Before an audience that filled the auditorium here for the 74th annual membership meeting, General Manager John Dugan and President Frankie King reported Thursday that the co-op continues strong.
It was the last meeting at which Dugan will report. He is retiring, effective May 31, after 35 years as day-to-day chief operating officer of the co-op. His successor, Robert “Rob” Walker Jr. of Carrollton, Ga., was introduced to the crowd. Walker has worked all his life in the electric co-op business, President King told the crowd.
(More about Dugan and Walker will appear in an upcoming issue.)
Slightly more than 300 attended, nearly twice the 150 required for a quorum.
He said that the co-op constructed 51 miles of new line in the 10 counties in which Upshur-Rural operates.
Reelected as directors were District 4, Henry Jackson; District 5, Charle H. Whiteside; and District 6, Cody Newman.
“This 51 miles of new line was to connect 872 new services, or members,” Dugan said.
“At the end of 2011, there were 44,505 accounts billed for an annual billing of $80, 070,272,” he added.
“There were 290 miles of transmission line and 5,873 miles of overhead distribution line and 264 miles of underground distribution line in place.”
Dugan said that the combined total of line equals 6,427 miles.
He said that the total plant investment is $163,761.733. There were 932,876,679 kilowatt hours sold in 2011, compared to 926,080,049 the year before, an increase of 7.3 percent.
Capital credits were allocated from 2011 margins to each member’s account using a factor of 9.1557 percent on residential accounts.
“The cooperative’s equity position was 68.82 percent at the end of 2011,” Dugan said. “This is a strong position to be in and allows your board of directors to analyze the financial position regarding the retirement of capital credits.”
He said that after bankers’ permissions were received, the board directed a retirement of capital credits of about 2.9 percent, or about $2,776,071.
“Retiring capital credits is a juggling act where you balance the cost of borrowing money, paying for increased costs of operations such gasoline and diesel and materials, employee payroll and benefits, and keeping rates the same,” Dugan said. “Your electric system belongs to you and one way your ownership is reflected is through capital credits—your share of what’s left over after the cooperative pays all its expenses.
“The retirement, as the ones in the past 25 years, has been no easy task, after the cooperative pays all its expenses,” he said, “but due to the action of your board of directors and the employees of the cooperative operating an efficient organization, it will be possible.”
Dugan said there were 88 full-time employees at year end.
“We are currently at 88, with two Distributive Education students and one college intern,” Dugan said. “They worked 166,720 hours of regular time and 18,795 hours of overtime for