Sept 20 Alger Delta

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September 2019


COUNTRY LINES Alger Delta Cooperative Electric Association


Director Elections

Scholarships Awarded To Students A Legacy Of Land


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In This Issue September 2019 || Vol. 39, No. 8

Michigan’s Electric Cooperatives




Your photo could be featured here.


Executive Editor: Casey Clark Editor: Christine Dorr Copy Editor: Heidi Spencer

Follow Us On Instagram!

Design and Production: Karreen Bird Recipe Editor: Christin McKamey Publisher: Michigan Electric Cooperative Association

Come share in the splendor of rural Michigan with us

michigancountrylines One day the sky decided it wanted to come down to earth and spend a day on the beach. #lakemichigan #whoa Really cool capture by @janomurf

Michigan Country Lines, USPS-591-710, is published monthly, except August and December, with periodicals postage paid at Lansing, Mich., and additional offices. It is the official publication of the Michigan Electric Cooperative Association, 201 Townsend St., Suite 900, Lansing, MI 48933.


Subscriptions are authorized for members of Alger Delta, Cherryland, Great Lakes, HomeWorks Tri-County, Midwest Energy & Communications, Ontonagon, Presque Isle, and Thumb electric cooperatives by their boards of directors.

The 1,004-foot cargo ship, the Edwin H. Gott, is home to both long-time crew and those training as mariners. The massive freighter’s bow is pictured on the cover against the backdrop of the mighty Mackinac Bridge. Learn more about life as a cadet at the Great Lakes Maritime Academy on page 14.

POSTMASTER: SEND ALL UAA TO CFS. Association officers are Robert Kran, Great Lakes Energy, chairman; Tony Anderson, Cherryland Electric Cooperative, vice chairman; and Eric Baker, Wolverine Power Cooperative, secretarytreasurer. Craig Borr is president and CEO. CONTACT US/LETTERS TO EDITOR: Michigan Country Lines 201 Townsend St., Suite 900 Lansing, MI 48933 248-534-7358


Please notify your electric cooperative. See page 4 for contact information.

The appearance of advertising does not constitute an endorsement of the products or services advertised.

6 THE DRIVING FORCE: PLUG INTO ELECTRIC VEHICLES On The Road: Norm Rosema Takes Electricity For A Spin Emily Haines Lloyd

10 MI CO-OP KITCHEN Kick-off Tailgating Season With These Winning Recipes


ATTENTION READERS: The publisher of Michigan Country Lines magazine is working with NRECA Market Research Service, a reputable public opinion research company, to conduct a confidential survey for Michigan’s electric cooperatives. If NRECA contacts you by phone or email, please be assured they are not selling anything. The short, confidential survey will help your co-op serve you better. Thank you for your time and help with this survey.

Christin McKamey & Our Readers

Enter Our Recipe Contest And Win A $50 Bill Credit!

Best of Michigan

14 FEATURE Life On A Freighter

UP NEXT! BAKERIES: We’re on a sweet journey to find the best bakeries in the state! Share your favorites. We will publish this member–recommended list in our November/December issue. Submit your favorites at under the MI Co-op Community tab by September 20.

Taylor Brown, courtesy of Traverse Magazine

18 MI CO-OP COMMUNITY Best Of Michigan Crafts Beers

Pour yourself a cold one from this member-recommended list. Guess Our New Mystery Photo And Win A $50 Bill Credit!





Energy Value



Board Of Directors District 1—Big Bay

Darryl Small 906-345-9369 •

District 2—Harvey/Deerton

Karen Alholm 906-249-1095 •

District 3—Grand Marais

Mike Lawless 906-494-2080 •

District 4—Cedar River/Palestine

Dave Prestin 906-424-0055 •

District 5—Gourley/LaBranche/Cornell

Ivy Netzel 906-639-2979 •

District 6—Nathan/White Rapids

Paul Sederquist 906-753-4484 •

District 7—Stonington/Rapid River

Kirk Bruno 906-399-1432 •

District 8—Nahma/Isabella

Ray Young 906-450-1881 •

District 9—Hiawatha/Maple Ridge

Doug Bovin 906-573-2379 •


Tom Harrell


426 N. 9th St, Gladstone, MI 49837 906-428-4141 • 800-562-0950 Fax: 906-428-3840 •

Office Hours

Monday–Friday, 8 a.m.–4 p.m. (ET)

Alger Delta Cooperative is an equal opportunity provider and employer. Join us on Facebook.


