REA members gather for annual meeting
Board of directors seats were determined in Districts 1 and 4 and scholarships were awarded to 14 students.
ALEXANDRIA — Runestone Electric Association held its Annual Meeting on Thursday, April 28, at the Alexandria Area High School Performing Arts Center. Board of directors seats were determined in Districts 1 and 4 and scholarships were awarded to 14 students.
Runestone Electric’s bylaws allow for uncontested director elections to be elected by acclamation, as was the case in District 1, where Gary (Andy) Anderson, Parkers Prairie, ran unopposed and was re-elected.
In District 4, the incumbent Dave Staples, Kensington, received 148 votes while challenger David Lemmon, also of Kensington, received 126 votes. Fifteen percent of District 4’s 1,853 eligible members cast ballots. Anderson and Staples will serve three-year terms.
During the business meeting, Board President Barbara Johnson and CEO Al Haman gave reports on the activities and financial condition of the cooperative. The cooperative reported assets of more than $99 million with 14,970 accounts at the end of 2021.
“REA finished 2021 with 254 new accounts — the most new accounts in many years, with many new residential and agricultural-related accounts. From what we see so far this year, we hope that growth will continue,” said Johnson.
In his presentation, Haman said 2021 sales and margin were very close to budget, hours off due to underground cable failures were at the lowest level on record, and changes are ahead for REA’s wholesale power supplier, Great River Energy.
Looking at 2022 and into the future, Haman said the cooperative is experiencing inflationary pressures and supply chain issues, a decreased maintenance budget to achieve an adequate margin without a rate increase and potential changes are ahead for the monthly fixed charge.
“Thank you to everyone who took time to come to the annual meeting to learn about current activities at REA,” said Haman. “I especially appreciated the opportunity to answer questions and receive feedback from our members.”
Fourteen students, whose parents or guardians are REA members, received $1,000 scholarships funded through unclaimed capital credits. The students were randomly drawn from each of the seven REA districts.
Winners include: Alexis Swendsrud, parents Mike Swendsrud and Lisa Putnam, Alexandria; Bailey Hottovy, parents Todd and Elizabeth Hottovy, Morris; Paige Wussow, parents Keith Wussow and Sandy Dreger Wussow, Garfield; Ben Koep, parents Rick and Kristen Koep, Garfield; Benjamin Ludwig, parents Marcus and Brenda Ludwig, Elbow Lake; Thomas Gronwold, parents Tom and Michelle Gronwold, Evansville; Ryder Staples, parents Dave and Amy Staples, Kensington; Maggie Anderson, parents Terry and Clarissa Anderson, Alexandria; Nathan Knoll, parents Dan Knoll and Lisa Knoll, Alexandria; Isaac Carns, parents Ryan and Jody Carns, River Falls, WI; Nathan Skiba, parents Michael and Sally Skiba, North Branch; Etta Danielson, parents Layne and Helene Danielson, Baxter; Nathan Rankin, parents Charles and Rebecca Rankin, Starbuck and Erik Vold, parents Brad and Susanne Vold, Glenwood.
Immediately following the adjournment of the meeting, the board of directors held a reorganizational meeting to elect officers. Elected to their positions were Barbara Johnson (District 2), president; Gary (Andy) Anderson (District 1), vice president; Mike Loken (District 5), secretary; and Dave Staples (District 4), treasurer. Other directors on the board include Clif Patrick (District 6), Matthew Mattson (District 7), and Audrey Hjelle (District 3).
Runestone Electric Association serves nearly 15,000 accounts in the rural areas of Douglas, Pope, Grant, Stevens, Ottertail, Stearns and Todd counties.