Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

May 1, 2012

LREC members re-elect two to board

HULBERT — More than 1,100 Lake Region Electric Cooperative members turned out Saturday to return two at-large trustees to their positions.

Board members Jack Teague and Scott Manes won new three-year terms during voting at the cooperative’s 62nd annual meeting. Teague was the top vote-getter with 878, followed by Manes with 749. The third candidate, Louis Bohanon, received 367 votes.

LREC counsel Tina Jordan announced 1,133 members had signed up by the end of registration and declared a quorum was present.

LREC CEO Hamid Vahdatipour said the total number attending the meeting was estimated at more than 2,800, including family members of cooperative employees and members.

“It’s a nice day,” said Vahdatipour. “I appreciate everyone for coming.”

He said there was some slight cloud cover and a light breeze, with temperatures near 80 degrees.

“All that made it a nice day to get out and visit with friends,” he said.

Registration and voting started shortly after 9 a.m. The business meeting resumed at 1 p.m. Door prizes were given at the conclusion of the meeting, along with recognition for the oldest male and oldest female member, and the youngest male and female prospective members.

Vahdatipour also recognized guests from East Central Electric Cooperative based in Okmulgee, and the Association of Electric Cooperatives.

During presentation of his report to the members, Vahdatipour quizzed the group on their knowledge of the cooperative. Those with the correct answers received cash prizes.

The LREC CEO said the cost of power increased by nearly $1 million from 2010 to 2011.

“The major reason for that is environmental costs,” he said.

Vahdatipour said LREC rates have remained steady since February 2009. He said the cooperative’s rates are lower than the state and national averages.

A special vendor prize, a storm shelter valued at more than $3,500, was won by the Gideon Volunteer Fire Department. Cash prizes were given away, as well as a television, drill, tool set and other items.

Fred Cypert, 94, was the oldest male attending.

Fren Girdner, 97, was the oldest female member attending.

“LREC makes a difference because we are different,” Vahdatipour said.

“We are member-owned and locally operated. Our members have a voice in how the cooperative is ran because they elect the board of directors.”

He said LREC rates cover the costs of doing business and are not marked up to generate profit.

“We give money back to our members when revenues exceed costs,” Vahdatipour said.

The cooperative serves electricity to 23,850 members in seven northeast Oklahoma counties, including Cherokee, Wagoner and Muskogee counties.

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