Manager Report

First off, I would like to thank our members for your perseverance through the very long and trying flooding event we experienced in 2019. As if that was not difficult enough, we followed that up with a global pandemic which essentially shut down vast sectors of our economy and produced some desperate economic conditions for many of our consumers. Just as the flood waters eventually receded, there has been a break in the clouds of this pandemic and albeit very slowly, the economy is beginning to show signs of life with businesses beginning to reopen. I am not sure what other bumps in the road we may encounter, but we do know we are extremely blessed to live where we do with a membership like we have.

In reviewing 2019, the year was projected to be one of the strongest on record as decisions made in previous years have streamlined our operations and significantly reduced some operating costs. We were equally blessed for at least the first two and a half months of 2019 with very strong margins due to the extremely cold winter of 2018/19. Unfortunately, the bomb cyclone event unfolded in Mid-March and almost in the blink of an eye we were forced to disconnect over 900 services due to dramatic flooding. The loss of 900 services can be devastating for even a day or two, however we are 15 months removed from the initial flooding and to date have only been able to restore just over half of those facilities.

 While this loss in services and associated revenues would represent a fatal blow to many, your board has made tough decisions in prior years that provided assurance we would persevere in times like these. At the conclusion of 2019, the cooperative was successful in attaining all financial covenants required by our lenders and was still able to provide a general capital credit retirement to our members. I am also pleased to announce that even through the flooding event as well as the pandemic thus far, we have no plans to make any type of rate adjustment. The cooperative remains in a strong financial position while also demonstrating the flexibility to weather the dire circumstances of 2019 and now 2020.

Operationally things were again very good as your cooperative was successful at meeting or exceeding each of our reliability metrics. Although not quite as strong as previous years due to obvious reasons, your system is performing at a very high level. I am also pleased to share that once again we had no loss time accidents, serious vehicle incidents or work procedure errors. In fact, we were successful in achieving 23 out of our 27 key performance indicators. It’s also noteworthy that of the 4 where we were unsuccessful, two were seasonal maintenance events that were postponed due to flooding, one was new business surveys that we did not receive any back, and one was a metric that became skewed with the sudden decrease in connected services (controllable cost/services).

Although 2020 is providing more challenges, at least halfway through the year we continue to operate at a very high level. We know some may be still reeling from the effects of these back to back debilitating events and if there is anything we can do to assist you in this difficult time, please reach out to us. Once again thank you for your patronage, your patience, and your loyalty. It is a privilege to serve this membership.