St. Croix Electric Cooperative hosts 76th Annual Meeting of Members

HAMMOND – St. Croix Electric Cooperative (SCEC) hosted its 76th Annual Meeting of Members at St. Croix Central High School on Saturday, April 6. The morning event started out with a free breakfast for members and their families, followed by the Annual Meeting being called to order at 9:35 a.m., with nearly 200 members in attendance.

Among the top news items of the morning was the announcement from Dairyland Power Cooperative (DPC) Director Representative Francis Klatt (District 7), of a $590,000 payment back to SCEC members from 1999-2006. DPC recently received a court-approved damage award from the federal government for their breach of contract in failing to provide a place of permanent storage for spent nuclear fuel from DPC’s retired nuclear power plant in Genoa, Wis. Per the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, the government was to be responsible for the storage of spent nuclear fuel as of Jan. 31, 1998 (as of the start of 2013, the government still had not provided a site for storage).

“Since 1999, a small part of your electric bill went to pay for on-going costs to store spent nuclear fuel,” Klatt told SCEC members. “Dairyland Power sued the government for the costs to store the nuclear fuel and we won. For those of you who were members of St. Croix Electric at your current account between any of the years from 1999 to 2006, you are going to get a small refund.”

The refund will be proportionate to the amount of electricity used by current members during that time period with an average refund of $70 per member. Klatt noted it was a unanimous decision by the SCEC Board of Directors to return the settlement money to members from 1999 to 2006.

Following Klatt’s presentation, SCEC President/CEO Mark Pendergast reported SCEC employees have completed two years (2011, 2012) with a perfect safety record, equating to 154,000 hours of work since the last reportable injury. SCEC Chairman of the Board Bill Peavey (District 6) then noted ways the Cooperative is moving forward to serve members for the next 75 years, including a renewed focus on a new mission statement: To enhance the lives of our members and strengthen the communities where they live by providing superior electric and other valued services.

Peavey also took a moment to reflect and recognize the 15 years of service by District 1 Director Harold Rivard; Rivard chose not to seek re-election in 2013.

“I don’t think anyone on the Board had any idea Harold was thinking about finding something else to do on the first Monday night of the month,” Peavey said. “Now, it is time for us to say ‘thank you’ to Harold for his service to the Cooperative. It was evident at board meetings – based on the questions he asked and the opinions he offered – he had done his homework.”

In 2013, members in Districts 1, 4 and 7 voted for their director representatives. Neil Plourde, of New Richmond, was elected to replace Rivard as the District 1 Director; incumbent Paul Nyhus, of Roberts, retained the District 4 seat he won in 2010; and Klatt, of Emerald, was re-elected in District 7, where he has served as the director representative since 1978. Elections for seats on the Board of Directors are held annually with three of the nine districts up for election each year.

With no other business to discuss or questions from the members, the meeting was adjourned and members were given Commemorative Cookbooks with more than 200 recipes submitted by members in recognition of the Cooperative’s 75th anniversary in 2012.

About St. Croix Electric Cooperative

St. Croix Electric Cooperative (SCEC) was formed on Nov. 5, 1937 as a result of five farmers, who were determined to bring electricity to rural St. Croix County, Wis. Nearly two years later – May 24, 1939 – electricity was delivered to the first account. Today, the Cooperative operates 1,740 miles of distribution lines that serve more than 10,500 member accounts. SCEC strives to positively impact its community through Commitment to Community grants, scholarships, and offering members rebates and solutions to conserve and use energy wisely. Information is shared with members through the April annual meeting; Energy Lifestyles Magazine, which is published 11 times per year; online at www.scecnet.net; and via social media: @StCroixElecCoop (Twitter) and St. Croix County Energizer (Facebook). .