WARSAW -- James Buxton II, David P. Mizer and Tim Anderson were re-elected to the board of trustees at the annual meeting of The Frontier Power Company, held Friday, July 27, at River View High School in Warsaw. Nearly 900 cooperative members, employees and guests attended the meeting.
Buxton represents Frontier Power's District A in Coshocton County. He resides in Jefferson Township north of Warsaw and is employed by The Ohio State University's Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, Outlying Stations as a research associate at the North Appalachian Experimental Watershed. He and his family also raise beef cattle and hay on their farm. He is a member of the Coshocton County Farm Bureau and FFA alumni.
Mizer was re-elected to represent the cooperative's District C in Tuscarawas County. A resident of Bucks Township near Bakersville, Mizer is a dairy farmer and raises corn, hay and oats. He is a member of Salem Evans Creek Lutheran Church, Tuscarawas County Farm Bureau, Baltic Conservation Club and Dairy Farmers of America. Dave is currently serving as secretary-treasurer of Frontier Power's board of trustees.
Re-elected to represent the cooperative's District D in Coshocton County was Tim Anderson, who lives in Pike Township near West Carlisle. He is employed by Anderson Brothers Farm and also raises hogs under contract for Gerber and Sons, Inc. He is a member of the Coshocton Christian Tabernacle, National Rifle Association, Farm Bureau and Ohio Pork Producers.
In his remarks, Board President Robert E. Wise thanked the members attending for their patience during the outages that resulted from recent storms. He also thanked the employees who worked hard to restore power so quickly. "We had all of our repairs made and our member-owners back on in three days. Our employees did a wonderful job of bringing the lights back on," Wise said. He also outlined some of the services Frontier Power maintains for its members, which include an aggressive right-of-way clearing and spraying program, an automated meter reading system, a water heater and air conditioner control program to reduce electricity at peak periods, a comprehensive maintenance program to inspect the cooperative's 11 substations and more than 1,500 miles of distribution lines and a long-range plan to continue replacing 20 miles of line per year.
General Manager Steven Nelson reported on the damage the cooperative received during the major storm of June 29. Ten of Frontier Power's 11 substations were out as a result of the storm, eliminating power for about 8,500 of the cooperative's 9,000 members. Damage included 46 broken poles and 22 damaged transformers. Even with all this damage, the cooperativer estored power to everyone within three days of the storm.
"It's amazing we got everyone back on so quickly with all the damage we had," Nelson said.
Nelson reported revenues for the cooperative at approximately $14,543,000 with net margins slightly exceeding $1 million. The cooperative paid $339,000 in capital credits last year, he said.
Other highlights of the year reported by Nelson included replacement of 23 miles of distribution line; rebuilding the Darling substation; improvements and upgrades at the JVS substation; starting a Community Connections Fund; hosting the 10th annual Customer Appreciation Day in May with more than 1,000 people attending; sponsoring the 30th annual Coshocton Hot Air Balloon Festival in June; and assisting Frontier Supply in opening Whit's Frozen Custard inside the Frontier Supply building. Nelson also identified the 38 employees of Frontier Power and their years of service.
Pat O'Loughlin, vice president of engineering and power supply and COO of Buckeye Power, also addressed the meeting. Buckeye Power is the statewide generation and transmission cooperative serving all 24 rural electric distribution cooperatives, including Frontier Power.
O'Loughlin said that Ohio's cooperatives are facing several challenges, which include the EPA's array of new and changing environmental regulations; the increase of fuel costs over the past several years; and the uncertain economic outlook that has changed the slow but steady growth Ohio's cooperatives had been enjoying. O'Loughlin also said that Buckeye Power has recently completed a 10-year environmental upgrade project at its generating plant that has resulted in state-of-the-art environmental performance with very low emissions of all conventional pollutants. Although these upgrades have made modest increases to members' electric bills necessary, O'Loughlin said, "We expect increases in power costs to be much smaller over the next several years than they have been over the past few years."
He also cited the leadership that Frontier Power is providing at the statewide level with General Manager Steve Nelson serving as chairman of the Buckeye Power board of trustees and Board President Robert Wise also representing Frontier at the statewide association of Ohio Rural Electric Cooperatives.
Congressman Bob Gibbs, representing Ohio's 18th district in the U.S. House of Representatives, also gave brief remarks at the meeting. Among the fixes discussed by Gibbs to the many problems facing the country include a revised energy policy, commonsense regulatory reform and a balanced budget.
During his remarks General Manager Nelson also reviewed the year for Frontier Propane Company, a cooperative separate from but associated with Frontier Power. It delivered approximately 1.4 million galls of propane last year, Nelson said, with margins of $169,000. In a brief meeting prior to Frontier Power's meeting, Frontier Propane voted to re-elect James Buehler and Robert Wise to its board of trustees.
Frontier Power Company serves nearly 9,000 members in portions of Coshocton, Tuscarawas, Guernsey, Muskingum, Holmes, Knox and Licking counties.