Co-op Members Getting Burgers

Jemez Mountians Electric Cooperative members line up for burgers during the annual membership meeting in Jemez Springs Sunday. Last year’s meeting was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    No quorum was reached and no action was taken Sunday at the annual Jemez Mountains Electric Cooperative membership meeting.

    Co-op board president Dennis Trujillo said that the meeting had 393 members in attendance and 1,118 members were needed to reach a quorum.

    Trujillo told the gathered members that due to the economic shortfall caused by the pandemic the Co-op was looking at over $1.5 million in debt from customers who were unable to pay their bills.

    “I commend our staff for working with people to set up payment plans,” Trujillo said. “Over half a million has been recovered from delinquents.”

    The Co-op's general manager Michael Hastings also took the time to introduce himself since he joined the co-op earlier this year.

    “I love the service area for Jemez Co-op, not just the scenery and the great beauty, but the people have been just great,” Hastings said.

    The four new members of the Co-op’s board that were elected last month were also sworn in.

    Trujillo commented on the unprecedented number of new board members from the most recent election.

    “I don’t think that’s happened since the inception of our Co-op,” Trujillo said.

    Only one member took the opportunity to address the gathering; Bundilio Baca brought up the dangers of energy generation that creates emissions and its effects on global warming.

    “It saddens me to see my great county suffering as it is right now,” Baca said. “That hurricane in New Orleans is very alarming. Fires up in California are alarming. We need renewable energy. We need green energy. We need solar panels all over our county, and what do we have?”

    Board member Marissa Maestas-Muller said that even if they didn’t obtain a quorum the co-op got a lot out of its annual meeting.

    “All the board members walk around and talk to people; we hear comments both good and bad,” Maestas-Muller said.

    Maestas-Muller was reelected as the board’s Member-at-Large in an executive session after the membership meeting. Dennis Trujillo was chosen again as the board president and Manny Bustos was elected to as vice president. John Ramon Vigil was reelected to secretary, Delores McCoy was reelected to treasurer and Stanley Crawford retained his position as Assistant Secretary/Treasurer.

    Bruce Duran was selected as the board’s representative to Tri-state, replacing Lucas Cordova , who was selected at last month’s meeting.

    The Tri-state representative isn’t defined by the board’s bylaws.The bylaws were last amended before the Co-op joined Tri-state so it was ruled that the representative could be replaced by a simple majority vote.

    In the month of July, the co-op generated $4.1 million in revenue, with $2.5 million spent on cost of power.

    Hastings said July was cooler than June, resulting in less energy used and between the cost of energy, operating costs and debt repayment, the costs of the co-op were $4.3 million. However, the Co-op’s $1.4 million PPP grant hit their books, causing them to net money for the month.

    “I wanna be clear, the only reason we’re left with around $1.3 million is that $1.4 million PPP grant,” Hastings said.

    The Co-op currently has $13 million tied up in ongoing construction. Hastings said the majority of that was from the new headquarter’s building, and the Co-op has $56.7 million in debt. The current total assets of the Co-op are $130 million.    

    Hastings said he hoped the Co-op would be able to move into its new headquarters sometime next month. The last thing remaining on the new building was completing the connection with Windstream Communications, the Co-op’s internet provider.

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