Co-op seeking to raise prices

Submitted by  Ruth Ross
Posted 4/8/21

Dear Editor:

On March 23, the Powell Tribune ran a notice titled “Proposed by-laws” submitted by Garland Light and Power Co. The notice was to inform the members of proposed changes to …

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Co-op seeking to raise prices

Posted

Dear Editor:

On March 23, the Powell Tribune ran a notice titled “Proposed by-laws” submitted by Garland Light and Power Co. The notice was to inform the members of proposed changes to the by-laws to be voted on at the April 22 Board Meeting.

The notice gave a summary of the proposed changes, stating the main purpose for the revisions, among other things, is to update the by-laws so that they accurately reflect practices that they were already following. In other words, some revisions are to retroactively document current practices that are not part of the approved by-laws.

There are many changes that we, as members of the cooperative, need to be aware of. For example, under the new Article I — Section 2, text has been added that states, “Each member shall pay to the Cooperative a minimum amount per month regardless of the amount of electricity consumed.” Interesting to me is the “minimum amount per month” basic charge was $28 until April 1, 2020, when that basic charge was raised to $48 per month, per residence. This “minimum amount” is in addition to any electricity actually consumed. Add taxes, and that means we are billed over $50 a month, every month, before we use the first kWh of electricity. New to the by-laws!

Those of us who live in rural Park County do not have any choice in an electric company to provide power. The thought might cross our minds to consider solar power or wind power.  However, the new Article I — Section 3 proposes text be added that states, “Each member shall pay to the Cooperative a minimum amount per month regardless of the amount of electricity consumed or produced.” We would have to pay Garland Light and Power Co. their interpretation of a “minimum amount” every month, even if we produce enough of our own power to meet our needs.

Garland Light and Power Co. is a nonprofit cooperative. I understand the concept, as I was a member of an electric cooperative in the state where I previously lived. The “minimum amount” basic service charge was $15 per month per residence. Most years we, the consumers, received a capital credit at the end of the fiscal year. Have you ever gotten a capital credit from Garland Light and Power Co., even though each of us pay $50 per month in addition to the actual electricity we use?

These are just a few examples of the proposed additions to the current by-laws. There are many other additions and deletions. Whether you are aware of them or not, you are going to be governed by them.

Per their public notice, you can contact Garland Light and Power Co. at 307-754-2881 to request a copy of the original and proposed by-laws. I urge you to request a copy, review them, and make your voice heard if you have any concerns.  

  Ruth Ross

Powell

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