On May 19, just two days after our 83rd anniversary, Lane Electric welcomed cooperative members both in-person and virtually for our 2022 annual meeting.
The packed agenda included announcing election results, a financial health overview, operational update and report of priorities for the year, and the celebration of this year’s scholarship, youth tour, and member of the year winners.
The Lane Electric Board of Trustees welcomes newly elected directors Joy Olgyay, Central District, and Krissi M. Martes, Row River District.
Two bylaw amendments also passed. The first allows for the annual meeting to be held in May, June, or July. The second permits the board appointment of nominating committee members to better coincide with monthly board meetings. You can review Lane Electric’s current bylaws here.
Lane Electric ended 2021 with almost $3 million in margins and a 45.4% equity ratio. That represents the percent of total assets owned by you, our members, and is within the established range the board has designated as a measure of financial health. Keeping the ratio at or above 40% allows the Co-op to carry on with routine business such as system improvements, capital credit retirements, and provides an important cushion against extreme weather events.
We are also pleased to share we have collected a FEMA reimbursement of $3,728,450 for the 2019 snowstorm. Additionally, Lane Electric was awarded a $26 million from FEMA in support of the recovery and rebuilding of the areas destroyed by the Holiday Farm Fire. To date we have received fire-related reimbursements totaling more than more than $689,000.
There’s also more than $25 million in FEMA grant applications awaiting approval, bringing the total grants awarded and pending to $51,482,000.
Operational Updates and Priorities
Lane Electric Cooperative was recently recognized for our exemplary safety record by the Northwest Public Power Association (NWPPA). Following a review of safety records, Lane Electric was recognized along with Columbia River PUD, Missoula Electric Cooperative, and McMinnville Water & Light.
Cooperative priorities for the coming months were also shared. They include:
- The launch of an operational wildfire mitigation plan. Additionally, Lane Electric will also soon roll out a communications effort to help members better prepare for the upcoming fire season.
- Discussions around future power supply needs and relationship with the Bonneville Power Administration.
- Continued efforts to improve system resiliency, including seeking funding to underground lines.
For more than 20 years, Lane Electric has provided scholarships to members-at-large, as well as graduating high school seniors. These scholarships help our community members grow and contribute through the pursuit of new careers and opportunities. This year’s winners are:
- Andrew Wiley – Oregon Institute of Technology
- Lucas Dassonville – Oregon State University
- Maggie Harrison – Oregon State University
- Melony Burnett – University of Oregon
Additionally, Lane Electric named Anna Riedmann the 2022 National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) Youth Tour representative. She will join more than 1,000 high school juniors and seniors from around the country for a life changing trip to Washington, D.C. this June.
Larry Erickson Member of the Year Award
The “Blue River Bottle Boys,” Pete Petty, Monty Wilson, and Walter Wilson were recognized for their efforts to support community organizations recovering from the Holiday Farm Fire. What started as volunteering to clean campsites and pick up trash evolved into a way to rebuild their community. To date, their Dime at a Time recycling project has raised $50,000. Learn more about the Bottle Boys here.