Greetings for the new year!

The first quarter of each year is a busy time for your staff and board of directors.

In addition to dealing with the rigors of winter, the operations staff is making plans and scheduling work for the coming spring and summer.

The work usually involves contacting members regarding vegetation management. I hope you will be receptive to requests to remove or trim trees that have been identified as presenting a potential risk to our aerial lines. Sometimes the risk is not obvious until one sees branches bending under the weight of wet, heavy snow.

Other work includes routine inspection of poles and lines to determine if poles or wires need to be replaced or upgraded. Ongoing care and judicious replacement of system components enhance reliability and preserve their ability to withstand adverse conditions.

Office staff is preparing year-end financial statements for the past operating year. They are organizing records needed for the annual independent financial audit. Numerous monthly, quarterly and annual reports are required by various trade associations, as well as state and federal agencies. Once energy sales and revenue for the past year are reconciled, allocation of capital credits and notification of members can be undertaken. There are myriad other tasks required to wind up affairs of the past year and prepare for next.

Your board of directors begins planning for the annual membership meeting at its January meeting by selecting a date—sometime during the second full week of March —as prescribed in the co-op bylaws. A nominating committee, to identify candidates for three positions on the board, will be appointed at that meeting as well. The directors will receive the completed financial audit report at their February meeting. The annual membership meeting will be conducted on the selected date in March. Board officers are selected at the first board meeting following the annual meeting.

As I write this message in mid-December, it is beginning to look a lot like winter. Though we’ve not experienced snow in Odell, days are short and cool, and snow is visible at upper elevations. All of this is likely to result in increased energy use by HREC members in the coming weeks and months. Now is a good time to enroll in assistance programs, either as a potential recipient or as a contributor, if your personal or family situation warrants. Feel free to contact one of our customer service representatives to get information about local programs and ways to apply for benefits, or how to make contributions.

The entire board of directors and staff thanks you for the opportunity and privilege to serve as custodians of your cooperative.

John Gerstenberger, Manager