Friday - July 21, 2017
Prairie Knights Casino & Resort Pavilion
7932 ND Highway 24
Fort Yates, North Dakota
Mor-Gran-Sou Holds Annual Meeting - 2017 Summary
July 21, 2017
Members of Mor-Gran-Sou Electric Cooperative, Inc., met at the Pavilion of Prairie Knights Casino and Resort north of Fort Yates on July 21 to conduct their business at the cooperative’s 70th annual meeting. The theme was, “Members — The Foundation of the Future.”
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 Director Vernard Frederick, a licensed lay minister for the United Church of Christ. Mor-Gran-Sou was also honored to have Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Councilman Chad Harrison provide a warm welcome to the members.
Chairman 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 Sioux County position and one for the Mandan Area position. Incumbents Casey Wells, Carson; Bob J. Leingang, Mandan; and Lance Froelich, Selfridge, retained their positions on the board. Wells is the Grant County representative, Leingang is the Mandan Area representative, and Froelich is the Sioux County representative. Mor-Gran-Sou thanks Tom Anseth, Mandan, for campaigning to serve his electric cooperative.
Mor-Gran-Sou was honored to have a number of guests join the meeting, including representatives from the offices of Senators Heidi Heitkamp and John Hoeven, and Representative Kevin Cramer. The representatives read statements on behalf of each delegate.
After the greetings, Co-General Managers/Chief Executive Officers Donald Franklund and Chris Baumgartner captured this year’s theme in their interesting and informative report to the membership. Franklund discussed the two rate increases from Mor-Gran-Sou’s wholesale power provider, Basin Electric Power Cooperative. Through austerity measures enacted by Mor-Gran-Sou and Basin Electric, the rate increase has been delayed. Franklund then emphasized the importance of electricity and everything it does for a person on a daily basis. He concluded by thanking Mor-Gran-Sou’s employees for their hard work.
Baumgartner continued by updating the membership on national updates and events that have impacted Mor-Gran-Sou. The Clean Power Plan, a rule enacted by the Environmental Protection Agency, has been halted by an executive order issued by the President. Basin Electric continues to work on advancing clean-coal technology and developing renewable forms of energy. Mor-Gran-Sou is also carefully monitoring discussions regarding the budget as it pertains to trade, rural development programs and the proposed sale of Federal Power Marketing Agencies.
Baumgartner also discussed renewable energy sources that some members are exploring independent of their electric cooperative. He emphasized that those who install a system will still need to be connected to the electric grid for back-up power when their alternative source is unable to meet their demands. Baumgartner noted how Innovative Energy Alliance (IEA) Cooperative, a partner organization that allows Mor-Gran-Sou to share resources and employees among KEM, Roughrider and Slope Electric Cooperatives. IEA also partners with 3C Construction and West Dakota Utility Services, which allows them to meet their construction and vehicle-repair and certification needs. He concluded by noting the important role member-owners play in a cooperative, and how Mor-Gran-Sou strives to serve its members every day.
Dedicated to the development of young leaders in the area, Mor-Gran-Sou recognized four scholarship winners during the business meeting including Caitlyn Becker, Flasher; Mary Hintz, Flasher; Dillon Koepplin, Elgin; and Katelyn Muggli, Carson. The teenagers competed for and received a Basin Electric /Mor-Gran-Sou scholarship award in the amount of $500 to further their education as they attend college this fall. Basin Electric also offers a scholarship for member-cooperative employees, and this year the $1,000 scholarship was awarded to McKenzie Kuhn, daughter of Mor-Gran-Sou Engineering Technician Jesse Kuhn. In addition, Mor-Gran-Sou was pleased to learn that the board of directors of 3C Construction and West Dakota Utility Services have each offered a $500 scholarship to its members. This allowed Mor-Gran-Sou to offer two additional scholarships, which went to Lindsey Harrison, Selfridge and Thad Norton, New Salem. All the scholarship recipients were able to attend the meeting and thank the membership for the scholarships.
This past June, Sam Dart of Elgin participated in the Electric Cooperative Youth Tour trip to Washington, D.C., after having entered and won an essay-writing contest. Director Tomac recognized Dart, who was unable to attend, but sent a video presentation to share some highlights. Dart 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 business model and rural electrification.
Following the student recognition, Chief Financial Officer Travis Kupper presented the financial report. He said Brady, Martz & Associates, P.C. audited the 2016 financial statements of Mor-Gran-Sou and presented their report to the board of directors with an “unmodified opinion,” the highest opinion they can give.
After all reports were given, questions were accepted by the managers, who shared answers with the public. They also welcomed members to contact them or board directors privately after the meeting for a personal answer. The meeting then concluded.
The board of directors and staff of Mor-Gran-Sou wish to thank the members for participating in the 70th annual meeting of the membership, and look forward to meeting its members’ electrical needs in the future.