Cresco, IA | Rushford, MN (2 p.m. April 15, 2021)— MiEnergy Cooperative’s Annual Meeting looked different this year. Last year, amid COVID, members were not in attendance and the director election results were announced by the cooperative’s attorney. This year, in-person attendance was limited, and MiEnergy livestreamed the meeting through YouTube for the first time.
This year marked the first year since the merger of Tri-County Electric Cooperative and Hawkeye REC that director elections for districts 2 and 3 were held. A total of 1,539 ballots were cast (1,330 by mail, 208 electronically and 1 onsite).
All five incumbents were re-elected to serve three-year terms. District 2 had two seats up for election. Ron Stevens, of Preston, Minn., won his seat over challenger Vance Haugen, of Canton, Minn., by a vote of 364 to 215. Dean Nierling, of Decorah, Iowa, ran unopposed. District 3 had three seats up for election. Dennis Young, of Decorah, Iowa, was re-elected with 523 votes, while his challenger Cody Webb, of Decorah, Iowa, received 407 votes. Don Peterson, of Hokah, Minn., received 682 votes, and challenger Steve Kujak, of Brownsville, Minn., 256 votes. Skip Wieser, of La Crescent, Minn., ran unopposed.
The results were certified by independent election vendor Survey and Ballot Systems.
Board Treasurer Don Petersen reported that the cooperative remained in good financial condition despite lower operating revenue which was attributed to weather and the pandemic. The cooperative met all financial requirements of its lenders. The financials were audited by Eide Bailly which gave the cooperative a favorable report.
President CEO Brian Krambeer spoke on the importance of its partnerships. One in particular, MiBroadband, which is a partnership with Mabel Cooperative Telephone Company and Spring Grove Communications has seen tremendous success in receiving grants to assist with providing broadband service to rural residents with no or limited access within the MiEnergy service territory.
Krambeer also took time to explain the situation behind the power outages in Texas in February and how the cooperative’s power supplier, Dairyland Power, is part of the Midcontinent Independent System Operator. This is a regional transmission organization that encompasses 15 states in the central U.S. stretching from Minnesota down to Louisiana. Krambeer could not say the situation in Texas would not happen here, but credited the planning and reliability undertaken in our region for providing greater security from rolling blackouts.
Other topics during the one-hour business meeting included electric rates, Dairyland’s power generation resources, the approaching retirement of Genoa Station #3 in June, and the combining of the Harmony and Spring Valley outposts to Preston.
Following the meeting attendees were provided an attendance gift and refreshments to go.