West Central covers a good year
The West Central Electric Cooperative board of directors and other employees hosted the cooperative’s 69th annual business meeting Wednesday, Oct. 3, in the Philip school’s Fine Arts Building.
Approximately 250 guests visited during a social hour. After Deacon Lloyd Frien gave the invocation, and the national anthem was sung by the Philip High School All-State Choir, Board President Mike McQuistion officially called the meeting to order.
The board’s report was given by Mike McQuistion. Among other points, he spoke of the challenges of keeping electricity affordable, safety, and upcoming retirements.
“Thank you to the member owners for attending your annual meeting. We encourage you all to continue your support. The Co-op is only as strong as its’ members, and we need all of you to keep us strong,” said McQuistion.
Chief Executive Officer/Manager Steve Reed discussed project updates, which included a detailed overview of what the Keystone XL pipeline project consisted of from West Central’s standpoint. He also said that the plans for a wind turbine farm north of Philip would continue to help reduce the use of coal to create electricity.
Attorney David Larson presented his legal report and announced that three directors were appointed to three-year terms – Ken Miller representing Jones County, Jim Willert representing Jackson County, and Shad Riggle representing Stanley County.
In a prerecorded video, Jeff Birkeland said West Central has 7,000 square miles of coverage, within five counties, and has 3,700 members to serve. Thus West Central is one of the largest coverage areas in the state and is one of the least populated areas. “We are the poster child for rural South Dakota,” said Birkeland.
Guest speaker, Rushmore Electric Manager Vic Simmons, spoke on power supply and other market challenges.
The meeting featured a free roast beef dinner prepared and served by the Philip Volunteer Fire Department. Cash prize drawings were held throughout the evening. Next year’s annual meeting will be held in Murdo.