LANCASTER — Results of the Board of Trustees election were announced at South Central Power’s 83rd annual meeting held Aug. 15 on the campus of Ohio University – Lancaster.
Re-elected to three-year terms were Harold Cooper of Waverly, Alan Gabriel of Circleville, and Don Frank of Rushville. Voting was conducted online, by U.S. mail, and in person at South Central Power offices.
In his report to the members, Treasurer James Evans said the co-op had a strong year in 2018, and as a result, was able to refund $8.8 million in capital credits to members and former members of the cooperative. As a not-for-profit electric cooperative, South Central Power regularly returns funds to members that are collected over and above the cost of doing business.
President and CEO Rick Lemonds provided a business update, touching on how technology is improving the cooperative’s ability to prevent and restore outages.
“We’re investing in new technology that strengthens our electrical grid,” Lemonds said. “We’re in the process of implementing new automated systems and equipment that will help us prevent outages, and quickly respond when they do occur.”
Board Chairman Ken Davis congratulated the Ohio Farm Bureau on their centennial anniversary, noting the role the Farm Bureau played in the creation of Ohio’s electric cooperatives, including South Central Power.
“In the 1930s, Farm Bureau leaders helped facilitate the organization of electric cooperatives, including the cooperatives that would eventually become South Central Power,” Davis said. “I’d guess that many of you in the room, like me, have benefitted from the services of the Ohio Farm Bureau over the years, so I didn’t want to let this occasion pass without wishing them well as they embark on their second century of serving our state and its people.”
South Central Power Company Foundation Vice Chairman Debra Crago also spoke to members. The 11-member Foundation board, which is separate from the cooperative’s board of trustees, awards grants and scholarships through Operation Round Up. The program rounds up participating members’ electric bill to the next dollar. Last year, the Foundation awarded $112,000 in scholarships to college and technical school-bound students.
Crago also outlined the impact of the Foundation’s grant award program.
“Together, we have put back into our communities more than $2.8 million,” Crago said. “Last year alone that number was more than $663,000.”
As Ohio’s largest rural electric cooperative, South Central Power Company serves more than 120,000 homes, farms, schools and businesses in 24 counties.