Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative held a business-only 84th annual meeting on June 15, electing directors and conducting official cooperative business. There were no food, drink or door prizes this year since there were still pandemic concerns at the time of planning the event. MEC was saddened that it could not connect physically with its members but is confident that 2023 will be much better.
Board chairman David J. Jones called the meeting to order and MEC Director Angela Wilson delivered the invocation. “I am pleased to report that your cooperative is financially strong and operationally sound,” Jones said. In his remarks, he noted that safety is always of utmost importance to MEC and the employees who work on 4,500 miles of power lines. “It’s one of our foundational principles and is embedded in our culture,” he said.
Jones also described the cooperative’s commitment to reliability, despite the March 2021 ice storm. For Mecklenburg Electric, reliability is a 24-hour a day, 7-day a week commitment to keeping the lights on. In 2021, MEC completed a four-year construction work plan and began engineering for the next five-year plan. “Even with the historic ice storm of February 2021 factored in, power was available 99.6% of the time,” Jones stated.
Financially, Jones said the cooperative has held up very well under current market pressures, with $70.4 million in revenue and $5.6 million in margins. “Our operation is efficient and is financially sound,” he said. Additionally, Empower Broadband, the wholly-owned internet subsidiary, is growing fast and is responding to the needs of local communities.
Board Secretary/Treasurer Donald L. Moore went into the details of MEC’s financials. He noted margins are returned to members in the form of capital credits; last year, MEC returned more than $921,000 in capital credits. The value of the MEC total assets was more than $229 million, he noted. Residential members account for about 65% of MEC revenues.
Directors reelected to three-year terms were David C. Hall (Gretna District), Angela Wilson (Emporia District) and Brandon Hudson (Chase City District).
—Report by Steven Johnson, Vice President, Communications, VMD Association