Tom Harrell, Chief Executive Officer


alue” is defined as a fair return or equivalent in goods, services, or money for something exchanged. Alger Delta delivers value in exchange for your energy dollar. The electric energy part of the value equation is pretty simple. The wholesale cost includes all the elements in the generation and transmission of energy. At the retail level—which is the rate members pay—those costs, plus the additional cost of building and maintaining the electric distribution system are calculated into the rate. The entire cost structure is overseen by various regulatory authorities, beginning with the board of directors who are elected by you, the members, to ensure your voice is heard. The service part of the equation is more difficult to define clearly. Different members want different things from Alger Delta. As a memberowned organization, we listen to the members and do our best to meet or exceed expectations that fall within the scope of our purpose. Alger Delta was founded to provide electric service to people who live where all the other power companies refused to serve. In other words, we give power to those who have no power. That’s still our purpose today. Our priority is keeping the lights on. Another way to state this is “Reliability.” Alger Delta, like all electric utilities, is measured on its ability to keep the lights on. If the lights go off during a wind or ice storm, or while the lightning is flashing all around them, members can relate the events. They understand that natural causes can, and sometimes do, wreak havoc on the power system. Members also understand that it takes time to get the lights back on. How frequently the lights go off, or how long it takes to get them back on, are two things that have a significant impact on value. Our employees make considerable efforts to respond, but some storms and their resulting damage are just too overwhelming and too widespread for us to recover quickly—but that should be a rarity, not the usual occurrence. In addition to the weather, trees and vegetation growth are a major source of outages. In our case, though, vegetation related outages have declined dramatically over the past several years. We have invested more than ever before in managing that part of our work. Alger Delta keeps working hard to deliver safe, affordable and reliable energy because that is the best way to provide value to you, our members.







New Leadership At Board Level

fter Alger Delta’s Annual Meeting on June 5, the board met to elect new leadership. Voted in are Dave Prestin (District 4—Cedar River) as president; Kirk Bruno (District 7—Stonington) as vice president; and Doug Bovin (District 9—Hiawatha) as secretary/treasurer. Prestin has served on Alger Delta’s board for just over five years. Prestin ascended to the executive levels in the past having held the VP position twice. Bruno moves up for the first time, after two years on the board. Likewise for Bovin who is moving in as secretary/treasurer. Bovin has just completed his first, three-year term and was re-elected in the spring. All three have served on the Finance and Rates Committee in the recent past. Also at the July meeting, the board elected Paul Sederquist to the position of Director for District 6. Sederquist has over 30 years of experience on the board. Sederquist is one of two candidates who expressed interest in the position after no one filed a petition to run in the election. The other candidate, Lynette Erickson, is a retired attorney. “The board had a difficult choice to make because both candidates had unique qualities to offer and both would be an asset to the cooperative” said Tom Harrell, Alger Delta’s CEO.

Alger Delta Awards Scholarships To Local Students The Alger Delta Cooperative Electric Association recently awarded two $500 scholarships to Gladstone Area School seniors, Dan Martin and Sydney Herioux. Both students were selected to receive the cooperative’s Public Power Scholarship based on a variety of criteria, including academic achievement, community involvement, charitable work, extracurricular activities, and future goals and plans. Dan Martin will attend Ferris State University to study survey engineering and Sydney Herioux will be attending Saginaw Valley State University to study accounting. “Supporting local students is important to us,” said Tom Harrell, CEO. The scholarship program is a way for our locally owned, notfor-profit utility to invest back into the community.” Alger Delta Cooperative congratulates Dan Martin, Sydney Herioux and the graduating class of 2019. For eligibility requirements and other information about Alger Delta’s scholarship programs, visit



The Driving Force: Plug Into Electric Vehicles

Norm Rosema and Roger Bradshaw worked together to plan Norm’s EV road trip from Michigan to California.

On the Road Norm Rosema Takes Electricity For A Spin By Emily Haines Lloyd

Norm and Donna Rosema loved taking drives together.

Not long after, a plan started piecing together.

Norm, now 82, lost his beloved wife of 57 years unexpectedly in February, 2018 in an automobile accident. The devastation of such a loss can be insurmountable, but it was perhaps that shared love of taking drives that helped Norm heal.

Friends in California had missed Donna’s memorial service, and Norm had never felt quite right about that. He began thinking of driving from his home in Fremont, Michigan, to where his friends lived in Southern California, over 2,000 miles away.

