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Practice safety when DIY-ing

These days, many of us are spending more time at home and finding new, creative ways to enhance our living space. Tackling do-it-yourself (DIY) projects for the home can be fun and cost-effective, so why not roll up those sleeves and get started! Whether you’re painting the front door with a fresh hue or finally upgrading those patio lights, successfully completing a DIY home project is incredibly satisfying. But many of these projects do not come without risks. Here are a few safety tips to keep in mind as you get to work. 11767-001


Select a designated work area

The amount of space you’ll need will depend on the size and scope of your project, but make sure you have adequate lighting and ventilation (if necessary). Required tools and equipment should be located in your workspace and organized for easy access.


Personal protective equipment

Investing a few bucks in PPE is essential for most home projects. Stock up on safety goggles, dust masks, ear plugs (or noise reduction ear protectors), gloves and any other kind of protection you’ll need for your project. Remember to wear appropriate clothing and shoes.


Work slowly and clean as you go

When you rush through a DIY project, you’ll end up with less desirable results than you intended, or worse, you could make a costly or dangerous mistake. Take your time and remember that you are in control of the project. You should also clean as you go to ensure a safer workspace. Pick up any scrap materials, tools that aren’t in use and any tripping hazards.


Be cautious with power tools

Annually, 8 percent of electrocutions in the U.S. are attributed to improper use of power tools. The Electrical Safety Foundation International offers the following safety tips:

Use ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) with every power tool to protect against electrical shock.

Never use power tools near live electrical wires or water pipes.

Use caution when cutting or drilling into walls where electrical wires or water pipes could be accidentally touched or penetrated.

If a power tool trips a safety device while in use, take the tool to a manufacturer-authorized repair center for service.

Do not use power tools without the proper guards.

When using a wet-dry vacuum cleaner or a pressure washer, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid electrical shock.

Remember, you should only tackle DIY home projects within your skill and comfort level. For projects that require extensive electrical work, we strongly recommend you hire a licensed, qualified electrician for assistance.

From the Manager June 2020

 am writing this letter to all of you in early May. I can only hope and pray that when this issue makes it to you that you are in good health and that the struggles of today are less than yesterday. Clay Electric Co-operative is your trusted energy partner and we work as hard as we can to help our member-owners in good times and hard times. If you are struggling, do not hesitate to call us and let us know.

From the Manager - Nov 2018

We have decided to have a little fun in our center section and give our members a chance to get a little bonus for reading. We will be hiding some numbers in our center section that you may be familiar with. If you look at your bill, your member number is listed in the upper right corner by the bill amount. It will look something like this: 13314-002. If you find your member number in the center section, you win! Congratulations! Give us a call and let us know you found your member number in the center section and we’ll take $5 off your bill. 

Clay Electric board member awarded education certificatev

Clay Electric Co-operative board member Danny Schnepper was awarded the Director Leadership Certificate from the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA). This certificate acknowledges Schnepper’s efforts in pursuing further education in administration, strategic planning and the ever-evolving legal landscape cooperatives must navigate. Photographed (l-r) Board Member Danny Schnepper receives the Director Leadership Certificate from Board President Richard Rudolphi.

Clay Electric linemen help restore power after Hurricane Florence

Hurricane Florence flooded the eastern seaboard in mid-September, causing major flooding and wind damage to huge areas of the East Coast. Damage is estimated at over $38 billion, making Florence the sixth most costly hurricane to affect the United States. North and South Carolina faced the brunt of the storm, suffering the worst damage and most casualties. Hurricane Florence has inflicted a death toll of 48 people and left towns and neighborhoods reeling even as the flood waters start to recede. Hundreds of thousands of people across the affected states sat without power after Florence battered them. In the immediate aftermath, cooperatives mobilized to restore power to their members. 

Clay Electric Co-operative was one of the many cooperatives across more than a dozen states to send mutual aid to those affected by Hurricane Florence. Clay Electric’s crew made the long drive to South River Electric Membership Cooperative in North Carolina as Florence was forecast to make landfall. They were staged with materiel and workers from all over the map to be ready to respond to outages as soon as it was safe to do so. 

The idea of mutual aid is tied directly to one of the seven fundamental principles of the cooperative model, cooperation among cooperatives. “Facing hardships like this together gives us more resources than we could ever come up with alone,” said Edward VanHoose, CEO of Clay Electric Co-operative. “We are all co-op members, and helping our sister cooperatives is just the right thing to do. We know if we needed help, they would be here for us.”

Hurricane Florence left a third of a million members without power in the Carolinas’ cooperative territories. Clay Electric’s relief crew spent more than a week in North Carolina working 17-hour days to help the members left without power. We are grateful for their willingness to sacrifice time at home with their families to help our co-op family recover from this natural disaster. Ultimately, recovering from disasters like these require the dedication and tireless effort of good people. Clay Electric Co-operative is blessed to have the best working with us.

