Consolidation Study Update – November 2012

Committee Meetings Held

The Wage & Benefits, Board Governance/Restructuring, Finance, and Bylaw committees met on Tuesday, September 11 and Wednesday, September 12. Good progress was made at all of these meetings. The committees will help streamline the process of reviewing all the various aspects  of consolidation. However, please keep in mind, that all issues discussed at committee meetings must meet approval by both Cooperative boards before final decisions are made.
    The Bylaw Committee is in the process of reviewing bylaws from both Cooperatives.
    Adams Electric Cooperative’s Manager of Finance Steve Jennings and Western Illinois Electrical Coop.’s Office Manager Becky Dickinson are in the process of preparing a ten-year financial forecast for the Finance Committee. The forecast will cover rates, capital credit retirements, and equity. The committee is preparing a capital budget plan covering equipment purchases, capital credit retirement rotations, and construction work. They will also review insurance levels for a larger consolidated cooperative. In addition, they will look at loan repricing options to examine opportunities and risks.
    The Wage & Benefits Committee is reviewing options for the consolidated cooperative’s retirement benefits package. Tom Hogan, Regional Director from NRECA, was present at the meeting to discuss retirement benefits options.
Wages were discussed as part of the retirement benefits discussion. Health insurance will be the main topic at the
next committee meeting.
    Mike Ohnemus, Adams Electric Cooperative’s GIS Mapping Technician, created a new district map for the Board Governance Committee. The committee discussed using section lines where appropriate in determining district boundaries. This committee discussed board term limits, per diem, election processes, training requirements, and ways to reduce the number of directors. At the next meeting, the committee will start reviewing the board governance policies.
    The Communications Committee did not meet recently, but have discussed ways to keep members and employees informed of the consolidation study. Members will continue to receive updates in their member newsletters. The committee also discussed providing informational meetings for members if needed. All updates will be posted on the cooperatives’ websites as well.
    The Rates Committee did not meet recently, but at the previous meeting, the committee agreed that a cost of service study should be performed once the new cooperative is established in January 2014. Most rate structures are similar. In general, WIEC’s rate structures have lower facility charges and higher kWh charges while AEC’s rate structures have higher facility charges and lower kWh charges.