Section 1. Qualification.
Any person, firm, partnership, corporation, association, municipal corporation, or body politic may become and remain a member of this Association by using energy supplied by the Association and by complying with the terms and conditions with respect to membership contained in these By-Laws.
Section 2. Application for Membership.
Any applicant for membership in the Association shall execute and deliver to the Association a written application for membership in such form and containing such information as the Board of Directors may specify from time to time.
Section 3. Membership Fee.
The membership fee of the Association shall be fixed by the Board of Directors from time to time, and shall be paid in full at the time the application for membership is submitted. One separate membership must be held in connection with each separate meter. Where commercial activity is carried on behind one meter providing both commercial and residential service, the commercial rate shall apply.
Section 4. Active Member.
A member who has paid the Membership Fee to the Association, and whose membership account is tied to or supporting a meter location currently receiving electric service from the Association is an active member.
Section 5. Inactive Member in Good Standing.
A member whose membership is no longer tied to an active account, may nonetheless maintain a membership in the Association by becoming an inactive member in good standing. To be an inactive member in good standing, a member must have (i) paid the Membership Fee to the Association, (ii) received a final bill from the last service location tied to such membership and paid the same in full, and (iii) maintain a membership not tied to or supporting a meter location currently receiving electric service from the Association. Inactive members in good standing shall have the right to transfer such membership to an active service location in accordance with the Association’s Policies and Procedures. Inactive members in good standing are not active members, and shall not have the right to vote in any election or otherwise exercise the rights of active members.
Section 6. Joint Membership.
(a) Definition of Joint Membership. A joint membership is defined as a membership held by married persons. Married persons shall, for all purposes, be considered to be, and shall constitute, one (1) member of the Association, and shall hold a joint membership regardless of whether the membership certificate is issued in the name of one or both spouses. As used throughout these By-Laws, the Certificate of Reincorporation of the Association, as amended from time to time, and any other rules or regulations of the Association, the term “member” shall be deemed to include married persons holding a joint membership.
(b) Rights and Obligations of Joint Members. All provisions relating to the rights and liabilities of membership shall apply equally with respect to a joint membership. Each joint member shall be jointly and severally liable for all debts owed to the Association. Without limiting the generality of any of the foregoing, the effect of the hereinafter specified actions by or in respect of the holders of a joint membership shall be as follows:
(i) Joint members shall be entitled to only one (1) vote, which vote may be cast by either joint member;
(ii) The signature, consent or other act of either joint member binds both joint members;
(iii) The presence at a meeting of either or both joint members shall be regarded as the presence of one (1) member, shall constitute a joint waiver of notice of the meeting for both joint members, and shall revoke any proxy previously given by either of the joint members;
(iv) A waiver of notice signed by either or both joint members shall constitute a joint waiver for both joint members;
(v) Any notice given by the Association to either joint member shall constitute notice to both joint members;
(vi) Termination or withdrawal of either joint member shall serve as a termination or withdrawal of both joint members;
(vii) Either, but not both, of the joint members may have a voice at any meeting of the Association, including the right to nominate, subject to the same rules, regulations and guidelines as any other member of the Association; and
(viii) Either, but not both, of the joint members may be elected or appointed as an officer or Director of the Association, provided that both joint members meet the qualifications of such office.
(c) Termination of Joint Membership. Joint members shall notify the Association of (1) the death of one of the joint members or (2) the dissolution of their marriage. Upon notification of such an event, or upon the mutual agreement of the joint members and the Association, the joint membership shall terminate, and the membership shall be converted to an individual membership in the name of the member who continues to maintain the active membership.
Section 7. Membership Certificate.
Upon the filing of a written application in proper form, the payment of the required membership fee, and the payment of any delinquent amounts owing to the Association by the applicant, the Association shall issue to the applicant a certificate of membership in the following form:
CERTIFICATE OF MEMBERSHIP
IN THE ALCORN COUNTY ELECTRIC POWER ASSOCIATION
THIS IS TO CERTIFY that________________________________________
is a member of the Alcorn County Electric Power Association, a Mississippi corporation, and is entitled to all the rights and privileges and is bound by all the duties and obligations of membership therein, as defined and set forth in the By-Laws of the Association.
This Certificate may be transferred by a member to another location in the service area of the Association owned or used by the member, but may not be transferred by the member to any other person.
By becoming a member of the Association, the member agrees to permit authorized agents of the Association free access to the premises served by the Association for the purpose of inspecting, reading, repairing, or removing property of the Association, and further grants to the Association and others authorized by the Association easements over land owned by the member for the purposes of erecting and maintaining transmission and distribution lines, erecting and maintaining communication, cable and fiber optic lines and equipment, using the Association’s electric delivery system for the provision of broadband services, and trimming, cutting, removing, and controlling trees and underbrush which might obstruct or endanger said lines, all at no cost to the Association.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the Alcorn County Electric Power Association has caused this Certificate to be issued on the date shown above.
Section 8. Transfer of Membership Certificates.
A membership certificate in the Association may be transferred by any member to any other premises in the service area of the Association owned or used by the member, upon written request in the form and manner prescribed by the Board of Directors. A membership certificate may not be transferred to any other person or member.
Section 9. Withdrawal from Membership.
Any member may withdraw from membership in the Association upon payment in full of all debts and liabilities of such member to the Association and upon compliance with such terms and conditions as the Board of Directors may prescribe. Upon such withdrawal, the membership fee shall be refunded to the member.
Section 10. Death of a Member.
