A 'Heritage of Ownership' at the cooperative annual meeting
New-Mac Electric returns $1.25 million in capital credits
CEO/General Manager Mitch McCumber addresses the membership at New-Mac's 2017 Annual Meeting.
DIRECTOR ELECTION WINNERS
District 1 - Martin Youngblood
District 3 - Bobby Fields
District 6 - Paul Sprenkle
New-Mac Electric Cooperative marked the co-op's 2017 Annual Meeting by announcing a total of approximately $1.25 million in capital credit refunds will be returned this year to member-customers.
The co-op highlighted a "Heritage of Ownership" at the meeting, held Oct. 28 at Crowder College in Neosho. Mitch McCumber, New-Mac chief executive officer told the crowd, "Over the past twenty years in a row, the co-op has returned a total of approximately $24 million in capital credits and power cost adjustments back to our member-customers. It is truly member ownership in action."
The capital credit refunds go to people who were New-Mac members during 1998, and are based on their electric usage. Members who didn't pick up their checks at the meeting will receive them in the mail.
"We're not like investor-owned utilities that have outside stockholders. Under the co-op business model, all of us in this room who buy our power from New-Mac Electric - we are all owners of this co-op," McCumber said, as he showed several historic electric co-op film clips from the 1950's. "And as owners, together we are the ones who set the direction for this cooperative."
McCumber also reported that, while the budgeting process is not yet complete, New-Mac will very likely have to raise rates in January 2018. New-Mac has had only four general rate increases in the past 26 years. McCumber said the co-op will provide members with more details about next year's rates in the January co-op newsletter. In his address, McCumber cited increases in the co-op's wholesale power and operating costs - as much as $2.5 million next year - that are forcing the co-op's rates to go higher. Much of that increase is due to electric transmission system improvements from one of New-Mac's power suppliers, KAMO Power of Vinita, Okla., in order to increase security and reliability of the power grid.
Citing New-Mac's annual report, McCumber said that the past year was financially sound for the co-op, with electric sales of nearly $41-million and total assets growing to more than $11-million.
The report indicates that New-Mac's primary wholesale power supplier, Associated Electric in Springfield, produces a well-diversified mix of clean coal and natural gas electric generation, and continues to make greater use of renewable energy, including wind farms, hydropower and solar power generation.
McCumber also reported that, as part of the co-op's emphasis on area education partnerships, New-Mac this year sponsored two local high school students - Emily Horine from Seneca and Kobe Kisling from Sarcoxie - on a trip to join hundreds of other students from around the country at the National Co-op Youth Tour in Washington D.C. New-Mac also sent high school students Madison Wade from Seneca and Michael Lee from Sarcoxie to Jefferson City this year as part of the statewide co-op association's CYCLE program, to help students better understand how government and electric cooperatives can work together.
At the meeting, McCumber applauded co-op personnel and work crews for extra efforts to restore power after a tornado struck the Goodman area earlier this year, and also to make repairs after severe spring flooding in Newton and McDonald Counties.
Again this year, New-Mac is spending millions of dollars on right-of-way brush clearing along power lines to maintain electric service reliability. McCumber said the co-op has continued to make steady progress on projects such as line construction and re-conductoring, substation upgrades and pole change-outs.
New-Mac Electric, headquartered in Neosho, Mo., serves over 17,000 member accounts primarily in Newton, McDonald and Jasper Counties.