Annual meeting draws record breaking crowd

The International Year of the Cooperative is upon us. “As a cooperative, GVEA is not-for-profit,” said President & CEO Brian Newton at this year’s annual meeting on April 25. “That means we sell power power at cost to our members.”

As residents of Interior Alaska know well, energy costs are high. Board member Ron Bergh said “We have heard you loud and clear – you want lower electric rates. And we are working hard to hold the line on costs.” Specifically, GVEA is trying to lower its biggest annual cost: oil. Here is the cooperative’s three-step plan to kick the oil habit:

  1. Bring the Eva Creek Wind project online this fall
  2. Restart the Healy Clean Coal Plant
  3. Truck liquefied natural gas from the North Slope to the Interior

In addition to energy projects, CEO Brian Newton encouraged energy conservation at home and in the workplace. “We burn less oil when our members use less power,” he said.

A total of 37 members participated in member comments.

For the third year in a row, the co-op gave away a used vehicle. Julie Fairchild was the winner of a 1997 Ford single-cab pickup truck.

Here are other drawing winners from this year’s meeting:

  • $250 Safeway gift card from IBEW – James Gates and Patrick Bouling
  • Gift baskets donated by co-ops: Faith Flood, Marty Mirando, Jim Perry and Christy Shaw
  • $250 – Martin Ott, Lorraine Phillips, Elsie Rieck, Charlotte Wilbur
  • $500 – Kyle Gronewold and Arlene Ranstead
  • $1,000 – Brad Nussbaumer

The meeting attracted a record breaking member attendance of 2,024. That’s an increase of more than 400 from last year.

A couple more fun facts: 3,400 cookies and 2,000 cups of popcorn were consumed.

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