August 10, 2021
Good morning and welcome to the 87th Annual Meeting of the membership of Alcorn County Electric Power Association. Since this time last year, we have dealt with COVID-19, fiber buildout, a winter storm, and a multitude of everyday events.
The hot topic for most of the year was COVID-19. The virus caused many disruptions in our everyday lives; many of us lost loved ones to the virus, jobs were lost, and many suffered financial loss. ACE closed the lobby to the public for the first time ever and handled business through the drive-thru and online. This was done with very little inconvenience to the membership, and we managed to keep the level of customer service to the standard the membership expects. The virus also caused us to work our employees differently. We separated the crews into different buildings and many employees either worked at home or worked from home without reporting to the office. This helped to keep the employees healthy, and everyone managed to get their jobs done.
One positive from dealing with the difficulties of working through COVID-19 and having to modify the way we handled business was being able to close ACE in February due to the winter storm that dumped several inches of snow in the area and with the low temperatures the roads were impassable. ACE was closed from February 16-19, and all office personnel worked from home, and the outside crews were on standby at home and ready to handle any emergency work that was needed. So even though ACE was not open for business at the office, all the work and customer service was handled.
Construction of our mainline fiber buildout was completed by the end of June, which was 18 months ahead of schedule. However, this does not mean the project is complete, far from it. We still have months of splicing and running service drops to customers’ houses, but this puts us just months away from being able to offer world-class, high-speed internet to all of Alcorn County. This project has been very complicated and costly, but thanks to some grant funding and the obvious need for the service in Alcorn County, this will prove to be one of the most important projects ever implemented by ACE.
Financially ACE continues to be strong. The electric plant increased this year by 16% to a total of $119,870,280.28, total assets increased by 17% to $106,013,939.38, annual sales were $54,361,885.24. Therefore, as you can see, the Association is very strong and will continue to provide reliable, low-cost electric service for years to come.
In closing, let me thank the membership and the Board of Directors for your continued support.
Submitted this 10th day of August 2021
Eddie Howard, CEO