Two Tri-County Electric members voted out

Tri-County Electric Cooperative held its annual meeting Thursday.

Changes are coming to the Tri-County Electric Board of Directors after the annual meeting held at the Scotland County High School Gymnasium in Memphis Thursday night. Two of three incumbents were replaced, including Board President Michael Small. Kelley Church took district one, which is Adair County, with 460 votes. Kenny McNamar took district two, which is Scotland County with 367 votes, and Bill Triplett kept his seat for district four, Putnam County, with 694 votes. The votes were tabulated by an independent company.

During the meeting General Manager Jane Bahler-Hurt addressed the recent rate increase of Tri-County. She said from the year 2002 to 2012, the cooperative's expenses continued to rise while rates remained steady, causing the equity to drop to around 31 percent.

â??The company has had weak operating results and consequently suffers from a deteriorating cash position,â?? Bahler-Hurt said. â??In order to stabilize the coopâ??s financial health Tri-County board members had no choice, but to increase rates to insure the financial stability of their cooperative. It should be noted that if sufficient rate increases had been implemented periodically from 2003 to 2012 then the large increase that membership had experienced in 2012/2013 would have been unnecessary and equity would not have eroded by 20 percent a little over ten years.â??

One member asked why Tri-County waited so long to raise rates instead of gradually increasing over the years. Bahler-Hurt said she could not answer for the administration before her, but said they probably should have been. Members also passed the amendments to the bylaws.

The annual meeting rotates between the three counties every year. Next yearâ??s meeting will be in Kirksville.