As in the case of most curative stories, family and friends can be found at the heart of each.

Planning cross-country road trips takes a certain amount of organization. Taking cross-country road trips in an electric car takes a tribe.

A friend of Norm’s, Roger Bradshaw, purchased a Chevy Bolt in 2018, replacing his previous electric car, a Chevy Volt purchased in 2012. Over the years, Roger and Norm frequently talked about electric vehicles, how they were evolving, and why Roger was hooked. “Eventually, I thought, ‘I say I care about the environment and want to reduce my carbon footprint,’” said Norm. “If that’s true, I’m either going to quit driving or do something about it.” In August 2018, Norm purchased a Chevy Bolt. 6 SEPTEMBER 2019

While dates and routes were being considered, Roger was a huge help, utilizing his experiences over the years with his electric vehicles and identifying useful resources to find charging stations along the way. Roger and Norm also took a small test run to Brighton, Michigan—about two and a half hours away. “Plug Share was a beneficial resource in finding charging stations along Norm’s planned route to California,” said Roger. “Norm did a great job of identifying dealerships that also offered charging capabilities.”

“Eventually, I thought, ‘I say I care about the environment and want to reduce my carbon footprint. If that’s true, I’m either going to quit driving or do something about it.’” —Norm Rosema

What Do EV Charging Levels Mean?

Norm set out on his trip the day after Easter in 2019, with maps, OnStar, and his friend Roger just a phone call away. Norm navigated the range anxiety (concern of running out of power without a charging station nearby) and even settled into traveling at a slightly slower speed to conserve energy. Having Roger available for quick online checks was another way that Norm felt he had his buddy in the passenger seat supporting him. Norm found dealerships very helpful and courteous—offering him their lounges and cups of coffee while his Bolt recharged. It wasn’t until a charge at Petrified Forest in the Painted Desert on his way to Flagstaff, Arizona, that Norm ran into his only challenge. After charging at a Level 2 station, with approximately 50 extra miles available on his charge, Norm experienced the effect of the altitude changes on the way to Flagstaff. Increased incline uses more power, and as Norm pulled into his reserved hotel that evening, he had very little energy left. The hotel had misinformed Norm about their charging capabilities, sending him elsewhere for a Level 2 station, which ended up being out of service. After a bit of a scavenger hunt, Norm pulled up to a final station and his car ran out of juice. He’d pulled up just far enough to plug in, but the car wouldn’t accept the charge. One tow truck later and Norm and his Bolt were at a local dealership. The serviceman on duty said they didn’t have a certified Bolt technician, but they decided to plug it into an older Volt charging station and try their luck. At first—nothing. But finally, a green flashing light indicated the car was receiving a charge. The serviceman offered to drop Norm at his hotel, as the man was heading out on a date with his wife. He then offered to swing by the dealership on his way home to check on the Bolt and give Norm an update. The following day, that same serviceman came in on his day off to meet Norm and make sure his Bolt was charged enough to make it on his next leg of the trip. “The people you meet along the way, I tell you…” said Norm. “I’ll always remember folks like that guy and Roger who made this trip a success.” Norm made it to his next stop to meet friends in Phoenix and finally to his destination in California. “There were a lot of emotions as I arrived in California—having that time to remember Donna and do some thinking and grieving,” said Norm. “There was also a total feeling of success and being so blessed. Being with friends just accentuated it all.”

Level 1—Home Charging: Level 1 charging cords are standard equipment on a new EV. Level 1 charging only requires a grounded (three-prong) 120V outlet and can add about 40 miles of range in an eight-hour overnight charge. Overnight Level 1 charging is suitable for low and medium range plug-in hybrids and all-electric battery electric vehicle drivers with low daily driving usage.

Level 2—Home and Public Charging: Level 2 charging typically requires a charging unit on a 240V circuit, like the circuit used to power a common electric clothes dryer. The charging rate depends on the vehicle’s acceptance rate and the maximum current available. With a typical 30 amp circuit, about 180 miles can be added during an eight-hour charge. Level 2 chargers are the most common public chargers, and you can find them at places like offices, grocery stores, and parking garages. Public Level 2 chargers have a standard EV connection plug that fits all current vehicles, except for Teslas, which require an adapter.

