Members of Mor-Gran-Sou Electric Cooperative, Inc., met at the Pavilion of Prairie Knights Casino and Resort north of Fort Yates on July 18 to conduct their business at the cooperative’s 67th annual meeting. This year’s theme was “Thankful for our North Dakota Heritage.”
The afternoon began with registration from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. CT. Prior to a delicious banquet served at 6 p.m., a solemn prayer was offered by Pastor Karen Wilhelm, Horizon Parish, Flasher and Carson, and Bethesda. Standing Rock Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault II provided a warm welcome to the members.
Board Chair Leland “Judge” Barth dropped the gavel at approximately 5:30 p.m. CT and the business meeting was underway. This year, Mor-Gran-Sou members were asked to vote for three board directors: one for the Grant County position, one for the Mandan-area position, and one for the Sioux County position. Incumbents Casey Wells, Carson, and Bob J. Leingang, Mandan, retained their positions on the board. Wells is the Grant County representative and Leingang is the Mandan-area representative. New to the board is Lance Froelich, who will serve his first term as a representative for Sioux County. Mor-Gran-Sou thanks Tammy Henderson, Solen, and Kevin Fishbeck, Mandan, for campaigning to serve their electric cooperative.
Also during the business meeting, members were asked to consider a proposed bylaw amendment to Section 802 Patronage Capital in Connection with Furnishing Electric Energy; with a yes vote, the members passed the proposed amended bylaw.
Dedicated to the development of young leaders in the area, Mor-Gran-Sou Electric Cooperative recognized four scholarship winners during the business meeting including Kaitlyn Dix, Morristown, S.D.; Jessica Fleck and Rachel Goettle, Mandan; and Kimberlee Kary, Solen. The teenagers competed for and received a Basin Electric Power Cooperative/Mor-Gran-Sou Electric scholarship award in the amount of $500 to further their education as they attend college this fall. In spite of their busy summer, the scholarship recipients were able to attend the meeting and thanked the membership for the scholarships.
This past June, Mark Hintz of Flasher participated in the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association Youth Tour to Washington, D.C. Director Geiger recognized Hintz at this year’s annual meeting and thanked him for representing Mor-Gran-Sou Electric Cooperative and the state of North Dakota. Hintz addressed the audience, offering gratitude for the experience, and gave the audience a sampling of what he experienced during his trip. Hintz and other delegates from across the state and nation learned from and about each other while participating in events that showcase our nation’s rich history, U.S. government, the cooperative philosophy and rural electrification.
Co-General Managers/Chief Executive Officers Chris Baumgartner and Donald Franklund captured this year’s theme in their interesting and informative report to the membership. Baumgartner discussed Mor-Gran-Sou’s record sales driven by this year’s extreme weather patterns, and membership growth and the system upgrades completed to accommodate that growth. He also touched on the October 2013 storm that affected the membership of Mor-Gran-Sou. Franklund then discussed power supply and its cost and outside impacts, such as the regulation on greenhouse gases that could have a future impact on power costs. Before thanking the membership for attending the annual meeting, Franklund also informed the members that after a 10-year study, the Basin Electric Power Cooperative board of directors authorized the cooperative to join the Southwest Power Pool, a regional transmission organization. Chief Financial Officer Travis Kupper presented the financial report to the membership.
Directly following the annual meeting, the board of directors held a reorganization meeting. All three officers were elected to the offices they had previously held. Leland “Judge” Barth will continue to serve as the board chair; Casey Wells as the vice chair; and Pam Geiger as secretary-treasurer. These officers will serve a one-year term.
The board of directors and staff of Mor-Gran-Sou wish to thank the members for participating in the 67th annual meeting of the membership, and look forward to meeting its members’ electrical needs in the future.