The 80th Annual Membership Meeting of the Whetstone Valley Electric Cooperative, Inc. (WVEC) was held on Thursday, March 31, at Wilmot High School in Wilmot. President Bill Tostenson called the meeting to order at 7 p.m. with 168 voting members and 247 people in attendance.
Lauren Harstad led the group in singing the National Anthem and Pastor K.C. Smith from the Zion Community Church in Wilmot offered the invocation. President Tostenson introduced the board of directors, former directors, former employees, and special guests.
Secretary Darren Strasser read the notice of the meeting and presented the minutes from the annual meeting in 2021. Tostenson pointed out that the financial statement and treasurer’s report were included in the material delivered to those attending.
Tostenson explained, “Capital credits in the amount of $7,291,286 have been returned to members and $446,701 has been approved for the 2022 general retirement to be credited to members in May.”
Districts 7, 8, and 9 had open seats, but only one candidate from each district was submitted. They included: Joel Adler, Krista Atyeo-Gortmaker, and Paul Nelson, respectively. With no other members nominated, the candidates were duly elected.
Dave Page, WVEC’s general manager, welcomed the members to the annual meeting. Page reported improvements to WVEC’s infrastructure are underway to increase the reliability of the electric system. He also discussed the pace of change within the electric industry by highlighting a shift in electric generation and the types of electric loads that will be served in the future.
Page acknowledged material lead times and costs of equipment are increasing, but noted electric rates at WVEC have remained the same for more than five years. “Wholesale power costs from the East River Electric and Basin Electric cooperatives have not increased for several years,” Page stated. “Local costs have been controlled, in part, by leveraging exceptionally low-interest rates for capital infrastructure investments. Revenue, deferred from 2019 has also helped to delay the need for a rate adjustment.”
Page concluded his report by stating, “Whetstone Valley Electric’s rates are expected to remain steady throughout 2022.” However, he also indicated the possibility that the rising cost of equipment and the increasing demand for energy could impact rates in the future.
Page introduced employees and thanked the board of directors for their commitment to the cooperative and their communities and the time they invest to keep abreast of changes in the electric industry and its regulations.
Savanna Osowski was announced as this year’s Whetstone Valley Electric / Basin Electric $1,000 scholarship winner. Page received the 25-Year Service Award.
With no further business and a motion and a second from the floor, President Tostenson adjourned the meeting.
Attendee Harry Ziemer of Browns Valley won the $500 cash drawing.
Korbin Leddy of Stockholm won the $100 drawing for attendees age 14-18. Lauren Harstad won the $50 drawing for attendees 13 years of age and younger.
Photos: Lauren Harstad, Harry Ziemer and Korbin Leddy