PAULDING – Paulding-Putnam Electric Cooperative (PPEC) celebrated a year of exemplary member service at its 2014 annual meeting, held Saturday, March 15 at PPEC headquarters in Paulding.
Three seats on PPEC’s board of directors were up for election at the annual meeting. Re-elected to the board were directors Gerald Sorg, Dr. John Saxton and Gary Hayden.
Sorg represents District 1, comprised of Marion, Madison and Monroe townships in Allen County, Ind.; and Preble and Union townships in Adams County, Ind.
Saxton – who also serves as board president – represents District 6, comprised of Auglaize, Brown, Latty and Washington townships in Paulding County and Defiance and Highland townships in Defiance County.
Hayden – who also serves as board treasurer – represents District 9, comprised of Pleasant, Union, Ottawa and Riley townships in Putnam County.
George Carter, CEO and general manager of PPEC, highlighted the cooperative’s ongoing commitment to providing reliable service at affordable rates. PPEC’s rates are the lowest of any electric cooperative in the state, and among the lowest of any electric utility in Ohio.
Carter credited this accomplishment to the cooperative’s outstanding employees.
“We have a great group of employees,” said Carter. “We only have 37 employees here. The average cooperative of our size has 46. We do a lot more here with less.
“Other utilities spend roughly 1.3 cents on their operating and maintenance expenses. Here at Paulding-Putnam, we spend 0.6 cents. That is attributable to our employees.”
Saxton encouraged PPEC members to become advocates for the cooperative. With the Environmental Protection Agency attempting to implement unfeasible regulations on coal-fired power, potentially driving the cost of electricity substantially higher in future years, Saxton implored members to send a message to the agency through two websites: www.action.coop and www.tellepa.com.
“I understand it can be hard to be an advocate when you get that electric bill,” said Saxton. “But when you understand what is driving the cost of that bill, hopefully you can become one.”
PPEC also celebrated outstanding area youth at the annual meeting. The cooperative announced the winners of its Children of Members and Touchstone Energy Achievement scholarships.
First place in the Children of Members scholarship competition went to Kaitlyn Roughton and Matthew Klopfenstein in the girls’ and boys’ divisions, respectively. Roughton is a senior at Paulding High School and Klopfenstein is a senior at Wayne Trace High School.
First place in the Touchstone Energy Achievement Scholarship was awarded to Katrina Riepenhoff, a senior at Ottawa Glandorf High School.
The three first-place scholarship winners will compete for additional state-level scholarships next month at Ohio Rural Electric Cooperatives Inc. in Columbus.
Also announced were PPEC’s representatives on the 2014 Electric Cooperative Youth Tour. Katherine Murphy, a sophomore at Hicksville High School, and Jacob Ellerbrock, a sophomore at Miller City-New Cleveland High School, will travel to Washington, D.C. in June to tour the nation’s capital, meet members of Congress and learn more about the nation’s electric cooperative system.