CAMP POINT – Members of Adams Electric Cooperative gathered for the 81st Annual Meeting of Members Wednesday, Sept. 8 at Bailey Park in Camp Point, where they were provided updates on their electric cooperative via radio broadcast.
Roger Busen, president of Adams Electric Cooperative’s Board of Directors, called the meeting to order. He announced that Sharon Knorr, Tom Robbins, and Geri Ringenberg were appointed the Election Tellers and Credentials Committee by the board and appointed Joyce Bockhold as Recording Secretary.
“As you register tonight, you will receive ballots for the 2020 postponed Annual Meeting and the 2021 Annual Meeting based on your membership qualifications. The 2020 ballot will ask for your approval of the 2019 Minutes, 2019 Treasurer’s Report, and to re-elect directors for districts 4, 5, and 6 for an additional two years to complete their 3-year term. The 2021 ballot will ask for your approval of the 2020 Treasurer’s Report, and for your vote for directors for districts 7, 8, and 9 for a 3-year term.”
He then declared the meeting would adjourn at 7:30 p.m.
Kris Farwell, board treasurer, then addressed members. She shared that Adams Electric met all of their financial ratios in 2019, reaching an equity level of over 40%. She added that modest growth in commercial sales offset a decline in residential load, resulting in a record 176 million kilowatt-hours.”
The Co-op continued to meet all financial ratios again in 2020, reaching an equity level of 42%. “The pandemic certainly raised some questions with people working from home, lower school sales, and increased transportation costs,” she said. Milder weather contributed to lower energy sales, but wholesale power costs also declined. “Linemen assisted Louisiana and Mississippi with hurricane recovery, lowering our operating costs,” she added. “We finished the year with margins above budget.” A copy of the 2020 Treasurer’s Report was mailed to members in August 2021. The 2019 Treasurer’s Report, which was mailed to members in August 2020, could also be referenced on the Cooperative’s website (adamselectric.coop).
General Manager Jim Thompson welcomed members to Adams’ drive-thru meeting and said goodbye to two retiring directors. Director Jim Benz served Adams Electric Cooperative for 21 years and Board President Roger Busen served the Co-op for 12 years. “Both Jim and Roger’s dedication has been outstanding. We were truly blessed to have their leadership on our board. … Their experience and knowledge will be greatly missed.”
Thompson then addressed current energy legislation under consideration that could force the premature closing of Prairie State Energy Campus, a major power supplier for Illinois cooperatives. “Any legislation that shuts down Prairie State before 2042 would be harmful to our members,” he said. “The closing of this plant will hurt grid reliability and make us dependent on other states for energy generation.” He added that the Cooperative would still have debt to pay off and, at the same time, be forced to spend additional dollars on replacement energy and capacity.
Thompson said, “We are committed to keeping energy affordable and reliable while we invest in a cleaner future, but we can’t let policy get ahead of technology. Current technology needs to be improved and expanded before we can reliably power the grid with intermittent power sources.”
He told members they could voice their opinion by completing a postcard or visiting adamselectric.coop, where they would find a link to send a letter to Governor Pritzker and state legislators.
Thompson also shared the creation of a transmission loop through the combined efforts of the Cooperative and Prairie Power, which will improve reliability to members. “A new substation, just south of 104 and east of Kingston was energized in 2019,” he said. “This substation provides extra transmission service to five of our distribution substations, enhancing reliability. A transmission line from our Burton substation to our Ursa substation will start this fall.” He then explained that this improvement will lower the number of outages experienced by members served off Ursa substation.
“The next step will include a transmission line from Ursa substation to our Big Neck substation, improving reliability for Big Neck, La Prairie, and Camden substations,” he said, mentioning that letters to members on the last phase of transmission build-out to substations located in Schuyler and Brown Counties were mailed in July. Thompson said that acquiring transmission easements for these improvements is an integral part of the process, and asked landowners to contact the Co-op or Prairie Power with any questions about the projects.
Members attending the meeting were treated to pork chop sandwich meals for their immediate family, as well as the chance to win a number of door prizes, including one of three grand prizes for a $250 electric bill credit. The winners of the grand prizes were Lee Barry, Mark Corrigan, and Robert Griggs.
All treasurer’s reports and minutes were approved by the majority, with 648 registered members attending (200 were required to declare a quorum.) Member votes were counted immediately following the meeting, and Rex Niekamp of Quincy was named winner of the contested election for District 7. Jim Ward, Kris Farwell, and Tom Travis were re-elected to Districts 4, 5, and 6 for an additional two-year term. Glen Koch was elected to District 8 and Rebecca Barlow was re-elected to District 9.
Adams Electric Cooperative is a member of Touchstone Energy—a national alliance of local, consumer-owned electric cooperatives providing high standards of service to members large and small. More than 700 Touchstone Energy cooperatives in 46 states deliver energy and energy solutions to more than 30 million members every day. Adams Electric Cooperative’s mission is to strive to exceed members’ expectations by providing safe, reliable and affordable electric service in a cooperative and environmentally responsible manner. The co-op serves more than 8,900 meters over 2,256 miles of line in Adams, Brown, Hancock, McDonough, Pike and Schuyler counties. For more information, visit adamselectric.coop. Adams Electric Cooperative is an equal opportunity provider and employer.