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75th Annual Meeting of the Members

Saturday, April 2, 2022

Each year in March or April, LEC holds the Annual Meeting of the Members. This event is an opportunity for the members to learn more about their cooperative and participate in electing fellow members for the board. They also transact any other business to come before the membership.

As a member of LEC, you have the right to get involved with your cooperative. The main vehicle for doing this is electing the Board of Trustees. These 10 fellow members meet once a month to review cooperative policies, financials and evaluate the direction of the cooperative. Trustees are elected each year by Lincoln Electric members by mail-in ballot. Ballots will be mailed to all Lincoln Electric members with their official Notice of Meeting at the beginning of March. Completed mail-in ballots must be completed and submitted as noted on the ballots.

Trustee seats currently filled by District 6 (Upper) Trustees Becky Evins and Troy Truman and District 7 (Lower) Trustee Tina Taurman will be up for election at the 2022 Annual Meeting. Members wishing to become a trustee nominee must submit a completed trustee petition to Lincoln Electric by December 29, 2021. A trustee nomination petition packet for the seats expiring in 2022 will become available in October 2021. 

At the meeting, LEC's General Manager also gives an update on cooperative happenings and our auditor gives a financial presentation for the previous calendar year. There is a light breakfast served. Each attending membership receives a door prize and is entered to win other great prizes.

The 75th Annual Meeting of the Members will be held on Saturday, April 2, 2022, at the Lincoln County High School at 312 9th Street East, Eureka. Registration begins at 8:00 a.m. with the business meeting beginning at 9:00 a.m.

We look forward to seeing you at the 2022 Annual Meeting!!

*Some restrictions apply.

Congratulations to the winners of our mail-in ballot drawings!

$250 Bill Credit - Catherine Kober

$150 Bill Credit - David Armstrong

$100 Bill Credit - Michael Workman

75th Annual Meeting of the Members

Saturday, April 2, 2022

Thanks for attending in person! Lincoln Electric Cooperative's 75th Annual Meeting of the Members was held at Lincoln County High School on Saturday, April 2, 2022. We offered members the option to attend in-person in the auditorium or in their vehicles at the elementary school parking lot. We had 277 memberships register for the event. The meeting began at 9 a.m. and was adjourned at 10:06 a.m.

Our auditor, Brandon Blair of Decoria, Blair, and Teague, gave a brief financial update based on Lincoln Electric's 2021 audit. He reported that your cooperative is in great financial standing.

Members heard a legislative update from Ryan Hall, Communications Director for the Montana Electric Cooperatives' Association (MECA). He updated the membership on the work MECA has been doing on behalf of the rural electric cooperatives across the state. Some upcoming proposed legislation includes the move-over law, wildfire mitigation, and the Snake River Dams.

Lincoln Electric General Manager Telly Stanger also addressed the membership. Stanger acknowledged the 355 years of industry experience of Lincoln Electric's 25 employees. He advised that the board has set three strategic points of emphasis. They have tasked the staff to pursue strategies to increase equity, improve infrastructure, and pursue community development initiatives.

Stanger updated the membership on Lincoln Electric's rates and how they compare against the country and other northwest Montana cooperatives. As expected, the Pacific Northwest has some of the lowest rates in the country, largely thanks to our access to clean, renewable energy from the Federal Columbia River Power System.

From 2020 to 2021, Lincoln Electric's margins increased 18 percent, our long-term debt decreased 4.4 percent, and equity increased 5.8 percent. All these factors contribute to the success of the cooperative in creating goals that will benefit the membership now and into the future.

Your Lincoln Electric board approved the retirement of capital credits for the 42nd consecutive year. In 2022, approximately $300,000 in capital credits will be retired. Overall, we've returned more than $13.4 million to our members in the form of capital credits, landing Lincoln Electric near the top cooperatives in the country for capital credit retirements.

Stanger gave updates on some large infrastructure improvement projects Lincoln Electric completed in 2021, including the overhead to underground conversion of line going to Pinkham Mountain for radio services and the Airport Road conversion project.

Next up was Mark Hash of O'Brien, Hash, & Biby, Lincoln Electric's legal counsel and meeting Parliamentarian, to give the results of the 2022 trustee election. There were three trustee seats up for election in 2022. Becky Evins and Sandi Mason were the incumbents for District 6 - Upper and Tina Taurman was the incumbent for District 7 - Lower. There were three nominees for District 6: Rita Collins, Becky Evins, and Sandi Mason. There was one nominee for District 7: Tina Taurman.

Mail-in ballots were due back to Lincoln Electric by March 28. There were counted by a committee of seven Lincoln Electric members. A voting quorum of 101 was required to elect trustees. We received 372 valid mail-in ballots. The results for District 6 were 317 votes for Sandi Mason, 297 for Becky Evins, and 80 for Rita Collins. The District 7 result was 335 votes for Tina Taurman. All incumbents were re-elected.

The meeting moved on to the Luck of the Draw scholarship and grand prize drawings. The grand prize drawing of free electricity for a year was won by David and Lou Ann Gay. Please see the scholarship page for information on the Luck of the Draw winners.