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For Electric Cooperative Members

Magic Valley EC News

President’s Message

MVEC remains strong in the face of challenges

They say what doesn’t destroy you only makes you stronger. I am proud and pleased to report that MVEC is still strong, even after a destructive and tumultuous period that included a global pandemic, a hurricane, and a major freeze. Yes, your co-op has been challenged greatly, but through it all, we remained resilient and steadfast.

The COVID-19 pandemic was a devastating tsunami that swept over the entire planet and changed social norms worldwide. In our case, it forced changes in our workplace environment and how we interacted with our member-customers. COVID turned even the most every-day task into an increasingly hard-to-do task. Regulations forced us to close our office lobbies and rely entirely on drive through stations for person-to-person transactions. We also had to adapt in other ways to communicate with members, which forced us to rely much more on the internet to conduct business.

As we all watched helplessly, the pandemic took many lives, both in our MVEC family and among our friends, neighbors, and members throughout the Valley. To everyone who has lost a loved one, our hearts and prayers go out to you. We mourn their passing and will always hold these fallen members of our family deep in our hearts. A year and a half after it first struck our world, COVID is still with us, and MVEC is still doing its best to make sure that member- customers and employees remain safe and confident and that we always have their best and healthiest interest in mind.

Since 1938, MVEC has held an annual meeting ever year. However, due to CDC and State of Texas mandates, we cancelled last year’s annual meeting. This was the first time in the history of your electric cooperative that we did not have an annual meeting. As a result, there was no election of directors in 2020. This is why you will see two slates of directors on this year’s ballot. One is for the 2020 election and the other for the 2021 election. Directors on the 2020 slate will be elected for two years, and directors on the 2021 slate will be elected for three years.

In addition to COVID, South Texas experienced a major hurricane last year. Hurricane Hanna hit the Texas coastline in July, causing widespread flooding in low areas. Winds damaged homes and businesses and caused electric outages throughout the area. Our employees worked tirelessly to restore power to members as quickly and safely as possible. But the task of restoring power to over 84,000 members was daunting and took more than eight days to complete. Crew efforts were hindered by high water and the need to replace over 150 poles. We understand that being without power is frustrating no matter how long or short of a time it may be. But be assured, we do our best to keep your power on all the time and, when it is not on, we are doing our very best to get it back on.

Finally, Winter Storm Uri rolled through Texas in February 2021, locking the entire state, including the Valley, in a historical deep freeze. This storm opened the eyes of many Texans to how the state’s electric grid is operated. MVEC suffered rolling blackouts like every other electric provider within the ERCOT system. We understand that the rolling outages were another inconvenience our members experienced. But you can be certain that MVEC was doing the very best it could under the circumstances, to keep power flowing to our members. Lessons learned from Winter Storm Uri are currently being debated on many levels, with the objective of never having an event like this happen again. One of those levels is the political arena, and you, as a co-op member, can help make a difference.

ACRE Co-op Owners For Political Action, is a non-partisan Political Action Committee (PAC) that focuses on electric co-op issues instead of party affiliation. It supports those elected officials who support electric co-ops. By joining ACRE, you will be part of a network of co-op member-owners in Texas, and across the Nation, making your voice heard on co-op issues that impact the availability of affordable, reliable, and safe power, for your home, workplace and community. The reality is that co-ops were born in politics; they live in politics; and, if they die, they will die in politics. For more information on how you can join ACRE, visit our website at magicvalley.coop.

It has been a long and crazy year, but through pandemics, hurricanes, and freezes, we, at MVEC, did our best during these unusual times to always provide you, our members, with safe, affordable, reliable electricity.

Thank you, and we hope to see you at this year’s Annual Meeting.