Over 500 attend Paulding Putnam Electric Co-Op Annual Meeting

An announcement that distribution rates would not be changing in 2015 was one of many highlights of Paulding Putnam Electric Cooperative’s Annual Meeting last Saturday. Members also heard updates on the operations of their cooperative and the results of trustee elections. Dr. John Saxton, president of the PPEC Board of Trustees, told cooperative members the board works hard to keep costs as low as possible. “There will be no rate increase for 2015,” he said, “but we can’t guarantee how long that will last.”

Because more than 90 percent of the electricity PPEC members consume is generated using coal, Saxton said recent proposals from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency threaten the low-cost coal plants the co-op jointly owns with the other electric cooperatives serving in Ohio.  “There is a war on coal, and coal is losing,” he said.  He encouraged members to join ACRE Co-op Owners for Political Action®, the political action committee for electric cooperative members, to help push “for a reasonable, affordable energy policy for the United States.”

CEO/General Manager George Carter echoed Saxton’s call.  “We have battles going on in both states we serve in and, nationally, we have the EPA, which decided it’s going to dictate energy policy.” Carter asked the members to help themselves by helping their cooperative. “We can’t fight the legislative battles all by ourselves,” Carter said. “I can go to Washington to press our points with our elected officials, and that’s all fine and well, but hearing from you folks, the folks who actually elect them, makes a bigger impression. “When it comes to really battling on the legislative front — whether it’s at the Ohio Statehouse, the Indiana Statehouse or in Washington, D.C. — we need your help.”

Carter also discussed Paulding Putnam’s decision to serve its Indiana members’ power needs through Buckeye Power, which already serves the co-op’s Ohio members, and buy out its contract with Wabash Valley Power Association.

“With the opportunity to save the membership $300,000 to $500,000 a year, we had to do it,” Carter said.

During the treasurer’s report, Gary Hayden noted that buying out the contract with Wabash Valley cost PPEC $1.2 million, but the co-op should recoup that money through savings in less than five years.

In other business, attorney Norman Cook reported on the results of the trustee elections. In District 3, Tim Derck was the only member to file a petition to run and, by cooperative policy, was automatically returned to the board. Trustee Ken Niese retained his spot representing District 7, and Douglas Fortman won a three-way race to fill the District 8 seat. District 8 had been served for more than 17 years by Gerald Heitmeyer, who retired from the board.

Several local high school students were also recognized during the meeting.

Megan Niese (Miller City High School) and Maggie Wilson (Antwerp High School) were selected to represent the cooperative on the annual Rural Electric Youth Tour to Washington, D.C. Addison Baumle (Wayne Trace HS) and Brad Becker (Ottawa-Glandorf HS) were named as the first-place winners in the scholarship contest. Makenzie Mansfield (Continental HS) and Logan Roebke (Kalida HS) won second-place scholarships, Erika Meyer (Miller City HS) and Alexander Vail (Antwerp HS) won third-place scholarships, and Courtney Alt (Miller City HS) was named winner of the at-large scholarship. Paulding Putnam Electric Cooperative serves about 13,000 members in Paulding, Putnam, Defiance, Van Wert and Allen counties in Ohio and Adams and Allen counties in Indiana.

Steve McMichael-District 5 ~ Allen County, IN: Maumee, Adams, Jefferson & Jackson Townships
Ronald W. Neiswander-District 2 ~ Van Wert County, OH
Karl “Bud” Koenig- ( Vice President ) District 4 ~ Paulding County: Emerald, Jackson, Blue Creek & Paulding Townships & Defiance County: Delaware Township
Dr. John Saxton-(President) District 6~ Paulding County: Auglaize, Brown, Latty & Washington Townships
Defiance County: Defiance & Highland Townships
Gerald Sorg- District 1 ~ Allen and Adams County, IN: Marion, Madison, Monroe, Preble & Union Townships
Doug Fortman – Newly Elected-District 8~ Putnam County: Perry, Jackson, Monterey & Jennings Townships
Allen County, OH: Marion Township
Gary C. Hayden -(Secretary -Treasurer) District 9~ Putnam County: Pleasant, Union, Ottawa & Riley Townships
Timothy A. Derck-Newly Elected District 3 ~ Paulding County: Carryall, Crane, Benton & Harrison Townships
Ken Niese-Newly Elected-District 7~ Putnam County: Monroe, Palmer, Liberty, Greensburg Townships
George Carter -CEO/GM


POSTED: 03/30/15 at 8:00 am. FILED UNDER: Business, News