D'Onfrio, Wilson re-elected at URE meetingMay 17, 2013
Union Rural Electric members gathered in the coooperative’s community room Saturday morning for URE’s 77th Annual Meeting to find out more about how their cooperative has performed in the past year and what the future holds.
One of the principles of a cooperative is democratic member control and that was exhibited through the election of two co-op members to serve on the URE Board of Trustees. The election was held by mail and online to allow more members the chance to participate and it was announced that incumbents Bill D’Onofrio and Jeff Wilson had been re-elected to serve three-year terms.
President Roger Yoder spoke with members about the investment URE makes in the co-op’s distribution system.
URE is continuing to implement a long-term plan aimed at improving reliability for members in the northern part of its territory. The cooperative has looped all of its substations to provide backup power in times of need and is investing $384,000 for tree trimming in 2013. (Trees are the second leading cause of outages behind lightning.)
That investment resulted in members having electricity 99.98 percent of the time in 2012.
“That’s the benefit of making the investment in the system,” Yoder said.
D’Onofrio, who serves as URE’s treasurer, told members the cooperative remains strong.
“While we continue to face financial challenges, we continue to be in a good financial position,” D’Onofrio said. “As we go forward, we will be diligent about controlling costs.”
He also shared with the members that the cooperative returned $1.16 million in capital credits in 2012. Capital credits represent a member’s share of the cooperative’s margins.
Wilson, chair of the URE Board of Trustees, told members how trustees are required to participate in learning sessions to keep them up-to-date with industry issues and best practices. He also talked about how the board had recently worked on a long-term strategy for URE.
Wilson said the strategy calls for the cooperative to maintain a culture of safety, contain costs to minimize the impact on rates and services and utilize the appropriate technologies to best serve the membership.
Members also heard from Bill Thaman, a trustee on URE’s Operation Round Up Trust board.
Thaman said Operation Round Up was able to approve 34 applications in 2012 with $34,000 being awarded. The money went to several food pantries, local safety forces, community groups and a few individuals demonstrating a one-time need, Thaman said.
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