Skip to main navigation.

ClayNews's blog

Youth to Washington Tour available for juniors

The Clay Electric Co-operative sponsored “Youth to Washington” tour sends students to Springfield, Ill., and also to Washington, DC to see firsthand, government in action. Students will travel with other students from the area and the state of Illinois on both trips. 

Ten 2016 IEC Memorial Scholarships available

Clay Electric Co-operative Executive V.P. / General Manager Ed VanHoose has announced that the Illinois electric cooperatives will again in 2016 award nine academic scholarships to high school seniors through a memorial scholarship fund designed to financially assist deserving students in the “electric cooperative family.” In addition, a tenth scholarship – to assist with costs in attending an electric lineworker school – will also be offered.

The nine academic scholarships of $2,000 each will be awarded in 2016 through the Thomas H. Moore Illinois Electric Cooperatives (IEC) Memorial Scholarship Program.

Five scholarships will be awarded to high school seniors who are the sons or daughters of an Illinois electric cooperative member receiving service from the cooperative. A sixth scholarship, the Earl W. Struck Memorial Scholarship, will be awarded to a student who is the son or daughter of an Illinois electric cooperative employee or director. Three additional scholarships are reserved for students enrolling full-time at a two-year Illinois community college who are the sons or daughters of Illinois electric cooperative members, employees or directors.

The tenth annual $2,000 scholarship, the “LaVern and Nola McEntire Lineworker’s Scholarship,” was created in 2011 to help pay for costs to attend the lineworker’s school conducted by the Association of Illinois Electric Cooperatives in conjunction with Lincoln Land Community College (LLCC), Springfield, Ill. LaVern McEntire served as a lineman for McDonough Power Electric Cooperative from 1949 until 1991. He and his wife, Nola, endowed the scholarship to financially assist deserving individuals in becoming trained lineworkers. Sons and daughters of co-op members; relatives of co-op employees or directors; individuals who have served or are serving in the armed forces or National Guard; and individuals participating in the LLCC lineworker’s program are all eligible for the lineworker’s scholarship.  

“We hope to assist electric cooperative youth while honoring past rural electric leaders with these scholarships,” says Gen. Mgr. VanHoose. “Clay Electric and the other Illinois electric cooperatives are always seeking ways to make a difference in our communities. One of the best ways we can do that is by helping our youth through programs like this one. In addition, we are very pleased to offer the electric lineworker’s scholarship. It will benefit not only electric cooperative youth but also those fine men and women who have served their country through their military service and may now be wanting to become a trained lineworker.”

Clay Electric has been fortunate to have had 3 winners of these scholarships. Those winners include 2011 Morgan Healy North Clay H.S, 2010 Kate Henderson Flora H.S., and 2009 Kaylee McCollum North Clay H.S.

For more information regarding the scholarships, check out the Clay Electric website at www.ceci.coop  All necessary paperwork has also been sent to area high school guidance counselors and is also available for download at the cooperative’s website www.ceci.coop or at the Association of Illinois Electric Cooperative’s website www.aiec.coop. For any questions please call Member Services Director Doug Hockman at Clay Electric Cooperative at 662-2171, or toll free 1-800-582-9012.

Tips for a safe and happy holiday season

The holidays are upon us. For many, that means more celebrations with friends and family, travel, decorations, cooking and shopping. Clay Electric Co-operative, Inc. wants you to stay safe during the holidays, so here are a few tips to consider as you gear up for the season.

We can’t guarantee that the hustle and bustle of the season won’t leave you with a few frayed nerves, but we can certainly help you avoid frayed wires.

Minutes of Board of Trustees Meeting

Regular meeting September 28, 2015

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 Executive Vice President/General Manager Ed VanHoose, Cooperative Attorney Melanie Pearce, USDA Rural Development Business Programs Specialist Mary Warren, Member Services Director Doug Hockman, and Operations Manager Luke Johnson. The invocation was given by Frank Czyzewski.

December 2012 From the Manager

As the year draws to a close, it’s not only time to reflect, but also time to plan for 2016. Rest assured, your cooperative continues to push forward with innovation in order to provide you with the best, most reliable, service possible.

