Thousands were in attendance as usual at the South Kentucky RECC annual meeting held Thursday night.

Officials of the electric co-op said that, even with temperatures soaring into the 90’s, there were still about 15,000 people in attendance and nearly 4,000 members registered.

While the primary purpose of the event is to hold a business meeting, as with years past, there were more than 50 educational and informative exhibits for those in attendance to visit, including health booths, civic organizations, local industry and businesses, as well as car displays.

Those in attendance were entertained by Southern Harmony and the featured artist, Chris Cagle, who has had several hits, including “Chicks Dig It,” “Miss Me Baby,” “What a Beautiful Day,” and “Wal-Mart Parking Lot.”

During the SKRECC annual meeting, re-elected to four-year terms on the board were Charles Gore, District 2; Jerry Purcell, District 3; and Richard Stephens, District 6.

Allen Anderson, CEO of SKRECC, told those in attendance some of the items the co-op has been working on recently, including an acquisition of the Monticello Electric Plant Board, the building program, their involvment in many areas of the community, and their first increase in recent history.

Anderson said on Jan. 12, the Monticello Electric Plant Board (MEPB) voted unanimously for the sale of its assets to the co-op. Then on Jan. 23, the city council voted in favor of the proposed sale, and now it will be on the Nov. 6 general election ballot for the citizens of Monticello to vote on.

“There are many postives to the merger,” said Anderson.

Anderson told members that their building program is well underway, and the first new facility in McCreary County is open, while the Russell County office is slated to open in September. The Albany office will be next, and should open by the end of the year, with the Somerset office being last to open. He said it is currently in its planning stages and is expected to open in 2009.

Anderson spoke of many positive things taking place over the last year, including the co-op’s involvement with many entities around the county and the area.

The facility, which is projected to be operational in late 2008, will be located behind the technology park off Ky. 461 in Pulaski County and wil cost approximately $3.5 million, and has been funded primarily through federal, state and local grants with zero-interest loans involved.

“South Kentucky RECC’s contribution to this effort has only been in providing labor assistance in helping to pull all the resources together,” said Anderson, “but we feel very proud to be part of this group effort.”

He said the facility will provide career opportunities for young people in Kentucky that have interest in a career in the utility business and will also help utilities across the nation, as they are faced with an aging workforce with no experienced replacements.

“SKRECC could lose up to 40 percent of its skilled employees in the next five years to retirement,” added Anderson.

The CEO also touched on the reliability of service at an affordable cost.

He said SKRECC visually inspects 3,000-plus miles of line each year, which allows them to cover the entire system every two years, allowing for the correction of problems before they occur.

Anderson said the co-op continues placing a lot of resources into improving reliability and due to these efforts reliability was 99.9 percent in 2006. He said this is extremely good for a system the size of SKRECC, which manages 6,540 miles of line.

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