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Pioneer Electric Co-Op members re-elect three

Pioneer Electric Co-Op members re-elected three sitting board members to its Board of Trustees, during its annual meeting held on Saturday, and approved an amendment to the bylaws that removes age restrictions on trustees.

Co-Op members re-elected Tommy Thompson of Forest Home (Dist. 1), Tom Duncan of Honoraville (Dist. 4), and John Henry of Sardis (Dist. 7). Board members serve three-year terms. All were unopposed.

Thompson, board president, discussed safety issues, said Pioneer Electric spokesperson, Angela Green, specifically those of Pioneer’s front-line employees, the general public, linemen, servicemen, and right-of-way crews.

Secretary/Treasurer Melvia Carter gave a financial update to members, said Green.

General Manager Steve Harmon updated members on the health of the cooperative, said Green, and the uncertainty surrounding the United States’ energy policy.

“We encourage members to contact their local legislators about how these issues will affect their electric bills,” said Harmon.

Harmon also said the refinancing of a $10 million loan will save the membership an estimated $3.2 million in interest.

“Our overall cooperative equity has increased by over $2.6 million over the past year bringing us from a negative 2.69 percent to a positive 2.34 percent,” said Harmon.

“This is truly a monumental milestone for the cooperative. Our equity projections during the 2007 annual meeting indicated that we might reach this point by December 2009, and we have exceeded those projections four months ahead of schedule.”

Ongoing projects, said Harmon, includes applications for two federal grants that would bring in Smart-grid technology and high-speed Internet service over power lines, something still limited in Pioneer Electric’s service area.