Your Annual Meeting
Empire Electric 2017 Annual Meeting Information
Members of Empire Electric, pull out your 2017 calendar and enter Thursday, June 15 as the date for Empire’s 2017 annual meeting. It is currently scheduled to be held at Empire Electric’s Calvin Denton Room, located at 801 North Broadway, Cortez, Colorado. Registration will begin at 4:30 p.m. with the meeting beginning at 5:30 p.m. This will be a business meeting only. Members who attend will get a $10 credit on their electric bill. If it becomes apparent that a large number of members will attend, the location may change and you will be notified of the change.
If you are interested in serving on Empire’s 7-member board of directors, our bylaws require the following qualifications to become or remain a director. The director shall:
- Be a member of the cooperative.
- Be a bona fide resident of the district represented.
- Be a citizen of the United States of America.
- Be at least eighteen (18) years of age.
- Not be an employee of the cooperative.
Two district seats are open for election in 2017. They are District 1 (Jerry Fetterman, incumbent) and District 2 (Sue McWilliams, incumbent), broadly described as follows:
Generally the northwestern portion of the system including Monticello, Eastland, Egnar and Dove Creek. The eastern boundary is generally the section lines along which Montezuma County Road 18 runs north to Highway 491, then along Highway 491 north to the to the intersection of Highway 491 and the section lines approximately ½ mile south of Dolores County Road J, then east along these section lines to the Dolores River, then north along the Dolores River. The northern and western boundary is the northern and western boundary of the service area of Empire Electric. The southern boundary is section lines between Montezuma County Roads P and S and extending west along that approximate line into Utah to the western service area boundary of Empire Electric.
Generally the north central area of the system. The eastern boundary is generally the section lines followed by Montezuma County Road 29. The northern boundary is the northern boundary of the service area of Empire Electric to where it meets the Dolores River, then west approximately along the section lines located approximately ½ mile south of Dolores County Road J to Highway 491. The western boundary is Highway 491 south to the intersection of Montezuma County Road 18 and then south along the section lines along which Road 18 runs. The southern boundary is the section lines between Montezuma County Roads P and S east to County Road 21, south to County Road P, east to County Road 27, south to County Road M, and then east to County Road 29
The map below will give you an idea if your bona fide residence is within district 1 or 2. If you are interested, call 970-565-4444 or stop by Empire’s headquarters at 801 North Broadway in Cortez (ask for Josh Dellinger or Denise Rosenbaugh). Once you are assured you qualify, pick up an official nominating petition form to get your name on the 2017 ballot.
Nominations are by petition only and must include the signature of at least fifteen (15) members of the cooperative whose bona fide residences are within your district. Qualifying candidates must file the official nominating petition with the cooperative’s Secretary within a 45 day window beginning March 17, 2017 and ending May 1, 2017. The Secretary will post a list of qualifying nominees at the end of the work day on May 1, 2017.
Each member of the cooperative is entitled to one vote on all issues properly brought before the membership, including the election of directors. Members may vote either in-person at the annual meeting or through mail-in ballots. Mail voting shall be through ballots provided by the cooperative and shall be received by 5:00 p.m. June 9, 2017. All members are strongly encouraged to vote.
Again, please contact Josh Dellinger or Denise Rosenbaugh if you have any questions. We hope to see you at the meeting!
Empire Electric’s 2016 Annual Meeting Recap
Seventy-three members and their families attended Empire Electric Association’s Annual Meeting on June 16, 2016, in the Calvin Denton Room at its headquarters in Cortez. All registered members received a $10 credit on their electric bill.
General Manager Josh Dellinger welcomed attendees, introduced special guests, and thanked those who served in the U.S. military and local law enforcement.
Attorney Shay Denning reported on the voting procedures and that only one candidate for district 4 and district 7 submitted a written petition. Denning announced that William Mollenkopf, District 4 and John Porter, District 7 are elected as a matter of law, per Article II, Section 4 of the Cooperative Bylaws. Denning then announced registration closed.
President Bill Bauer shared the following highlights:
- Empire has a strong financial position, provided capital credits in 2015, and sent the annual report to all its members.
- Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association moved to a more traditional rate structure to the benefit of Empire’s members.
- Discussed the future energy costs and EPA’s Clean Power Plan for existing power plants.
- Empire’s growth in 2015 was .5 percent.
- Staff is committed to safety and there were no lost time accidents in 2015.
- The website was updated and the mission statement was changed to read, “Our primary mission is to safely, responsibly, and reliably meet the electrical energy needs of our member-owners.”
Secretary/Treasurer Jerry Fetterman reported on the solid financial performance of the cooperative in 2015. Fetterman noted that for every dollar collected, nearly 80 cents is used to purchase power and the remaining 20 cents is used to maintain and operate the cooperative.
General Counsel Shay Denning reported that Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association adopted a dispute resolution process in addition to a new rate structure that Empire believes is non-discriminatory. This is the result of a complaint submitted to the Colorado Public Utilities Commission a few years ago by Empire and others.
General Manager Josh Dellinger emphasized the cooperative difference throughout his report and mentioned the following items:
- For the second year, Empire published the annual report in the newsletter section of the Colorado Country Life magazine and reduced costs by approximately $7,000.
- Empire strives to make decisions in the best interest of its members.
- Dellinger highlighted two items that resulted from the board’s recent strategic planning session: a new mission statement and a commitment to maintaining equitable rate structures.
- Empire plans to deploy a new metering system in 2017. The metering system is safe and designed to better serve its members.
- Empire ended 2015 in a strong financial position and returned over $1.5 million in capital credit refunds.
- A low-income solar garden was installed.
- Empire made significant contributions to local communities in 2015 through donations, sponsorships, scholarships, and energy efficiency programs.
- With its energy efficiency programs, Empire is actually encouraging people to use less energy, even if that means selling less of the product it delivers.
Dellinger introduced Tri-State’s Senior Vice President of Transmission Joel Bladow who gave an update on Tri-State activities. Bladow mentioned the new rate structure and issues surrounding coal mines and coal-fired generation stations. He noted that about 25 percent of the energy Tri-State delivers comes from renewables. Bladow discussed some of the challenges for generation and transmission cooperatives and noted that rates will likely increase in the future.
Dellinger introduced Kent Singer, Executive Director of the Colorado Rural Electric Association. Singer reported on programs sponsored by CREA, how bills that affect cooperatives are monitored at the Colorado legislature level, and CREA sponsored Senate Bill 55 dealing with cooperative elections. CREA produces the Colorado Country Life magazine and provides loss control and education services for member cooperatives.
There was no unfinished business and no new business.
Member questions and comments followed.