Nearly 200 people, representing 120 registered member households and businesses attended Minnesota Valley Electric Cooperative’s 81st Annual Meeting at New Prague High School the evening of Tuesday, April 10.
All three incumbents were returned to the Board of Directors for three-year terms.
In a tight District I race, Tom Wolf of Credit River Township received 565 votes, while challenger Barbara Marschall of Prior Lake received 546 votes.
In District II, Bill Heinlein of Chanhassen received 517 votes with challengers Mike Liebl of Prior Lake close behind with 491 votes and Charles R. Gehman of Chaska with 223.
In District III, Kevin Gibbs of Le Center was unopposed and was returned to office by acclamation.
General Manager Ryan Hentges’ presentation focused on the employees of the cooperative and the services they provide to the membership. MVEC’s new Green Source renewable energy program was introduced, as well as two programs promoting co-op safety and awareness.
Hentges said the co-op’s Board of Directors and employees continue to focus on the key areas of safety, reliability, technology, competitive rates and member satisfaction.
Following Hentges’ presentation, members asked questions about the proposed city of New Prague acquisition of 750 current MVEC households. Hentges responded that it isn’t MVEC’s wish to sell this portion of the service area, but that state law allows municipals to acquire services within city limits, upon proper compensation.
Other questions were fielded regarding the costs of the GreenSource renewable options, the term limits of board directors and other election procedures.
Gerry Mareck, vice president of finance, gave a 2017 financial review and concluded the co-op had another solid year while maintaining competitive rates within the area and ranking 13 percent below the national average.
The co-op has kept local spending flat and at the same time has returned over one million dollars in Capital Credits back to members for four years in a row.
Sam Meeker of Green Isle, a junior at Central High School in Norwood-Young America, was announced as MVEC’s representative on the 2018 Youth Tour, a national leadership trip to Washington, D.C., sponsored by America’s rural electric cooperatives.
The annual meeting also featured scholarship presentations, funded by MVEC’s unclaimed capital credits. In all, 21 $1,000 scholarships were awarded to area high school seniors. MVEC’s wholesale power provider, Basin Electric Power Cooperative of Bismarck, also awarded a $1,000 scholarship to Jacqueline Zhang of Eden Prairie High School. MVEC’s scholarship recipients are:
|District 1||High School|
|Cali Berg||Lakeville North High School|
|Grace Cline||Prior Lake High School|
|Kendra Gudmonson||Burnsville High School|
|Micah Hjelle||Eagle Ridge Academy in Eden Prairie|
|Marissa Jaskowick||Prior Lake High School|
|Kirstyn Loyva||Burnsville High School|
|Brennan Wolfe||Prior Lake High School|
|District 2||High School|
|Kristyn Arends||Prior Lake High School|
|Kristopher Doyle||Le Sueur-Henderson High School|
|Amanda Eiden||Central High School|
|Greta Leines||Chanhassen High School|
|Brody Messner||Sibley East High School|
|Marissa Sheeler||Shakopee Senior High School|
|Madison Sweeney||Waconia High School|
|District 3||High School|
|Shelby Bartusek||Prior Lake High School|
|Amber Glisczinski||Belle Plaine High School|
|Anya Menk||Tri-City United High School|
|Lydia Plechaty||Jordan High School|
|New Prague High School|
|Zachary Stripsky||Eastview High School|