2011-06-23 / Local & State

New Enterprise Rural Electric Co-op Holds Annual Meeting


Pictured left: Timothy Newman, director form Waterfall; Dean Brant, director from Harrisonville; Ellis Sollenberger, director from New Enterprise; and Rick L. Eichelberger, general manager/CEO. Pictured left: Timothy Newman, director form Waterfall; Dean Brant, director from Harrisonville; Ellis Sollenberger, director from New Enterprise; and Rick L. Eichelberger, general manager/CEO. The 73rd annual meeting of the New Enterprise Rural Electric Cooperative was held at Northern Bedford High School on June 14, 2011. New Enterprise Rural Electric has 3,500 accounts in portions of Bedford, Fulton and Huntingdon counties with three substations and nearly 400 miles of line.

There are seven directors that equally represent the service territory of the system. The general manager/CEO of the cooperative, Rick L. Eichelberger, gave a report on the condition of the cooperative. The board president, Leroy D. Walls of Saxton, reported on some of the activities during the past year.

Entertainment during a portion of the evening was provided by Heirsmen Quartet.

Prior to the business meeting, 662 family-style turkey dinners were served by Northern Bedford High School Band members and parents. A total of 292 members of the cooperative registered at the meeting.

Ellis J. Sollenberger from New Enterprise, Timothy R. Newman from Waterfall and Dean L. Brant from Harrison-ville were re-elected for threeyear terms by the members of the cooperative.

Eichelberger discussed how line maintenance projects every year keep the service reliability at the high level it has been for the past decade. He continued with how technology has automated the office operations and provides options for members.

A smart meter deployment program has been under way for the past four years and by the end of 2011more than 80 percent of the system will have smart meters installed. This relates to accurate and consistent readings and the ability to record and monitor hourly usage levels.

Other topics discussed included: rate stability continues with no rate increase on the horizon; a shifting of director area boundaries that reduces the size of the board from eight to seven members; and the announcement of a capital credit program that will return excess margins to members.

The membership was reminded of how a rural electric is a wonderful business model for treating everyone fairly with each member having a vote as to who represents them on the board. The employees and directors are committed to passing the system on to the next generation in a financially and operationally healthy condition.

The following were recognized for years of service: Director Robert Guyer of Woodbury for 55 years of service and Director

Dean L. Brant of Harrisonville with 25 years of service.

Walls discussed how the electric cooperative continues to operate in a smart and efficient manner without any sacrifice in service reliability. Also discussed was the role of the elected board members who have the bottom line responsibility for the organization and ensuring the cooperative is operated in a manner that is transparent and accountable to the membership.

A reorganization board meeting was held June 16, 2011, with the following officers being appointed:

President - Leroy D. Walls of Saxton; vice president - David A. Bequeath of Everett; secretary - John R. Dively of New Enterprise; assistant secretary - Robert L. Guyer of Woodbury; treasurer - Dean L. Brant of Harrisonville.

Director Timothy R. Newman of Waterfall was selected to represent the cooperative as a director on the board of Allegheny Electric Cooperative in Harrisburg.

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