Thursday | April 13, 2023

Cresco, IA | Rushford, MN — The unseasonably warm weather was the most unusual part of MiEnergy Cooperative’s Annual Meeting as approximately 82 members attended the Mabel Community Center on April 12. The event was also livestreamed through YouTube.

The seventh annual meeting marked the director elections for members living in district one and a handful of bylaws amendments on the ballot for all members.  A total of 3,003 ballots were cast (2,558 by mail, 444 electronically and 1 onsite). 

District 1 had two seats up for re-election. Incumbents Dennis Ptacek and Jeffrey Redalen both ran unopposed after the cooperative received no additional director applications for the member-led Nominating Committee to review. They will serve a three-year term representing members in the Minnesota townships of Beaver, Bennington, Bloomfield, Carimona, Carrolton, Chatfield, Elmira, Fillmore, Forestville, Fountain, Frankford, Fremont, Jordan, Le Roy, Pilot Mound, Racine, Saratoga, Spring Valley, Sumner and York, and the Iowa townships of Afton, Chester, Douglas, East Lincoln, Howard, Jamestown, Jenkins, Oakdale, Saratoga and Wayne.

Ninety-one percent of votes cast approved the bylaw amendments. The basis for the amendments was to update outdated language related to the cooperative’s merger in 2017 and to update the document to coincide with the co-op’s current business practices.    
The results were certified by independent election vendor Survey and Ballot Systems and Dennis Puckett from Sullivan & Ward.

Board Treasurer Don Petersen reported that the cooperative remained in good financial condition and met all the financial requirements of its lenders. The financials were audited by Eide Bailly which gave the cooperative a favorable report.  

President/CEO Brian Krambeer highlighted the cooperative’s work “Beyond the Wires” as part of the meeting’s theme. Krambeer spoke about the programs and services such as economic development involvement, the partnership created to provide broadband services to rural areas, and the co-op’s Operation Round Up program that has given out $150,000 since its inception.

“Your employees present at high school career days and give electric safety demonstrations to elementary students. Seventy $1,000 scholarships were granted to high school students last year,” Krambeer noted. “Employees are at holiday parades, county fairs, they raise money and provide gifts for the less fortunate and cleanup highway ditches. We take the Seventh Cooperative Principle of Concern for Community to heart.”
Krambeer then went on to provide a summary of 2022 and an outlook for 2023 that focused on its core business of providing affordable, reliable and sustainable electric service.

Supply chain issues remain, and Krambeer explained the rising costs of utility materials.

“The cost of a transformer has increased 73% from 2020 to 2023. We are seeing a six-month delay in delivery. Poles have increased 139% during that same timeframe,” Krambeer said.

Krambeer explained that while wholesale power costs have increased across the nation mostly due to the volatility of natural gas, Dairyland Power Cooperative (MiEnergy’s wholesale power provider) has done a very good job of managing costs in comparison to other providers.

Other topics discussed by Krambeer included the transformational period happening in the electric industry with renewable energy, electric vehicles and batteries. The co-op has been engaged with legislative issues in the states of Iowa and Minnesota. It has also continued efforts to bring broadband service to rural areas to enhance its distribution system and to provide a better quality of life to members through MiBroadband.

Brian Krambeer

Media Contact:

Brenda Tesch
Manager of Marketing and Communications