    This year, we completed a major technology upgrade with the new GIS systems powered by Futura. With the new system, we were able to integrate our work flow directly into our billing system, thus saving time by making our processes much simpler. As an added benefit, the system now removes unnecessary duplication of effort. We no longer hand-write staking sheets and then pass them around. Now, everything is entered into a centralized database so everyone at CECI is always on the same page.

    And, that’s just the beginning. We have plans to continue to improve upon this system. First though, we must spend some time getting our database of poles and lines, and everything attached to them, absolutely correct. Once that is done, we will then be able to roll out an Outage Management System (OMS) which will allow you, the CECI member, to receive specific outage information without even needing to call in!

    We aren’t there yet, but I hope one day we can “beat the call.” That means, we will know about your outage and have crews dispatched before you even get a chance to call in.

    CECI also added three new positions in 2015. We welcomed Luke Johnson to his role as Operations Manager. Luke has been doing a great job coordinating the efforts of the crews, while playing a primary role in the GIS rollout. He is also responsible for the work plan, which allows CECI to keep our lines up-to-date. 

    Prior to this year, we utilized a contract crew on an eight month basis in order to keep the lines clear of trees and brush. Now, we have our own two man inside crew working 12 months of the year. In the short time they have been here, both Eric and Layton have done a great job at getting caught up with past tickets. In the future, they will increase our response time to your calls, and enable CECI to keep its lines clear of trees.

    By keeping the lines clear, system reliability should definitely be positively impacted.

    Finally, we have begun work on our capital credit retirements. Part of being a cooperative member/owner means you receive an allocated portion of each year’s margins. Both the board and I take very seriously the idea that members should receive their portion of capital credits and we are working on a plan to get them out as soon as possible.

    My hope is to get funds to you in 2016, with a plan in place to retire capital credits every year, assuming the cooperative remains in strong financial condition.

    You can rest assured we are constantly on the lookout for better ways in which to serve you. Until next month, be safe.

Why electric co-ops replace utility poles

By Abby Berry

You probably don’t pay much attention to the utility poles found throughout Clay Electric Co-operative’s service territory, but did you know these tall structures are the backbone of our distribution network?

There is a Cooperative Difference

In the U.S., the vast majority of people receive their electricity from one of three types of utilities; investor-owned, municipal-owned or through their electric cooperative, which is owned and controlled by the people who use it. Let’s take a closer look at these three types of ownership models and see why it matters to you.

    In the investor-owned model, the corporation is owned by a great number of stockholders who may or may not be real customers of the utility. Investor-owned utilities tend to be very large corporations such as Ameren, Entergy, Com Edison or Excel. They serve large cities, suburban areas and some rural areas, too.

Appleknocker Festival

On September 26, the Flora Academic Foundation held an educational festival called “Appleknocker” on the grounds of the Flora Schools. The event, held the last Saturday of each September, was well attended by children as well as adults. 

Clay Electric Co-operative participated at the recent festival. Clay Electric linemen manned the simulated “Pole Climb,” and helped the kids put on a climbing belt, hardhat, and lineman’s gloves, and climb onto the pole, while parents took their pictures. 

We were glad to participate in the event and hope the children enjoyed it. 

Ten 2016 IEC Memorial Scholarships available

Clay Electric Co-operative Executive V.P. / General Manager Ed VanHoose has announced that the Illinois electric cooperatives will again in 2016 award nine academic scholarships to high school seniors through a memorial scholarship fund designed to financially assist deserving students in the “electric cooperative family.” In addition, a tenth scholarship – to assist with costs in attending an electric lineworker school – will also be offered.

 

Minutes of Board of Trustees Meeting

Regular meeting August 31, 2015

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 Executive Vice President/General Manager Ed VanHoose, Cooperative Attorney Melanie Pearce, Member Services Director Doug Hockman, and Youth Day/Youth Tour Participants Lexi Harrison and Parker Moses. The invocation was given by Neil Gould.

Pages