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Ozark Electric’s 79th Annual Meeting Summary
Membership Approves Bylaw Amendment
The 79th Annual Meeting of the members of Ozark Electric Cooperative (OEC) was held on Friday, July 31. With 889 members registering and bringing family and friends, there were an estimated 1,650 in attendance. For the second year, the meeting was held at the Mt. Vernon High School. While the crowd enjoyed the ever-popular grilled steak sandwiches prepared and served by Ozark Electric linemen and the Southwest Cattlemen’s Association, they were entertained by “That Dalton Gang” Bluegrass Band before the business meeting started. Other activities included free blood pressure, heart rate, etc., screenings administered by Mercy Corporate Health; and representatives were on hand from the Missouri Veterans Home; the Lawrence County Health Department who conducted free well water tests; and the Associated Electric Cooperative, Inc. (AECI). Ozark Electric also provided informational booths and brochures on various topics including renewable energy, right-of-way maintenance, electrical safety and energy conservation issues. New this year was an electric/gas hybrid car for members to look over and a cooperative trivia spinner wheel game where every person who played won a prize!

Business Meeting
Promptly at 1:00 pm, Board President Steve Stone called the business meeting to order. The invocation was given by Board Director Earl Carpenter. The crowd was then led in the “Pledge of Allegiance” by Ozark Electric’s 2015 Washington D.C. Youth Tour delegates, Lekisha Hernandez, Dadeville HS; & Tanner Walles, Clever HS; and the 2015 CYCLE delegates, Iris Wormington, Monett HS; & Amelia Atkisson, Everton HS. Cooperative Attorney Rod Widger then reported that the required quorum of 273 registered members for the meeting was reached at 11:18 am. The previous annual meeting minutes and financial reports were presented by Secretary-Treasurer Ron Crighton and approved by those members present.

President’s Report
President Steve Stone presented his annual report by beginning with the question: “Does anyone have a memory of the good ole’ days?” He said he hoped someone at the meeting had a memory of receiving their electricity for the first time but that he had no memory of having received electricity because it has always been available. He then reminded the membership that they are the ones who make this cooperative work by participating in grassroots efforts and contacting their legislators and even participating on Ozark Electric’s Facebook page to become more familiar with their cooperative. President Stone emphasized that members still want reliable and cheap electricity, and that it takes money to keep our system dependable. He ended his report by stating that while EPA legislation could increase costs for everyone, OEC will stay committed to holding costs as reasonable as possible.

General Manager’s Report
General Manager Patrick Oehlschlager started his report by welcoming everyone and thanking them for attending. He also thanked the Mt. Vernon Schools for partnering with OEC for the use of the school, the Mt. Vernon Police Department for helping with traffic, the Southwest Cattlemen’s for lunch, the new entertainment this year provided by “That Dalton Gang” Bluegrass Band who did a great job, David Watson for photographing the meeting’s activity, the Board for their commitment and service to the cooperative, and finally the OEC personnel for their work putting on the Annual Meeting. Manager Oehlschlager then explained how the cooperative three-tiered system works: (1) Associated Electric Cooperative, Inc. generates electricity at hydro, wind, solar, coal, and gas-fired power plants and makes long-term decisions to assure the power requirements are there. (2) KAMO receives the power from AECI power plants and passes it down the large transmission lines to OEC. (3) Finally, OEC receives the power from KAMO substations and passes it down distribution lines to you, our members. He mentioned that our membership has increased by 10,000 members every 20 years since 1976. We currently have over 32,000 meters and 4,800 miles of line energized on OEC’s system. We are a busy cooperative evidenced by the high volume of calls routinely received/placed. He also outlined the many school programs OEC provides free of charge. Finally, Manager Oehlschlager ended his presentation with telling the members that it is a privilege to be tied to OEC and its employees.

Board Elections - Bylaw Approved
Next the election of the Board of Directors was conducted by Attorney Widger. Three incumbents were running unopposed and were re-elected by voice acclamation: District 4, Ron Crighton, Willard; District 6, James Stine, Clever; and District 7, Earl Carpenter, Nixa. Also, voted in by voice acclamation was an amendment to Article 3, Section 1, of the Cooperative Bylaws. Previously, the amendment stated that Annual Meeting would be held in the month of August or September. The newly-approved amendment now states that the “Annual Meeting of the members shall be held during the months of May, June, July, August or September of each year...” The rationale behind the amendment was to best accommodate scheduling of facilities for annual meeting.

Conclusion of Meeting
President Stone asked if there was any unfinished or new business. There was none. The business meeting was then adjourned, and the Member Services Department conducted the drawing of attendance prizes. Many nice prizes were donated by Co-op vendors and Ozark Electric. Following the business meeting, your Board of Directors met and elected Board officers for next year as follows: Steve Stone, President; James Stine, Vice President; and Ron Crighton, Secretary-Treasurer.
Introducing a New Service for Old Friends!
Home Energy Audits Now Available to Ozark Electric Members
Beginning May 1, Ozark Electric Cooperative members can start taking advantage of our new Take Control & Save Home Energy Audit program. This program, which is offered year-round, is designed to increase the purchase and installation of high-efficiency products in members’ homes. The home energy audits and weatherization measure is a multi-faceted program designed to improve the energy efficiency of the member’s home. The program is being implemented by OEC with the goal of increasing member awareness of saving energy.

Weatherization Incentive: The home energy audit will be conducted by certified auditors and will cost the member $75 (a $300 value) and will be provided regardless of the type of heat found in the home. Once the audit is completed, an incentive of 50% of the cost, with a cap maximum of $500, will be paid to the member for corrective actions taken.

Eligibility Criteria:
  • Must be a member of Ozark Electric Cooperative.
  • Audits are available for new or existing homes.
  • Rebate program is limited to cooperative services that use 6000 or more kilowatt-hours on an annual basis. Eligible services also include lake homes, workshops, and barns, etc.

For more information call any of our office #s and ask for the Member Services Department.