Board Meeting Summary July 25, 2023

July 25, 2023

Guest Speakers

Electric Cooperative Youth Tour: Carter Parent shared with the Board his experience of visiting Washington D.C. as part of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Youth Tour. High school juniors and seniors who live in Salem Electric’s service area have the opportunity once a year to apply for an all-expense-paid trip to Washington D.C. to learn about electric cooperatives and the Federal legislative process. Students explore museums and monuments and have the opportunity to meet with Oregon’s congressional delegation. Carter said his take-away from the experience was a discovery that cooperatives are all about community. Not only their own community but communities across the globe where they work to electrify rural villages. He thanked the Board and encouraged other youth to apply and learn about the great work of cooperatives.  

Oregon Rural Electric Cooperative Association (ORECA): Britni Davidson, deputy executive director of ORECA, updated the Board on the outcome of the legislative session. ORECA represents the interests of rural electric cooperatives including opposing unnecessary regulations and costs, working to preserve preference power for consumer-owned utilities, and preserving the benefits of the low-cost federal hydro system.

General Manager’s Report

Tony Schacher provided an update on Bonneville Power Administrations' expected rate increase and the recent City of Salem payroll tax that he testified against at the Salem City Council meeting. 

New Payment Option: VanillaDirect Pay is now available as a cash payment option. Members can access a barcode from their SmartHub mobile app, visit a participating location near them, and make an immediate cash payment to their account.

Strategic Plan Review: The development of Salem Electric property near Alumina Substation in northeast Salem has moved to the permitting stage and when complete will provide covered storage on the east side of the river. Salem Electric’s new prepaid billing option is now available to all members and is being offered to new members when they connect service.