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Maintain the safe zone around pad‑mounted transformers By Derrill Holly

Jordan Overbee was driving to work when he saw them. The elementary students were ­waiting for the school bus, but they were sitting on a big green metal box. Inside was vital electrical equipment, distributing electricity to several homes on the street. 

“It was a bad place for a school bus stop,” Overbee recalled. “There were five kids gathered there to wait for a bus, ­sitting, talking and ­playing for a few minutes because it was between driveways.”

As manager of ­operations for Wake Electric Membership Corp., Overbee knows a lot about pad-mounted ­transformers. They make up about half of the trans­formers used across the North Carolina-based co-op’s system. 

Minutes of Board of Trustees Meeting Regular Meeting March 27, 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 12:30 o’clock p.m. on Monday, March 27, 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, Tyra Cycholl, CECI Attorney, Luke Johnson, and Doug Hockman, CECI Employees, and Darren Bailey.

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

Darren Bailey addressed the Board regarding his recent election as a ­candidate for State Representative in the 109th District. Thereafter Bailey left the meeting.

The invocation was given by Frank Herman.

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, with the addition of the IRS allowable mileage change, and adding an employee to a bank account.

Approved the consent agenda as presented including the following:

Approved the February 5, 2018 minutes.

Reviewed, that the Board of Trustees hereby: (a) approve and admit to membership those 7 ­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 $108,929.20.

Reviewed the February Attorney Retainer.

Approved the February Disbursements.

Reviewed the Federated update.

Reviewed the ACRE newsletter.

Reviewed the CFC Annual Benefits of Ownership.

Reviewed and Discussed the 2017 Financial Audit together with the Audit Recommendations.

Approved the 2017 Financial Audit.

Reviewed the Workers Compensation Audit.

Approved the request to add Jamie Myers to a bank account to do electronic transactions.

Approved the change in the ­allowable IRS mileage rate. This is defined in Policy 800-4 so it will not need to be approved in the future.

Approved Ed VanHoose as 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.

After Discussion and Visual Inspection of the back ­parking, driveway area, and pole yard, Approved the low bid as presented for improvements.

Updated on a transformer issue, Tyra Cycholl, Luke Johnson, and Ed VanHoose to follow up.

Reviewed and Discussed the by-law revisions that will be presented to the membership at the 2018 Annual Meeting.

Advised of the NRECA Cyber Alert.

Updated on the 2019 NRECA Annual Meeting.

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

Reviewed the Prairie State February Review.

Reviewed the SIPC Annual Meeting Notice.

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

Reviewed the Illinois Legislative Update.

Informed of the 2018 Illinois Primary Results.

Informed and Reviewed the final building plans for the new CECI headquarters.

Approved the final building plans with the discussed changes and taking the new building plans out for bids.

Approved Frontier Communications pole move charges, contingent upon the bids for the new building being acceptable.

REVIEWED and DISCUSSED the Railroad Permit and Invoice.

APPROVED entering into ­negotiations to purchase property to the west of the building.

REVIEWED the NRECA 2640 class

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

a. February 2017 Form 7

b. February 2018 Cash Flow

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

February 2018 Power Factor

February 2018 Power Cost Adder

February 2018 Line Loss

Monthly Reconciliation

Account Summary Report

Heard a General Safety Report by Luke Johnson for March 2018.

Reviewed Monday morning safety meeting sheet dated March 19, 2018.

Informed of the March 14, 2018 Safety Committee meeting and attendees.

Informed that Luke Johnson attended the recent MYPI class to inform first responders of electrical safety.

Heard and Approved a report by Manager VanHoose as to the following:

a. Clay County Sheriff request.

b. NRECA Cyber MAG

c. ICC NextGrid Workgroup

d. AIEC Manger’s Solar Call

e. Clay County WaterWork Order Review Correction and Engineering Certification

f. Farm Credit Illinois Newsletter

g. Telamon Letter

h. Upcoming meetings


Clay Electric sends students to Youth Day

Pictured with Senator Dale Righter and Representative David Reis are students Nicholas Miller, Collin Moseley, Madison Harrell, Reis, Righter, Angel Keller, Cali Wilson, and Vivian Duquaine.

State Senator Dale Righter and Representative David Reis met with students representing Clay Electric Co-operative, Inc. during the Illinois Electric and Telephone Cooperatives Youth Day on Wednesday, April 18 in Springfield. More than 210 students from around Illinois had an opportunity to visit the State Capitol, view state government in action and question their legislators on key issues. They also were invited into the office of Secretary of State Jesse White.

