our equity,” Johnston said. “In 2018, our equity stood at 45 percent and today, I’m happy to report we have achieved 51 percent equity.”
“Our job, as always, is to provide you with reliable and affordable power,” he continued. “We returned more than $400,000 in capital credits in 2019 and more than $900,000 in 2020 – our largest return ever.”
Johnston explained how the electric industry is evolving rapidly, constantly requiring innovation and SIEC is always looking for innovative solutions as the co-op rises to the challenge. He said there will be no rate increase for 2022 and the board of directors recently voted to return $500,000 in capital credits. Members will see those checks arriving in October.
Pam Lentz, Engineering & Operations Specialist, retired January 8th, 2021 and was recognized for over 43 years of service.
Cole Rushing of Goreville, IL was awarded the Richard Moss Memorial and Southern Illinois Electric Cooperative scholarships. He is the son of Theron & Michelle Rushing of Goreville, IL.