(a) Death of Individual Member. Upon the death of a member holding an individual membership, the membership shall terminate and the membership fee shall be applied to any outstanding balance on the deceased member’s account. Within a reasonable time of receiving notice of such member’s death, the Association shall mail notice to the deceased member’s residence providing thirty (30) days from such notification to pay any remaining balance and final the account. The deceased member’s estate or heirs shall be responsible to pay any remaining balance on the deceased member’s account.
(b) Death of Joint Member. Upon notification of the death of a joint member in whose name alone the joint membership was held, the Association shall, within a reasonable time thereafter, send notice to the deceased member’s surviving spouse, providing such surviving spouse thirty (30) days within which to either sign the existing membership into the spouse’s name, or to pay any remaining balance and final the account.
Section 11. Termination of Membership.
The Board of Directors may, by the affirmative vote of at least three-fifths (3/5) of the Directors, terminate a member’s membership in the Association for any of the following reasons: (a) failure to pay an undisputed amount due to the Association; (b) failure of the member to use electric service for a period of six (6) consecutive months (unless the cessation of use is caused by an event beyond the member’s reasonable control and the member intends to resume use when reasonably possible); (c) the member is no longer qualified to be a member of the Association; (d) violation or refusal to comply with any of the provisions of the Mississippi Electric Power Association Law, or of the Certificate of Reincorporation of the Association, as amended from time to time, or of these By-Laws or any rules, regulations and policies adopted from time to time by the Board of Directors; (e) theft of services or the appearance of theft devices on the customer’s premises; or (f) other good cause as determined by the Board of Directors. Prior to any such termination, the member shall be given written notice of the proposed termination and reasons therefor, and shall have ten (10) days from the date of such notice to cure such failure or default. If the member fails to cure or remedy the circumstance leading to the proposed termination within such ten (10) day period, the Board of Directors shall consider termination of such membership at its next regular meeting, at which meeting the member shall have the opportunity to address the Board of Directors concerning the same. Upon termination of membership, notice thereof shall be mailed to the member at the address on the member’s account. Any member whose membership has been so terminated may be reinstated as a member by a majority vote of the Board of Directors or a majority vote of the members at any annual or special meeting. Termination of membership shall not release the member from the obligation of paying all sums due to the Association.
Section 12. Limitation of Members’ Liability.
The private property of the members of the Association shall be exempt from execution for the debts of the Association, and no member shall be individually liable or responsible for any debts or liabilities of the Association.
Section 13. Grant of Access and Easements by Members.
Each member shall permit the Association’s authorized employees, agents and independent contractors to have access to such member’s land for meter reading and for inspection, operation maintenance, replacement, relocation, repair, disconnection of service or removal of the property of the Association. Each member, by becoming a member, grants an easement to the Association and others authorized by the Association along, across, over and under land owned by the member for the purpose of erecting, constructing, relocating, operating, maintaining, servicing, repairing and reconstructing poles, lines, fiber and other materials and equipment for the transmission and/or distribution of electric energy as now or may hereafter be used, for the transmission of communications by cable, fiber optic or other methods, for the use of the Association’s electric delivery system for the provision of broadband services, and for the purpose of trimming, cutting, removing, and controlling trees and underbrush which, in the opinion of the Association, might obstruct or endanger such lines, all at no cost to the Association. The granting by a member of such easements and rights to the Association shall be effective upon the member’s admission to membership in the Association. The granting of such easements and rights shall be effective and enforceable even in the absence of a separate written easement agreement executed by the member; nevertheless, the member shall execute a separate written easement agreement for recording purposes if requested by the Association to do so. The Board of Directors may require applicants for membership to return any payments previously made to such applicants for easements.
Section 14. Service to Non-Members.
Should the Association acquire any electric facilities already dedicated or devoted to the public use, the Association shall for the purpose of continuing existing service and avoiding hardships, continue to serve the person served directly from such facilities at the time of acquisition without requiring such persons to become members. Any municipality, county, or other body politic may apply for and receive service from the association without becoming a member and without payment of a membership fee, by making such a request to the Association and providing to the Association a written acknowledgement, in such form as the Board of Directors may prescribe from time to time, that such governmental body acknowledges responsibility to pay, and will pay for, all electric service rendered by the Association to such governmental body. In no event shall the number of such non-members served exceed forty-nine percent (49%) of the total number of persons served by the Association. Such nonmember customers (excluding governmental bodies) shall have the right to become members upon nondiscriminatory terms, and shall become members within one (1) year of receiving electric service from the Association. The rates to such nonmembers shall be on a cost basis and may exceed the rates to members by only such amounts as may be necessary to meet the full actual cost of service to such nonmembers.
Section 15. Service to Transients.
The Board of Directors may, in specific cases or by general rules and regulations, authorize services to transients for a limited period at non-member rates to be fixed from time to time by the Board of Directors. These non-member rates shall be fixed in such an amount as to include insofar as possible all costs to the Association in providing the service, but without any profit resulting to the Association.
Section 16. Under Billing.
In the event a billing or other error by the Association results in a member being undercharged for the actual amount of electricity provided to the member by the Association, then upon discovery of the error, and regardless of the cause or duration of the error, the Association will issue a supplemental billing reflecting the corrected amount owed by the member, and the member shall remit payment to the Association for such supplemental billing; provided, however, that the right of the Association to collect for any underbilling shall be limited by the then applicable statute of limitation. The Association may make arrangements for the payment of such supplemental billings on an installment basis, subject to such terms and conditions as may be approved by the Association’s Board of Directors.
Section 17. Membership List.
The Association shall maintain a written or electronic record of current members of the Association, which shall be made and kept for Association purposes only. Except as otherwise required by the Board of Directors or pursuant to an Order from a Court of competent jurisdiction, the list of members of the Association shall not be open to inspection or copying by members or by any other persons or entities.