Weather Forecast


Federated Rural Electric hosts 75th Annual Meeting

JACKSON -- A large crowd participated in Federated Rural Electric's 75th annual meeting Nov. 20 at the Jackson County Central High School.

"We served about 1,000 anniversary cookies," said Richard Burud, Federated's general manager. "We had 506 members register. We're pleased so many members took time out of their busy schedules to celebrate this important milestone -- 75 years of rural electrification in the area."

Members elected directors Glenn Dicks, Lakefield, for District 1; and Darvin Voss, Lakefield, for District 2. On the Nominating Committee, Steve Glidden, Jackson, was elected for District 3 and Harold Knutson, Jackson, was elected for District 4. Federated also presented President David Post with a retirement plaque/clock for his 20 years of service on the board.

Special guests at the annual meeting were 25 former employees and directors, who were recognized at the meeting, along with current employees and directors.

To celebrate this anniversary Federated members viewed a historical co-op video set to music.

The Jackson County Arts Guild also performed a historical skit. Jim Brennan portrayed President Franklin D. Roosevelt and how electricity was four times more expensive in rural Warm Springs, Ga., than at his New York home -- and how that led to the creation of the Rural Electrification Administration (REA).

Cissa Tusa portrayed a 1940s farm wife excited about her new electric appliances and the work it saved the family. Megan Micklos demonstrated how today's generation takes electricity for granted with everything it powers in our daily living.

Post and Burud provided a quick cooperative update. Post, who reached Federated's 20-year term limit, reminisced about his 20 years on the board.

"When I started in 1990 Federated had two power suppliers and was tearing down its Jackson power plant," Post stated. "Now we have three power suppliers and this wholesale power makes up 77.88 percent of our electric rates. Plus, Federated has one of the lowest electric rates around at 8.11 cents/kilowatt-hour."

Burud reported that Federated had record margins in 2010, a busy construction season and the addition of the Wisconsin substation next to the Jackson County fairgrounds.

Another highlight involved the first installation of automated meters on seasonal locations with the project to be completed in 2011 for other meters. This means Federated can download meter readings daily, and members can view their usage through the Internet.

"Federated will not need a rate change for 2011," Burud explained. "Yet, your power supply costs will increase your monthly power cost adjustment or PCA on your electric bill."

Burud also thanked the membership for their patronage.

"We are only here for one purpose -- to meet all your electric service needs -- and we plan to continue that for another 75 years," he said.

Members attending the annual meeting received a wireless indoor/outdoor thermometer as an attendance gift and a Federated 75th anniversary historical newspaper edition.

More than $557,000 was also distributed to co-op members as capital credits in November from 1990, 1991 and 2009 patronage.

One lucky child won won a Wii gaming system: Kyla Merkel, age 3. Winning helium balloons were Dylan Stevens, age 8, and Lucas Potthoff, age 12.

In addition, nearly 100 door prizes were awarded to the members. The top three prize winners were:

Ed Yonker, Bingham Lake, won an Energy Star clothes washer and dryer.

Bonnie Bergendahl, Windom, won an Energy Star refrigerator.

Thelma Dunker, Jackson won a 42" Energy Star LCD TV.

After the annual meeting, the board of directors had an organizational meeting and elected officers. Officers are David A. Hansen, president; David Meschke, vice president; Jim Oltman, secretary/treasurer.

Federated is a Touchstone Energy cooperative serving 5,000 electric members in Jackson and Martin counties.