Minutes of Board of Trustees Meeting Regular meeting September 24, 2018

The regular meeting of the Board of Trustees of Clay Electric Co-operative, Inc. (CECI) was held at the Depot in Flora, Ill. beginning at 7:00 o’clock p.m. on Monday, Sept. 24, 2018.

Trustees present were: Frank Czyzewski, Frank Herman, Kevin Logan, Bob Pierson, Richard Rudolphi, Danny Schnepper, Neil Gould and Greg Smith. Absent were Bill Croy and Tyra Cycholl, attorney for the board. Also present were: Ed VanHoose, CEO, and Adam McKnight, member services manager acting as recorder.

The meeting was opened by Richard Rudolphi, who presided and Bob Pierson, secretary, acted as secretary thereof.

The invocation was given by Danny Schnepper.

The following proceedings were had [all action being first duly moved and seconded, and all action taken being upon the unanimous vote of the board or without dissenting vote of abstention unless otherwise stated]:

APPROVED, the Suggested Agenda.

APPROVED, the Consent agenda including the following:

APPROVED, the minutes from Aug. 27, 2018;

APPROVED, (a) to admit to membership those 19 applicants connected for service since the last such review by the board, and (b) cancel those 12 former members shown on the Manager’s Report since the last such review by the Board, said members no longer taking service;

APPROVED, the Work Orders;

DISCUSSED then APPROVED, the disbursements;

REVIEWED, the Credit Card Statements;

REVIEWED, the Attorney Retainer;

REVIEWED, the Flora Chamber of Commerce September Newsletter;

DISCUSSED then APPROVED, one Insurance Certificate.

REVIEWED, Four sealed bids for purchase of one retired line truck

ACCEPTED, Frost Farms LLC’s bid. 

REVIEWED, NRECA’s financial audit for 2016 and 2017.

REVIEWED, the NRECA Regional Meeting held on Sept. 18-19 in Minneapolis, Minn.

REVIEWED, CFC quarterly loan payment and board report.

HEARD, a report by Frank Herman on the SIPC Board Meeting held on Aug. 30, 2018.

HEARD, a report on SIPC’s Fitch rating holding at “BBB,” outlook Stable.

DISCUSSED, the new building concrete issues and framing and sheeting progress.

HEARD, a financial report by Manager VanHoose as to the following:

August 2018 Form 7;

August 2018 Cash Flow;

SIPC Power Delivered in August 2018 dated September 10, 2018;

August 2018 Power Factor.

August 2018 Power Cost Adder.

August Line Loss;

Monthly Reconciliation;

Account Summary Report.

HEARD, a General Safety Report for the month of August 2018.

REVIEWED, the Monday morning safety meeting sheet dated Sept. 17, 2018.

HEARD and APPROVED, the Manager’s report by Manager VanHoose on the following topics.

September Operations Report;

September Communications Report;

Upcoming meetings;

APPROVED, moving the meeting scheduled for Oct. 29, 2018 to Oct. 22 at 7 p.m. at the Depot. 

WERE REMINDED, of upcoming meetings on Oct. 22 at the Depot at 7 p.m. and Nov. 26 at 1 p.m. upstairs at the Depot. The Strategic Planning on Nov. 13 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Nov. 14 from 8 a.m. – noon upstairs at the Depot. 

COMPLETED and RETURNED, CFC’s survey for the upcoming strategic planning session to be held on Nov. 13 – 14, 2018.

There being no further business to come before the board, said meeting was declared adjourned at 8:45 p.m.

Bylaw changes presented at 2018 CECI Annual Meeting for approval

In an effort to keep current, bylaw changes and updates will be presented to the Clay Electric Co-operative (CECI) membership at the 2018 Annual Meeting of Members in August. The last time updates were made was 2010. These changes and updates are needed to reflect changes in state and federal law, as well as to reflect the current business practices of CECI. Staff and the cooperative’s attorney have been going through the current bylaws and cleaning up some language. 

    Some of what you can expect to see are spelling of “cooperative.” Several places had a hyphen in co-operative and other places had no hyphen. (E.g. co-operative change to cooperative.) Some sentences described the members as “husband and wife,” “he or it,” “his or her spouse,” etc. Proposed changes update those references to “the prospective member,” “individuals” or “multiple individuals.”

    The original bylaws with changes added in will be published in the Annual Meeting Notice that you will receive in the mail, most likely in the third week of August. We will also have a limited number available at the annual meeting.

    Also, this year we will be registering members that attend the annual meeting using a barcode scanner.

    A barcode will be printed on the back page of the notice, and we ask that you bring that portion of the back page with you to the meeting.

