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July Board Meeting Updates

7/29/2020

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The Fort Loudoun Electric Cooperative (FLEC) Board of Directors/Trustees met on Thursday, July 23rd, for their regular monthly meeting at 6:00 p.m. at the Cooperative’s Operations Center in Vonore.  Although closed to the public due to the coronavirus, social distancing was observed and the meeting was held as scheduled.  John Loope, FLEC’s Board President, opened the meeting…noting that all members were in attendance.  The board moved quickly to approve the minutes of the previous month’s meeting, adopt the agenda, and approve management adding 365 new members to the private, non-profit organization rolls.  Loope stated that “the Membership has increased by 107 members from last month.”  Mike Wiggins was recognized by Angela Tallent, FLEC’s secretary/treasurer, as having been certified to another three (3) year term to represent the members of District 6; Wiggins has served as the director for this district for the past three years and was reappointed in accordance with the bylaws after he was unopposed in his endeavor to serve a second term.  “District 6 will not have a meeting or election,” Tallent announced.  
The committees were active.  J.R. Pugh, chairman of the ad hoc committee, discussed the committee’s review of five (5) policies and the board moved quickly to approve the second reading of these policies regarding bad debt, reduction in Cooperative assessed demand penalties, and proper use of company owned technologies.  The broadband committee reported next and it was approved for management to continue to work with the internet service providers (BreezeAir and AirHawk) to expand their service areas by authorizing pole attachments and additional pole upgrades in four areas.  Mike Wiggins made the motion with the statement, “these actions should further broadband opportunities in some areas where they are lacking.”  A survey was sent out to the Membership earlier this month by FLEC in with the bill in hopes for feedback that will better allow the Cooperative to focus its efforts to pinpoint areas still in need of service options and match up these voids with providers.  It was announced that the survey will be collected through the annual meeting this year and then analyzed.  The employee relations committee chairman, Lewis Jones, reported on a recent meeting where the staff had updated the board on the projected workforce needs of the Cooperative over the next decade.  Last, the annual meeting committee, led by Shirley Hall, reported on the upcoming annual meeting that will be held at the operations (warehouse) facility of the Cooperative in a drive-thru format.  The pathway through the facility, “that will allow folks to see the trucks and equipment used daily,” John Loope pointed out, “this plan should be adequate enough to vehicles to flow through.”  According to the plan, this October 3rd, Members will be able to: register, get a $20 credit on their bill, vote on proposed bylaw changes, receive a gift bag, and even get a breakfast voucher while remaining in their vehicle.  The meeting will be held on “Facebook Live” for all to view; door prizes and chances on $500 scholarships will be drawn for on the internet on Monday, October 5th beginning at 1 p.m.  “We think this will keep folks safe during this pandemic, not take up much of their time, and possibly promote a larger turnout,” Brackett elaborated.
Mike Webb, FLEC’s assistant general manager, discussed the June financial reports.  Webb shared how, “FLEC’s financials have shown some losses due to the coronavirus pandemic.  But, overall the Cooperative had ended the fiscal year positive.  Warmer weather has brought us higher usages by the Membership,” Webb stated.  “The fact that FLEC has mostly residential load has left us in a better spot than some other utilities; people are still using power at their homes and our numbers have not been as bad,” Webb summed up on the reports.  The board approved all of the financial reports as presented and approved moving over ten thousand in bad debts to collections.   
Brackett presented a report on national and regional matters.  Brackett reported that the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) and two (2) other national organizations would be holding meetings virtually this summer and fall.  The Board approved Brackett to serve as the voting delegate and representative at these meetings.  Proposals from the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) to allow “flexibility” to the local power companies to generate up to five percent of their average load, participation in TVA’s “Home Uplift”, and the local participation in providing the TVA input on the pending review and planning for the Tellico Reservoir were discussed.  Approval for participation in the “Home Uplift” program was given, pending the Cooperative finding non-profit organizations that would match the funding pledged toward helping folks upgrade their home’s efficiency.  “Investigation into this and the generation flexibility offered by TVA would require some time,” Brackett said.    
Ending on a positive note, some possible economic development opportunities were discussed.  The meeting came to an end at 8:15 p.m.  The next meeting was announced to be on August 27th at 6 p.m. at the Cooperative.  For additional information about FLEC, see www.flec.org.


Contact: Jarrod Brackett,           jarrod.brackett@flec.org

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