Clay-Union Electric celebrates 65th year

Clay-Union Electric celebrates 65th year Clay-Union Electric used the annual meeting theme "A Proud History ? A Powerful Future" to reflect on and celebrate 65 years of valued added service to cooperative members and to highlight new valued added services for the future, including an opportunity to purchase wind generated electricity.

Clay-Union Electric celebrated its 65th anniversary in Wakonda on March 29 by unveiling new services at its annual meeting. Over 450 people were in attendance at the Wakonda School to hear about the operations of their electric cooperative from Board President Dan O'Connor and Manager Paul Roberts.

Roberts announced that three new services are being offered to the members and non-members. These new services include: Fonemed � a nurse advice program available seven days a week, 24 hours a day, where people can get medical advice, specific medical information, and counsel on whether to see a care facility; Home Advantage � a home warranty program that covers the cost of repairs to all major house appliances, including central heating and cooling systems and Surge Protection � a program that will allow homeowners to select surge protection equipment to protect their computer, individual household appliances, or design a system for their entire house.

Prairie Winds, a member wind energy program was also introduced at the meeting. Prairie Winds is a program being investigated that will give members the option to purchase blocks of wind generated electricity. Wind energy will be available in 100 kilowatt-hour blocks at a $3.50 a month premium price per block.

In discussing the new services, Roberts said, "We continue to look for programs that bring value to cooperative members. We think these new services will compliment the existing value added services currently offered by your cooperative."

O'Connor reported that the 1999 financial goals were met and the cooperative completed 12 consecutive years of rate stability. He provided an update on efforts in Washington to raise hydro rates.

O'Connor reported on the financial success of other valued added cooperative services: Direct Broadcast Satellite Television (DBS), the Main Street Messenger Program and the Member Wiring Service Program.

O'Connor also discussed the continued participation in the Touchstone Energy Program, telling members of "the automatic linkage to unique values that electric cooperatives provide � integrity, innovation, accountability, and commitment to community."

In his report, Roberts announced that a study is being conducted with East River Electric to determine if Clay-Union Electric and other East River Electric cooperatives should begin offering propane and natural gas services to members and non-members.

Roberts also introduced the employee group giving special recognition to Aaron Beetsch, Beth Bottolfson, Mike Hauck and Ruben Doering for Length of Service Awards.

Roberts thanked the cooperative membership for attending the meeting and for their support throughout the year.

Roberts said, "Sixty-five years ago, 15 rural people met in Burbank to form a cooperative in order to improve the quality of life through electricity. As you look back, the cooperative and its members have a proud history, ? many activities and programs are still being addressed at your cooperative to shape a powerful future."

In other cooperative business conducted at the meeting, Clay-Union Electric members re-elected O'Connor as director of District #1 to a three-year term. The members also elected Roger Strom as director of District #2 to a three-year term. Roger replaces Larry Birgen on the board. Larry choose to not seek re-election.

The Wakonda Knights of Columbus prepared the evening meal and the Pleasant Valley Lutheran League helped by providing a children's program during the business meeting.

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