    Your registration will be used to show that you were present and entitled to the $10 bill credit for attending. Registered members will also be eligible for the prizes given after the meeting as long as you are present if your name is drawn.

    Please plan on attending YOUR Clay Electric Co-operative, Inc. Annual Meeting of Members Aug. 23, 2018 at the campus of Oil Belt Christian Service Camp.

Minutes of Board of Trustees Meeting Regular meeting March 5, 2018

The regular monthly meeting of the Board of Trustees of Clay Electric Co-operative, Inc. (CECI) was held at the principal office of the Cooperative, R.F.D., in Flora, Illinois beginning at 12:20 o’clock p.m. on Monday, March 5, 2018.

    Trustees present were: Frank Czyzewski, Bill Croy, Neil Gould, Frank Herman, Kevin Logan, Bob Pierson, Richard Rudolphi, Danny Schnepper, and Greg Smith. Also present were: Ed VanHoose Executive V.P. General Manager, and Tyra Cycholl, CECI Attorney.

    The meeting was opened by Richard Rudolphi, who presided and Greg Smith, Secretary, acted as secretary thereof.

    The invocation was given by Bill Croy.

    The following proceedings were had [all action being first duly moved and seconded, and all action taken being upon the unanimous vote of the Board or without dissenting vote of abstention unless otherwise stated]:

    APPROVED the Suggested Agenda as presented.

    APPROVED removing the Disbursements and Credit Card Statements from the consent agenda.

    APPROVED the consent agenda as presented including the following:

    REVIEWED, that the Board of Trustees hereby: (a) approve and admit to membership those 10 applicants connected for service since the last such review by the board, and (b) cancel those 16 former members shown on the Manager’s Report since the last such review by the Board, said members no longer taking service.

    APPROVED, the list of work orders in the amount of $37,810.21.

    REVIEWED the December Attorney Retainer.

    APPROVED the December Disbursements and Credit Card Statements.

    APPROVED not participating in the CoBank Director elections.

    APPROVED Ed VanHoose as the CRC Delegate.

    HEARD a report by Gen. Mgr. VanHoose regarding the retirement of Capital Credits to the estate of 2 deceased Members.

    APPROVED the retirement of those Capital Credits pursuant to Cooperative Policy.

    APPROVED taking no legal action against a Member.

    APPROVED the temporary office bid by Fager-McGee as presented.

    APPROVED the warehouse roofing bid by Fager-McGee as presented.

    APPROVED the sitework bid to the lowest bidder as presented.

    DISCUSSED the by-law amendments as presented by Cooperative Attorney Tyra Cycholl.

Luke Johnson entered the meeting.             DISCUSSED the transformer issue and demand letter. Johnson then left the meeting.

    APPROVED selling the Sailor Springs transformer.

    DISCUSSED the NRECA Annual Meeting.

    INFORMED the DFD Rate lock was executed.

    INFORMED the CFC quarterly loan payment was made.

    HEARD a report on the recent SIPC meeting by Trustee Herman.

    HEARD a report by Kevin Logan on the recent AIEC meeting.

    REVIEWED the ComEd Solar Objection and the email to Tri County Electric Cooperative regarding the same.

    REVIEWED the AIEC sharing Compliance communication for John Teimeyer.

    UPDATED on ACRE dues.

    INFORMED of the upcoming Electric Cooperative Lobby Day.

    REVIEWED the new floor plan on the new office building.

    INFORMED the lease was entered for the temporary office building.

    REVIEWED the CECI property Boring Sample Report.

    REMINDED of the upcoming NRECA continuing education course being offered.

    APPROVED entering into executive session.

    APPROVED entering back into regular session.

    HEARD a financial report by Manager VanHoose as to the following:

a.    December 2017 Form 7

b.    January 2018 Form 7

c.    January 2018 Cash Flow

d.    SIPC Power Delivered in January 2018 dated February 7, 2018

    January 2018 Power Factor

    January 2018 Power Cost Adder

    January 2018 Line Loss

    CRC Dividends

    SEDC Patronage Dividends

    HEARD a General Safety Report by Gen. Mgr. VanHoose for February 2018.

    REVIEWED Monday morning safety meeting sheet dated February 19, 2018.

    HEARD and APPROVED a report by Manager VanHoose as to the following:

a.    Work Comp Mod Summary Report

b.    Member issue on late payment

c.    Bible Grove line rebuild

d.    NCSC Manager Director

e.    Upcoming meetings

f.    New SIEC Manager

    REVIEWED four liability insurance certificates.

    DISCUSSED the Auditors Report, APPROVED not having the Auditor Representative attend the CECI Board meeting unless issues arise in the report.


Swimming Pool Safety