The Northern Lights 83rd annual meeting May 12 consisted of entertainment, refreshments, giveaways and the business meeting. Check out the pictures on pages 4 and 5 of this issue. Thanks to all of the members who made the effort to attend. For those of you not able to be there, we missed you. Let me highlight what was discussed at the meeting.
NLI Board Directors in Districts 2 and 4 were up for election. Director Judith Simonson, District 2, and Director David Pemberton, District 4, ran unopposed. Congratulations to Judith and David on their re-election.
Two proposed bylaw amendments were voted on by the members. Both amendments passed.
You will find a summary of your cooperative’s 2017 financial statements on pages 28 and 29. NLI continues to be in a healthy financial position. Members’ ownership in the cooperative grew by approximately $2.7 million in 2017. New services are still increasing, with 370 completed in the last year. In December 2017, $1.3 million was returned covering the balance for 1987 and 65 percent of 1988 capital credits.
We are seven years into our long-term power supply contract with the Bonneville Power Administration. NLI buys 90 percent of its power from BPA. We generate the other 10 percent at our Lake Creek Hydroelectric Dam in Troy, Montana. In 2017, the dam produced 27 million kilowatt-hours of energy. The dam provides our lowest cost of power, which helps keep your rates low.
In addition to owning our own hydro plant, last year NLI completed construction on Idaho’s first community solar project. The solar array is at our Sagle headquarters. Members have the option of buying up to five units of solar. The kilowatt-hours those units produce are credited back to their account monthly. Units are $300 each. We have sold 80 percent of available units.
Every year, maintaining the plant is a high priority for the NLI Board of Directors. In 2017, we replaced 240 poles, 54,000 feet of old underground cable and trimmed trees along 160 miles of line.
As we enter June, I hope you are enjoying the warmer weather, have your gardens planted and are looking forward to a great summer. To all the dads out there, happy Father’s Day.