Dakota Valley Electric Co-op elects directorsMembers of Dakota Valley Electric Cooperative elected two new directors and one incumbent to its board at the co-op’s annual meeting June 7 in Edgeley.
Members of Dakota Valley Electric Cooperative elected two new directors and one incumbent to its board at the co-op’s annual meeting June 7 in Edgeley.
Incumbent Director John Hauschild, Wahpeton, who ran uncontested, was re-elected to the board as representative of East Region, District 2.
In the Central Region, three candidates ran for the District 3 director seat formerly held by John Hayen, Cogswell. Richard Johnson, Cogswell, won in a contest with Gary Hokana, Ellendale, and Tom Schumacker, Fullerton.
Johnson, who lives with his wife, Jill, on the family farm southeast of Oakes, recently retired from Bobcat Company. The Johnsons have three children and eight grandchildren.
In the West Region, Blaine Lundgren, Kulm, contested by Robert Hess, Alfred, won the District 1 director seat formerly held by Ron Kinzler, Kulm. Lundgren has served on the Dakota Valley Resolutions Committee for nine years and is a longtime director of the boards of Allied Energy and LaMoure County Farmers Union. He and his wife, Monica, live on their third-generation farm north of Kulm.
About 425 Dakota Valley members, friends and employees attended the cooperative’s meeting, planned by Dakota Valley employees led by Kathy Rysavy, customer services representative. A complimentary meal, musical entertainment by Shelly Lagodinski, children’s activities and 4-H displays by LaMoure County 4-H preceded a business meeting and election.
President Richard Schlosser presided over the meeting. He presented Kinzler and his wife, ArvaDell, and Hayen and his wife, Barbara, with tokens of appreciation.
“Both Ron and John were present on the board to help steer the consolidation of RSR Electric and James Valley Electric to form Dakota Valley Electric in 2000,” Schlosser said. “This was just one of the many changes Ron and John helped direct while on the board. Both of these directors have been dedicated voices for the good of the members.”
Schlosser provided an overview of the cooperative’s past year with oral and video presentations. He said steady consumption by industrial accounts, the strong farm economy and increased pumping by oil pipelines have kept electrical sales trending upward for the past 10 years.
Electrical sales were down in the first half of 2012 due to a mild winter, but Schlosser noted projections show continued sales growth in years ahead.
Schlosser said Dakota Valley employees have successfully incorporated technical improvements during the past year, and are embarking on a three-year project to install new metering equipment that will provide the cooperative with real-time information on voltage and outages. He noted that cooperative substations will also receive fiber optic connections which will improve load control and communications capabilities.
Going forth, the board is considering approval of a four-year construction work plan which marks a major effort by Dakota Valley to begin replacement of segments of the electrical system installed in the 1940s and 1950s.
“In everything we do at the cooperative, we recognize the cost pressure brought about by higher wholesale power costs,” Schlosser said. “The costs to generate power have increased each year since 2008, and we have had to reflect those higher costs in our rates.”
The good news, according to Schlosser, is despite those rate increases, the average cost of electrical service in North Dakota, when compared with costs elsewhere in the country, is low.
“Even with recent increases, our average farm residential rate at Dakota Valley in 2011 still ranked among the lowest in the country,” he said.
In other updates, Treasurer John Hauschild, Wahpeton, reported the cooperative returned $700,000 in patronage to the members in 2011. Dakota Valley ended the past year with power sales of $34.7 million and expenses of $34.6 million. It ended 2011 with margins of $1.19 million, which includes operating margins of $143,000, and $848,000 in capital credit allocations from Dakota Valley’s transmission co-op, Central Power Electric.
In her annual review, Operation Round Up Board Member Darlene Musland announced that the program, which rounds up members’ monthly statements to the next dollar and places those funds in a trust overseen by Musland and other members of the ORU board, disbursed nearly $19,000 to individuals and organizations in the Dakota Valley service area in 2011.
This is a wonderful program,” she said. “It has helped so many people right here in our area.”
Concluding the program, employees handed out numerous cash prizes.