Federated Rural Electric hosts 88th Annual Meeting
“We had 1,258 members vote by mail and 82 members register onsite to vote in person,” said Scott Reimer, Federated’s general manager. “We also served about 400 members and family members a pork loin supper. It was extra special to have our in-person annual meeting and visit with our member-owners after three years of Covid drive-in Annual Meetings; it’s always great to see members turn out for their electric cooperative — voting for members who represent their interests.”
Members re-elected director Jon Saxen, Sherburn, for District At-Large with 687 votes. The other two At-Large candidates were Gordon Toupal, Fairmont, with 318 votes and Douglas Landsteiner, Fairmont, with 279 votes. On the Nominating Committee John T. Garbers, Welcome, was elected for District 5; and Ron Fowler, Truman, was elected for District Six. Both ran unopposed.
President David A. Hansen and General Manager Scott Reimer provided a cooperative update on 2023 highlights. Hansen reported on legislative activity that affects the electric cooperative and rates. “This year at the Minnesota Legislature was a historical year for energy,” President Hansen stated. “The 100 percent carbon-free energy by 2040 bill was passed. We will continue to work with our legislators, as well as our power suppliers, on this 100 percent renewable energy mandate. We also need reliable electricity for when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow. The state did add in ‘off-ramps’ in case these goals cannot be met. Actually, the North American Electricity Reliability Corporation already predicts the risk of power shortages as coal plants are retired in two-thirds of the U.S.”
Manager Reimer reported that last year generated sufficient margins. “Margins in 2022 were $722,000, but Federated needed a 3 percent rate increase April 1, 2023 to keep up with materials and rising interest costs,” Reimer said. “We may need another rate increase in 2024, as well, for these same reasons. Yet, Federated last year had an electric rate of 10.83 cents a kilowatt-hour, which was lower than both the state and national average, which were both 13 cents or more.”
Reimer added that Federated had a reliability rate of 99.98 percent for the power being on in 2022. Members were encouraged to sign up for outage text notifications, which is a new service, by calling the office or going to our website for the new public outage map too.
Reimer also highlighted the activities in the Broadband department. Federated received a grant from the City of Ceylon to bring fiber to their town. Service was extended to 150 locations this summer. Federated recently learned it is a recipient for $7,068,222 grant from the state of Minnesota Border-to-Border program; fiber internet will be extended over the next two years to 480 sites in the rural areas of Heron Lake, Okabena, Dundee, Kinbrae and southern and eastern Lakefield.
Members attending the Annual Meeting played Bingo during registration and received scissors as an attendance gift, courtesy of the Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council.
Three children won Lego sets and two passes to Center Creek Orchard in their respective age groups:
- Ages 4-6: Micah Fox, Granada
- Ages 7-8: Harold Thompson, Ceylon
- Ages 9-10: Lynnie McInerney, Sherburn
In addition, $1,000 worth of electric bill credits were awarded to those who voted, whether in person or by mail. The bill credit prize winners were:
- $300 bill credit: Linda Craig, Welcome
- $250 bill credit: David Leiding, Ceylon
- $150 bill credit: Jeff Jensen, Estherville
- Six $50 bill credit winners:
Anthony Ling, Windom Wanda Stoberl, Heron Lake
Louise Rients, Lakefield Johnson Livestock, Windom
Scott C. Jones, Sherburn Mark DeWall, Okabena
- Stage plants: David Anderson, Dunnell, and Earl Tusa, Alpha
Federated is a Touchstone Energy cooperative serving 5,300 electric member-owners in Jackson and Martin Counties.