Incumbents keep seats at Mid-Ohio meetingApril 12, 2013
Eugene Royer, Max Strine and Daniel Harris.
Three incumbents were elected to the board of trustees and revisions to the Code of Regulations were approved at the 2013 annual meeting of Mid-Ohio Energy Cooperative, Inc., held Wednesday at River Valley High School in Marion.
Re-elected to serve the cooperative’s District 4 was Daniel Harris of Upper Sandusky. Harris is the current chairman of the board.
A member of the board since 1986, Eugene Royer of Belle Center was re-elected to serve the cooperative’s District 5.
Re-elected for a 12th term on the board was Max Strine of Caledonia, who serves the cooperative’s District 6.
Mid-Ohio members will now have the opportunity to vote in elections by mail rather than solely at the annual meeting, thanks to revisions in the Code of Regulations approved at the 2013 annual meeting. Electronic voting will also be allowed, provided the board of trustees approves. The changes were designed to increase member involvement and to give every member a voice on important cooperative matters.
Mid-Ohio President and CEO John Metcalf opened his remarks at the meeting by referring to the derecho storm with Category 2 hurricane force winds that swept through the cooperative’s territory and much of Ohio last June 29. The storm left more than 75 percent of the cooperative’s members without power. Metcalf said that thanks to an established Disaster Response Plan and “very capable, well-trained cooperative employees,” more than 90 percent of those outages were restored within the first four hours.
Metcalf cited the use of an automated monitoring and control system called SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) as another reason that power was so swiftly restored.
“SCADA allowed Mid-Ohio Energy’s employees to remotely reroute and monitor all of the substations that lost transmission service during the event,” Metcalf said.
This complex switching that used to take hours to perform requiring several trucks and employees can now be performed remotely in a matter of seconds, he added.
In spite of this, members in the Brownstown substation area were left without power for a much longer period since too many substations were without transmission service within the same geographic area, Metcalf said.
For that reason, “we are currently exploring alternatives that could potentially add a new substation in the Forest/Upper Sandusky area in the coming years,” Metcalf said. “But before moving forward with such a project, it would need to be proven that the area’s existing grid transmission supply would have an enhancing effect on the cooperative’s reliability in the area.”
Metcalf also mentioned that member interest in the cooperative’s website, apps and online bill payments has been growing, with more than 25 percent of members now paying their monthly bill electronbically.
New programs that will be added later this year include an option for pre-paid electric accounts, allowing members to have control over when and how they pay. After establishing an initial credit, members will use several payment options to increase their balance when it gets low. They also will be able to track their balance and account information through a new in-home display unit.
Also in store later in the year will be an outage management system that will allow members to report outages on their computer or mobile device. Members will also be able to view up-to-the-minute maps that show existing outages, allowing them to track restoration progress.
“Our prime goal is system investments as well as enhancements that are focused on bettering our members’ lives instead of profits for shareholders like our competitors,” Metcalf said. “I hope going forward that we continue to earn your trust by demonstrating every day why we are in business — to serve you the member.”
A report on Mid-Ohio’s Community Fund was also given by the chairperson, Nancy Housekeeper, who said that in the fund’s seven-year history more than $274,000 has been donated to individuals and worthy causes.
In 2012, 42 grants totaling more than $45,000 were distributed, Housekeeper said, with 93 percent of the cooperative’s members currently participating.
Members at the annual meeting also paused to pay tribute to Paul Trihaft, who passed away last year. He had served for 33 years on Mid-Ohio’s board of trustees and also had served as representative and chair to the board of the Ohio Rural Electric Cooperatives, Inc.
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