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Members of Tri-County EMC, employees and local and state dignitaries gathered on October 18 for the 73rd Annual Meeting of Tri-County EMC at the headquarters in Gray, GA.  The cooperative’s CEO, C. Hill Bentley, gave an overview of last year’s accomplishments, and addressed the challenges of the coming years. Tom Daniel, Tri-County EMC Attorney, announced election results. The reelected board members were Chester Mercer (District 1), Tom Thompson, Jr. (District 2), and Thomas Noles (District 3). These members will serve three year terms. The three proposed bylaw changes included on the ballot to allow for the possibility of electronic voting in the future also passed with more than 90% of the voting members in favor of the changes.

CEO C. Hill Bentley reiterated the purpose of the cooperative: to provide reliable service at the lowest possible cost. Tri-County EMC has been closely monitoring the legislative issues affecting the coop industry in order to keep future costs down.

“When the board hired me, they said to keep the lights on and the cost down. That’s my job. That’s why it’s important to look towards the future,” Bentley commented.

The upcoming national election will be an important one for coops. Many EPA regulations have been in discussion regarding the future of coal plants as well as the Territory Act, the Enabling Act, the Public Service Commission and the future of green energy.

“Doing our part to protect the environment is important to us and is shown by our involvement in Green Power EMC, the first renewable energy program in Georgia. But, there needs to be an intelligent mix of fuel types and adequate reserves of energy in order to keep the lights on, ” said Bentley.

During the meeting, Tom Thompson, Jr., Chairman of the Board of Directors, reflected on the purpose of the cooperative. He noted that while it is important to provide electric service to our territory, the commitment that Tri-County EMC makes to the community through the Washington Youth Tour, scholarship programs, Operation Roundup and economic development should also be noted. 

Community service continues to be a priority at Tri-County. Through Operation Roundup, the co-op has awarded over $907,000 since 2001 to people in need in the service area.  Seven scholarships were awarded in the past year, and two students from the service area were chosen to participate in the Washington Youth Tour.

Tri-County continues to have a positive safety record with 7 years of no lost time. To add to its safety record, the coop recently scored a 98% on the Electric Cooperative Safety Achievement Program of Georgia inspection in October.

Nine Tri-County EMC employees and one director were recognized with Service Awards and are listed below:
Daniel Bloodworth, Lineman Apprentice, 5 years of service

Lonnie Smith, Line Technician, 5 years of service
Rodney Todd, Lineman Apprentice, 5 years of service
Joe Jackson, 1st Class Lineman, 10 years of service
Justin Strickland, Field Engineer, 10 years of service
Julie Edwards, Senior Customer Service Representative, 15 years of service
Mike Sasser, North District Operations Supervisor, 15 years of service
Deryl Crosby, Work Order Clerk, 30 years of service
Donald Appling, VP of Construction and Maintenance, 35 years of service
Dan Greene, Director, 25 years of service

About Tri-County EMC…
Tri-County EMC is a consumer-owned cooperative providing electricity and related services to approximately 16,500 members in Baldwin, Bibb, Jasper, Jones, Morgan, Putnam, Twiggs and Wilkinson counties. Through this statewide network, the 42 customer-owned EMCs provide electricity and related services to 3.7 million people across 73 percent of the state’s land area


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