During lunch, Lt. Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti addressed students and chaperones. Sanguinetti ­discussed her humble beginnings and being encouraged to not allow her background to limit her future. With her passion for volunteerism in local communities, she challenged students, “you never know where life may take you. Volunteer, make a difference. If not you, then who?” Illinois State Fair Manager Luke Sailer, a former Illinois Youth Leadership Council representative, challenged the students to take an interest in the political process and stressed how important their voices and actions are. He encouraged them to “take a leap of faith and work hard, and doors will open for you and your future.”

Faye Yang, the 2017-18 Illinois Youth Leadership Council Representative from Wayne-White Counties Electric Cooperative, spoke about her experiences on the Youth to Washington tour and challenged ­attendees to maintain an interest in their cooperatives and the political process. After lunch, the students also visited the Old State Capitol and Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum.

Youth Day is designed to introduce young rural ­leaders to state government. There were 24 co-ops from across the state represented at the event.

How Americans Use Electricity

Change Habits to Beat the Peak

You can beat the peak (and save money!) by decreasing your power use when energy demand and prices are at their highest. Here are a few tips to help you get started:

Laundry for Less:

Full loads mean fewer cycles, and washers and dryers run in the late evenings add less heat and humidity to the home . Energy can cost less outside of peak hours.

Cool Off/Calm Down:

Turn off unnecessary lighting and electronics that generate heat, resist the urge to turn down the thermostat and remember, lower fan settings use less energy.

Intramural Competition:

Online gaming with each active player using their own computer, display , gaming console and internet connection gets pricey . Play each other at home on one screen and save.

Countertop Convenience:

Range or oven cooking can really warm up a kitchen. Microwaves, convection ovens, induction cooktops, Crock-Pot ® and toaster ovens put more cooking heat where you need it.

Clay Electric Co-operative reminds members to plug into safety

In May, electric cooperatives across the country promote safety awareness to coincide with National Electrical Safety Month. Every year, thousands of accidents occur due to shock hazards, and Clay Electric Co-operative (CECI), a not-for-profit electric utility, is committed to educating the public about potential electrical dangers in the home.

    In 2016, 475,500 structure fires (including residential fires) were reported in the U.S., causing 2,950 deaths, 12,775 injuries and $7.9 billion in property damage. According to the National Fire Protection Association, a residential fire was reported every 90 seconds. Many home fires occur when electrical equipment is outdated or improperly used.

    “It is critical that the public understands their home’s electrical system and the safety concerns associated with the latest residential technologies before bringing them into their homes,” explains Luke Johnson, CECI operations manager. “With newer technologies, such as solar panels, electric vehicles and more electrical gadgets in the home, people need to ensure they have an electrical system that’s compatible with the increased load.”

    To raise awareness of the importance of electrical safety, CECI presents a “LIVE LINE” Safety Demo, which has been presented to area schools, community events, fire departments and first responders.

    Through electrical safety awareness and education, we can all play a part in preventing electrical hazards and injuries in the future. Together, let’s plug into safety this May.

Bible Grove line rebuilt

Recently Clay Electric Co-operative (CECI) rebuilt the three-phase line that delivers electricity to the Bible Grove area. As a result of this project, we will be able to depend more on the line to deliver power safely and efficiently. When the need arises, and CECI must take a substation offline for maintenance, we will be able to do so more effectively. 

    These types of projects are considered in our annual work plan that staff and CECI Engineering company plan for years in advance and are considered in the annual budget.

MyPI Training

At the request of the Illinois Extension Office, Clay Electric Co-operative participated in electrical safety training to students of first responder training recently held at Washington School in Flora. 

    The training is titled MyPI, which is the Illinois Youth Preparedness Initiative. Luke Johnson presented to the class the dangers of getting too close to downed power lines. When an accident occurs, or a storm comes through the area and takes down power lines, stay away from them. You never know if the lines are energized or not.

    Clay Electric crews have a monitoring device that they keep in their pocket when out working in storm damage that will detect when voltage is present. If you observe an accident or a fallen tree, look around and make sure there are not any electric lines present before rendering help to someone. Don’t become a victim yourself. Wait on trained personnel to arrive to make sure the area is ok to enter.

Minutes of Board of Trustees Meeting Regular meeting January 2, 2018

The regular monthly ­meeting of the Board of Trustees of Clay Electric Cooperative, Inc. (CECI) was held at the principal office of the Cooperative, R.F.D., in Flora, Illinois beginning at 1:00 o’clock p.m. on Monday, January 2, 2018.

Rate increase for 2018

As was reported at the 2017 Clay Electric Co-operative, Inc. Annual Meeting of Members, there was an increase in rates beginning on January 1, 2018. This increase was reflected on your February billing. The rate increase was not the 4 percent expected, as announced at the Annual Meeting. Instead, the monthly minimum, fixed charge increased $1.50, and the kilowatt hour (kWh) rates increased 1.5 percent.