FLEC Votes for No Rate Increase Again


The Fort Loudoun Electric Cooperative (FLEC) Board of Directors convened for their regular monthly meeting last night, Thursday, June 24th at 6 p.m.  The meeting was open to the public at its corporate offices in Vonore.  With a quorum present, either in person or remotely by phone, FLEC’s President John Loope moved expeditiously to ask for approval of the previous meeting minutes and the agenda for the evening; all were in favor and motions and seconds were met favorably.  The governing body approved the CEO to move 323 new members to the membership rolls.  After the approval, the Cooperative officially had 33,943 total members, up by 80 members from April’s total.  Sheila Montooth, FLEC’s Manager of Accounting, noted in her presentation on the financial and statistical reports that the Cooperative has grown by 671 members since May of 2020.  The Board also moved to approve the Credentials Committee members discussed at May’s meeting.   Gary Abbott, Bruce McMillan, and Willy Oliver were approved to serve as the District 1 Credentials Committee and Jeff Pike, Doug Jones, and Eddie Thomas were approved to serve on the District 7 Credentials Committee of the Cooperative.  These committees will help FLEC conduct the district meetings and elections. 

The Board had several committee reports.  Mike Wiggins, Director for District 6, reported that the broadband committee had met on June 17th and discussed the progress of the Cooperatives endeavors to utilize its fiber optic network in partnership with BreezeAir Networks and AirHawk Wireless to facilitate broadband options in portions of Monroe, Loudon, and Blount Counties.  It was shared that over 200 homes and businesses now receive broadband through the aforementioned companies.  Wiggins shared that the committee had received notification from FLEC’s General Manager/CEO, Jarrod Brackett, that some other companies had expressed interest in doing some dark-fiber leasing of the Cooperative’s fiber optic resources and Brackett shared that these contractual matters, contracts to possibly facilitate more connectivity options, would need to be discussed in an executive session.  Denny Stephens, Director for District 9, had presided over the meeting of the safety oversite committee on June 17th and he voiced several positive comments about the new Safety Coordinator, Josh Berry, and the employees of the Cooperative in his remarks.  Stephens highlighted some training activities and pending public outreach initiatives planned for the coming year by the employees that would help educate and communicate safety around electricity to school children and first responders.  The board’s ad hoc committee had met in the hours preceding the meeting.  J.R. Pugh, Director for District 2, reported on this committee’s activities which involves reviewing over thirty (30) policies and procedures of the Cooperative throughout the rest of 2021.  Pugh stated that seven (7) policies would be presented for a first reading at the July meeting after some proposed amendments were included.  

Sheila Montooth presented the FLEC financial reports.  The TVA financial report for the month of May was, “negative for the month, but still positive for the fiscal year,” Montooth noted and shared that, “the Cooperative has almost 2.3 million dollars’ work-in-progress on the books”.  She emphasized that the revenue was largely up for the year due to some pandemic related assistance from TVA received.  Montooth also reported how the budget was “in-line” through May and presented a report on 17 accounts totaling $3,891 that management proposed to move to bad debt for the month.  After some reluctant motions and approval by all present, these debts went off to collections.    

The CEO gave updates on recent activities of the Cooperative and presented a couple of contractual matters for final approval.  Areas highlighted in the discussion included: the recent support for the Glen Moser Memorial Park in Madisonville and the Monroe County courthouse square electrification projects, the completion of some TVA and private funded “Home Uplift” projects that assisted four (4) FLEC families, the recent release of the TVA Scoping Report for the Tellico Reservoir Management Plan environmental review process (which included FLEC’s submitted comments), and the favorable growth of the Vonore Fiber Products.  Increases in costs for material that the Cooperative had encountered over the past few months (reportedly related to inflation, weather events, and the pandemic’s impacts on raw material and manufacturing industries globally) dominated several minutes of the discussion time too.  Brackett advised that, “the Cooperative’s staff has been focused on keeping adequate stock on-hand and on-order for years; but, the recent activities have increased the demand and thus the pricing related to products regularly used by the electric industry.”  The Board fielded actions on two contracts that the Cooperative had received.  TVA had proposed to buy an additional easement from FLEC for their future transmission line crossing FLEC property in Madisonville for $5,300.  After motions in favor of the offer were voiced, the governing body approved its acceptance.  The second contractual concern involved hiring a contractor to do herbicide treatment of approximately 612 miles of power line easements within the next year to help control vegetation.  ALCAN was approved by the Board for a one-year contract to do the work necessary, after recommendation from the CEO.  The regular meeting ended at approximately 7:30 p.m. with a motion to go into an executive session which found a favorable response by all members present.  

Brackett later reported of the Board’s actions in the closed door session stating, “After a review of the financial outlook, the Board voted for the Cooperative to keep its retail electric rates the same for the next year.  This action memorializes the hard work of this Board and the FLEC team to keep costs affordable… it has been over a decade (April 2011) since the Cooperative has had to adjust its kilowatt/hour cost or member costs.”  Brackett elaborated, “TVA has had some incremental cost increases that we have had to pass through, but the Cooperative has been able to keep its costs down and not ask for an increase.”  Reportedly, John Loope, Board chairman and the Director for District 1, said, “I attribute the ability of the Cooperative to keep costs low to the daily accomplishments of the employees of our Cooperative. They work hard and have managed to keep the costs in-line with the revenue available!  We want to thank them for their hard work!”  The CEO shared that the Board had approved his negotiating with two entities toward possibly getting more fiber connectivity in Blount and Monroe Counties too.  Brackett concluded his comments by clarifying that, “the Cooperative will have to adjust its future costs for some new construction projects that individuals request, passing on the unprecedented increases in some material costs; but, it is good that the Cooperative can safely say it will not need to increase its electricity rates for another year!”  

The next meeting was announced for July 22nd at the corporate headquarters board room at 6 p.m.; all meetings are open to the public.  For additional information about FLEC, visit our website: or follow FLEC’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.

RE: FLEC’s June Board Meeting
Contact: Jarrod Brackett, 

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