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WEC Facts December 2 Opening

FACTS ABOUT WASHINGTON ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE (handout at the December 2nd opening)

1. The Washington Electric Cooperative is a farmers’ cooperative organized to provide electric service at cost to its members. It is incorporated under the laws of Vermont. Its original members live in East Montpelier and Calais. That is the section that is being energized today. It is planned to extend the lines into adjoining towns as rapidly as possible.

2. It borrowed from the Federal Rural Electrification Administration enough money to build its lines and leave a modest nest egg to meet its initial operating expenses. Its original allotment, made Sept. 22, 1939, was for $68,000. This provided for the first section of 55 miles. In November, 1939, REA made $2,500 available to the cooperative for relending to its members to enable then to wire their homes. Also, in November, 1939, REA made an additional power plant allotment of $25,000 to enable the Cooperative to build a Diesel Generating Plant at East Montpelier.

3. The loans all bear interest at the rate which the United States Government paid on its long-term obligations issued during fiscal 1939 – 2.69 percent. This is simple interest on the unpaid balance of the loan. It starts when the money is actually transferred from the Federal Treasury to the Cooperative. This is considerably later than the date of allotment.

4. The Cooperative’s loan contract with REA provides for amortization of its construction loan over 25 years. At the end of that time, the Cooperative will own its power system outright. The wiring loan runs for five years. The Cooperative relends this to its members at 6 percent simple interest on the unpaid balance.

5. The Government’s loan is secured by a mortgage on the cooperative’s power system and a lien on its revenues but not on the land over which the lines run. No farmer is ever asked to mortgage his farm as security for a loan from REA.

6. The lines energized today were engineered by Clarke Millen, Resident Engineer and Superintendent, and built by the contracting firm of Day & Zimmermann, of Philadelphia, Pa. The construction contract was signed on October 3, 1939, Construction work on the lines has been completed..

7. The original allotment was based on an anticipated 140 members. There are now 155 signed and paid-up members who plan to take service from the first section. Of these, 90 are ready to receive service today, and approximately 30 more are having their places wired.

8. No consumer can be connected to a line financed by REA until a qualified inspector, independent of the project and approved by REA, has certified that his wiring complies with the National Electrical Code of the Board of Underwriters. This requirement is new in this area, as in many rural regions all over the country. The inspector is J. S. O’Hara, of Morrisville.

9. The Power Plant is being built by the Cooperative under the supervision of C. F. Lewis, R.E.A. Engineer.

10. The officers and directors of the Cooperative are: E. H. Kelley, of East Montpellier, President; Roy Sibley of East Montpelier, Vice-president; Lyle Young of East Montpelier, Clerk and Treasurer; and Lynn Nelson of East Montpelier, Clarence Fitch of East Montpelier, Alex P. Robinson of Adamant, Mrs. Howard Lackey of Calais, John Graham of Calais, and Sydney Morse of Calais.

11. The Cooperative’s staff consists of Clarke Millen, Superintendent Dorothy Brunelle, bookkeeper, and Marshall Hodgeman is in training for power plant operator and “trouble man”.

12. The success or failure of the Cooperative will depend upon the extent to which each member fulfills his responsibility of taking an active part in its affairs. Each member has one vote. It is as important to cast it as it is to go to town meeting.

13. It is the duty of each member who has not already done so to wire his place and take service. It is the duty of all members to urge their neighbors living along the lines to join the cooperative and wire their farms. The more connected members, and the more electricity they use, the lower the rate schedule can be set.

14. Electricity on the farm can be a source of profit rather than an added expense if you will only let it. Your superintendent and your County Agent can help you to find profitable ways of using it. Milk coolers, milking machines, poultry house lighting and electric brooding are a few of the applications possible in this area,

15. This Cooperative has a complete electric system and members receive their service over their own lines direct from their own generators and it is to their own interest to make the fullest use of the service. What they pay for electricity is used to pay for their plant. The cooperative spirit among the members has been reported to be very gratifying.