Southern Iowa Electric Cooperative hosted its 74th annual meeting at the cooperative’s headquarters in Bloomfield Sept. 5.
Board President, Darrel Downing, addressed the membership. Darrell discussed where SIEC was in the past, where they are now and what they are looking forward to in the future.
SIEC has realized growth in its equity position, which means less borrowing and less interest cost moving forward, Downing said. FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grants will enhance reliability while having 85 percent of the cost paid by the grant. Use of new technologies such as geographical information mapping system integrated with computers in the line trucks will reduce duplicate entries and add efficiencies. Finally investigations continue of new member engagements opportunities as well as advances in solar technologies.
Tim Coonan, director Government Relations for Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives, talked about a crisis situation with FEMA funds affecting all Iowa electric cooperatives. FEMA storm recovery money was already approved by FEMA and had signed contracts as far back as 2010 are now in jeopardy of having to be paid back. All future ice storm recovery in a FEMA disaster declared storm was replaced with FEMA assistance but with the new unreasonable requirements would have to be paid directly by the rate payers. We need the help of legislative constituents to contact your congressman and senators to place pressure on FEMA to not change the rules of the game.
Bruce Nuzum, vice president of Finance and Administration for Iowa Area Development Group, spoke about the work being done to increase jobs in our local area. Some of the resources utilized include the offering of gap financing through revolving loan funds, seeking to facilitate opportunities for aid from state and USDA sources and to be a resource for how to get projects initiated.
Darrell Downing from Drakesville, Paul Wells from Milton and Dave Yahnke from Bloomfield were re-elected to three-year terms to the cooperative’s board of directors. Travis Harris from Moulton was elected to a two-year term to fill a vacant seat on the board.