Three trustees reelected as South Central Power Company conducts 86th annual meeting - South Central Power

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Three trustees reelected as South Central Power Company conducts 86th annual meeting

September 27, 2022

Board Chairman Ken Davis announces new broadband project

Results of the board of trustees election were announced at South Central Power’s 86th annual meeting held Aug. 18 on the campus of Ohio University–Lancaster. Reelected to three-year terms were Harold Cooper of Waverly, Alan Gabriel of Circleville, and Don Frank of Rushville. Voting was conducted online, by U.S. mail, and in person at South Central Power offices.

Treasurer’s report

In his report to the members, Treasurer James Evans said the co-op had a strong year in 2021 and as a result, was able to refund more than $8 million in capital credits to members and former members of the cooperative. As a not-for-profit electric cooperative, South Central Power regularly returns funds to members that are collected over and above the cost of doing business.

Chairman’s report

Board Chairman Ken Davis spoke about the digital divide that is holding back many rural Ohio communities and announced that South Central Power will enter the broadband business with support from roughly $98 million in grant funds from BroadbandOhio. Grant funds will be used to serve members in the far east and far west portions of the service territory, including areas within Adams, Belmont, Brown, Carroll, Clermont, Fayette, Harrison, Highland, Monroe, Noble, Pike, Ross and Scioto counties.

“We don’t yet know precisely how these funds will be used, but we do know that we’re going to be part of the solution in bringing broadband into the homes of some of our members who need it the most, and we hope to find new ways to continue connecting members in the future even above and beyond the scope of this grant,” Davis said.

President and CEO’s report

President and CEO Rick Lemonds provided a business update, noting how the cooperative works to keep costs low for members, even in the face of rising inflation and energy costs. “We have taken an all-of-the-above approach to power generation, adding solar and other renewables but not walking away from traditional baseload generation,” he said.

South Central Power Company Foundation Chairman Don Jones also spoke to members. The 11-member foundation board, which is separate from the cooperative’s board of trustees, awards grants and scholarships through Operation Round Up. The program rounds up participating members’ electric bills to the next dollar. Last year, the foundation awarded more than $630,000 in grant awards, including $100,000 in scholarships to college- and technical school-bound students.

“Since the program’s inception, we have invested more than $4.6 million back into the community, thanks to those of you who round up your electric bill,” Jones said.

From the October 2022 issue of Ohio Cooperative Living.