Nearly 10,000 people attended the 76th-annual Membership Meeting of South Kentucky RECC held on June 5 at the co-op farm in Pulaski County. There were about 2,436 members registered.
As with years past, there were educational and informative exhibits for those in attendance to visit, including health booths, civic organizations, and businesses and many others. In addition, members were treated to some wonderful gospel music this year with opening act gospel group Kentucky Mountain Trio.
One of the themes of this year’s meeting was Action.Coop, a response to the Environmental Protection Agency’s new regulations regarding carbon emissions at new and existing coal-fired power plants. South Kentucky RECC and electric companies throughout the state and region are asking EPA to take a common-sense approach to carbon reduction. Gabe Snow, Political Advocate for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, spoke on the recently released regulations and how they would affect Kentucky electric cooperative members, coal workers, and industry overall.
Following Snow’s explanation of the regulations, he introduced America’s Got Talent contestant Jimmy Rose, from Pineville, Ky., who sang his original song, “Coal Keeps the Lights On.”
Featured entertainment was country music superstar group Lonestar, who has had nine number one hits, including: "No News", "Come Cryin' to Me", "Amazed", and more. They provided a fantasic concert that included all their no. 1 hits.
One of the highlights of each year’s annual meeting is the presentation of the flags of the United States and state of Kentucky. Five SKRECC linemen Brad Coffey, Derek Maurath, Jack Willis, Barney Singleton, and Adam Neal climbed a pole set in the middle of the grounds and, with the help of lineman Ricky Bowling and Safety Supervisor Eddie Black, handed up the flags and displayed them at the top followed by the National Anthem.
The primary purpose for the Annual Meeting is the business meeting, which started around 7 p.m. The cooperative’s bylaws provide that each year there shall be an Annual Membership Meeting for the presentation of reports from SKRECC officers and leadership.
Allen Anderson, CEO of South Kentucky RECC, recognized former director Glen Massengale and former manager Herman Schoolcraft with a moment of silence as both men have passed away within the past year.
Anderson reported to the membership that the co-op ended 2013 with $132 million in operating revenue and $242 million in total assets. He said 75% of SKRECC’s costs are for wholesale power purchased, 10% is taxes, interest, and depreciation, which leaves 15% for operations. Anderson was also pleased to report that the board of director had voted in favor of and had returned $707,000 in patronage capital in 2013 for partial years of 1986 and 2011.
But Anderson added that by holding down controllable costs, use of technology, and retaining a lean workforce through attrition to 146 employees, which is 21 employees down from normal, South Kentucky RECC plans to continue to manage costs tightly, while continuing to provide excellent service.
He said, as it was 76 years ago when South Kentucky RECC was started, the connections we had then are just as important today – “connections” to the co-op’s member-owners, “connections” to the communities the co-op serves, and “connections” through co-op employees.
After the Business Meeting, South KY RECC recognized the 12 Washington Rural Electric Youth Tour recipients and also awarded $11,000 in scholarships to 11 high school seniors in the service area as part of the Senior Scholarship Program.
South KY RECC believes that investing in the youth of its service territory has a profound effect on the improvement of the quality of life in the communities served, which fulfills its mission. South KY RECC’s Mission Statement reads “South Kentucky RECC was formed for people not profit. Its mission is to reliably provide electricity and related services to its members at a competitive price, and to improve the quality of life in their communities.”
Anderson added, “Annual Meeting is a time for the co-op to celebrate with its membership, as well as tend to the important business of it. The board, management, and employees strive daily to provide the best possible service, and on that one day each year, we try to provide fun and let our members know how much they are appreciated.
“We hope next year that everyone will come join us in our celebration.”