April 2016 Back Page – Board of Directors Election and Annual Meeting.

Posted: April 28, 2016

This edition of Ruralite magazine will arrive in your mailbox just about exactly the same time as our 2016 Annual Meeting is underway in Anchorage. We will soon have results of AVEC’s first director election where the members themselves have selected their representatives to serve on the board.

Approximately 6,800 ballots were mailed in late February to all members for whom we had a designated member signature on file. Three weeks later, the accounting firm that tallied the ballots had already received more than 25 percent of those ballots returned by the membership. That is a remarkable rate of return and reflects the interest of our members in being a part of their energy destiny. The names of the winning candidates will be posted on our website immediately after the annual meeting.

2016 may be the first year ever that 100 percent of our communities successfully held a community annual meeting. We hope that, weather permitting, we will have 100 percent of the elected delegates attend the meeting in Anchorage.

In another first for AVEC, we will engage the delegates in a strategic planning session as we all seek solutions for the future. The immense downturn in the state’s fiscal situation creates threats and opportunities that can only be tackled by all of us working together. While low oil prices lead to lower cost of fuel in rural Alaska, the long-term damage to the economy caused by low state revenue cannot be overemphasized.

We realistically expect an inevitable reduction to local jobs by reduced construction activity, reduced revenue sharing, possible reductions to school funding and many other impacts. There is no doubt our communities will be affected. But by working together to understand those effects and to explore ways by which we can weather them, we will be stronger through the process.

Enclosed in this edition is the Annual Report of your cooperative. You will see that we had another good year. Later this year, we will allocate almost $2.8 million in margins back to you, the members. You also will see that our average revenue per kilowatt-hour dropped by 3.3 cents per kWh because our cost of fuel in the last half of the year was lower than in 2014. We hope to demonstrate even greater reductions this year.

Turn to pages 6 and 7 of the Annual Report to see some of the major projects we accomplished in 2015. We are always so busy with the present that we do not take the time to look behind us and see how much we have accomplished. Our successes would not be possible without you, our members. Thank you for your support!