Good morning and welcome to the 85thAnnual Meeting of the Alcorn County Electric Power Association. It is with pride and honor that I stand before you as the CEO of this great organization to bring you the Annual Report of your Association.
This year has been very busy on many fronts. First, the Mississippi Legislature felt the need for rural broadband was so great, and a very viable solution was to allow the electric power cooperatives to enter into the business; that the Mississippi Broadband Enabling Act of 2019 was one of the first pieces of legislation passed during the 2019 session. This Act would allow the electric coops to use their electric plant assets along with added equipment to provide broadband to the membership.
ACE Management and Board of Directors have spent hundreds, if not thousands, of hours in meetings and studying feasibility studies to determine if this broadband venture would be something that would be a positive move for your Association. Now that the studies have been completed, we believe that adding broadband service would be beneficial to ACE and the membership. The last step in the process of being able to make the decision to add broadband service is to amend the corporate charter to allow ACE to enter into the business. The requirements for changing the charter are to advertise the proposed amendment and have the membership vote on the amendment. Although all members will not vote, 60% of those voting in person or by proxy will need to vote in favor of the amendment in order for the change to be approved. This vote is happening today. If the membership approves the change, the Board of Directors will begin the process of following the Mississippi Broadband Enabling Act to enter into the business.
Although we have spent a lot of time on broadband this year, we have not neglected our electric service. As always, we strive to keep the “lights on” 24/7, and once again we failed to accomplish this goal; however, our reliability remains very high at 99.994% with the average outage lasting 84 minutes. Unfortunately, many of these outages are the result of causes that are completely beyond our control; this is an area where we will continue to work on improving.
Our crews have replaced 181 bad poles this year and rebuilt 12.35 miles of power lines while continuing to perform routine maintenance. At the same time, we have completed our meter upgrade program this year. These improvements have increased our electric plant by $2,496,649.00 and total assets have increased by $867,187.05 to $78,084,732.90.
As busy as this year has been, the next few years will be just as busy if not more so; however, with the continued support of the membership, your Association will continue to be one of the best in the Nation. In closing, I would like to say “thank you” to you the members of Alcorn County Electric Power Association, and to the Board of Directors for all the help and support you give the ACE Management Team.
Eddie L Howard, CEO