2021 Annual Meeting Recap
We were glad to see many of you at Hood River Electric Cooperative’s (HREC’s) annual membership meeting March 11. Here is a brief summary of the annual meeting and 2020 report of operations.
Gary Bloom and Roger Nelson were re-elected to our board of directors. Vince Wilson was elected to the seat previously held by Dick Sohler after Dick chose not to run for reelection. Vince is a 17-year HREC member from Parkdale and a battalion chief with Portland Fire & Rescue.
In his candidate statement, Vince said, “I am running as a candidate for the Hood River Electric Co-op to give back to the community. I have received excellent service from the co-op and understand that it takes people willing to volunteer their time to make a difference. As my kids become more independent, I am looking forward to investing time into supporting our local co-op and learning more about our essential service.”
2020 was the first year of combined operations with electric and internet divisions under the Hood River Electric Cooperative name. Both divisions provided reliable service and had solid financial performances. The electric division had net margins of $505,876 and capital credit retirements of $1,226,506. The internet division had net margins of $355,191 and capital credit retirements of $91,864. This was the first year the internet division returned capital credits to members.
Our new transmission line and substation in Pine Grove has been a prime focus for the past year. Approvals and design of the line are complete, and construction will begin this summer.
We reported exciting news for internet members. We received preliminary approval for funding through the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC’s) Rural Digital Opportunity Fund to build a fiber-to-the-home network throughout a large portion of our electric service area. We are working through the FCC’s application process. We anticipate the buildout will begin this fall. The FCC has given us six years to complete this project, but we will build it more quickly if possible. In addition to offering faster internet, we will be able to offer Voice over Internet Protocol phone service.
On behalf of all of us at HREC, thank you for the opportunity to serve you.