DC Fast Charging—Public Charging: DC fast charging is the fastest currently available recharging method. It can typically add 50 to 90 miles in 30 minutes, depending on the station’s power capacity and the make of EV. Courtesy of



Energy Assistance For Income Qualified Residents


e know utility bills can easily pile up for folks with limited incomes. The Energy Optimization program is here to help! If your household meets the income eligibility guidelines, you could receive FREE energy-saving products and services through Energy Optimization’s Home Energy Baseload Program. Qualified residents can obtain assistance to improve the energy performance of their homes— which will help reduce electricity use and save money on utility bills.

Energy-saving Devices And Installation One of our trained, professional contractors can visit your home to leave behind or install a variety of energy efficiency devices. You will receive information on how to get the

most out of your new gadgets, as well as tips for making simple changes to save energy at home.

Free Items Available Through The Program Include: • • • • •

LED bulbs LED night lights Smart power strip Low-flow showerhead Faucet aerators

Refrigerator Evaluation And Replacement Is your refrigerator at least 10 years old? An Energy Optimization program representative can visit your home to evaluate your refrigerator. If it is determined to be highly inefficient, you could receive a new replacement at no cost.


Eligibility Requirements To qualify for the Home Energy Baseload Program, your household must meet the following income guidelines. Gross annual income is the combined total income of all household members, before taxes.

Family Size Gross Annual Income 1 $24,980 2 $33,820 3 $42,660 4 $51,500

Note: For families/households with more than 8 persons, add $8,640 for each additional person.

To find out if you qualify for Energy Optimization programs or to learn more, call 877-296-4319 or visit


We know it can be difficult to keep up with energy costs. The Home Energy Baseload Program may provide income-eligible households with the following: ▪ In-home equipment evaluations ▪ Refrigerator replacements ▪ Energy-saving devices


MICHIGAN-ENERGY.ORG | 877.296.4319

Energy Optimization programs and incentives are applicable to Michigan electric service locations only. Other restrictions may apply. For a complete list of participating utilities, visit

5 $60,340 6 $69,180 7 $78,020 8 $86,860

Snap Shot 2







Sunrise/Sunset 1. Sandstone cliffs just beneath the North Light on the north end of Grand Island in the U.P. Once you see the “dragon drinking,” from Lake Superior, you’ll never look at the rock formation in the same way again. By Judy Kirkpatrick 2. Drama in the sky as the sun says “good night” to the world. View from Garth Point. By Debrann Holmes 3. Sunrise on the Lake Superior. By Patty Eiseman 4. Dramatic sunset on the White Fish River in the town of Rapid River. By Ray Surges 5. Steamy sunrise at Klienke Park. By Kim Foos 6. Sunrise on Lake Superior. By Janet Kersten 7. Sunset over a farm near Chatham. By Amber Wert


Share Your Photos!

Alger Delta invites members to share their amazing photos. Selected photos will be published in Michigan Country Lines.

Upcoming Photo Topics And Deadlines: Ugly Christmas Sweaters, due September 20 (November/December issue) To submit photos go to We look forward to seeing your best photos!

8. Sun setting over the Grand Marais Harbor. By Kathleen Link MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES


Tailgating Favorites Kick-off your tailgating party with these winning recipes. Photos by Robert Bruce Photography Recipes Submitted By MCL Readers And Tested By Recipe Editor Christin McKamey

Winning Recipe!

Garlic Cheese Bombs Mindy Emerson, Great Lakes Energy

1 (16-ounce) can refrigerated buttermilk biscuits (non-flaky) 4 mozzarella cheese sticks (cut into 6 pieces) or 24 mini mozzarella balls 2 tablespoons salted butter, melted 1 large clove garlic, minced 3 tablespoons fresh parmesan, grated 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped (or 1½ teaspoons dry) ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning • kosher salt, to taste Preheat oven to 400 F. Lightly grease two mini-muffin tins (24 muffins total) or one large baking sheet with butter/non-stick spray. Take refrigerated biscuits and cut each one in thirds, then roll each piece out until it’s ¼–¹⁄ 8 inch thick. Place one mozzarella ball on the edge of your dough strip and roll dough over the cheese until it wraps over itself. Make sure to seal any openings at the seams with your fingers. Repeat with remaining dough bombs and transfer to greased muffin tins or baking sheet. 10 SEPTEMBER 2019

In a microwaveable bowl, combine butter with minced garlic and microwave until melted (30–45 seconds). In a large bowl, whisk together melted butter, garlic, parmesan, parsley, Italian seasoning, and salt, then dip cheese balls individually in the mixture, coat, and place them back in the muffin tins. Bake for 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven and serve immediately. Makes 24 cheese bombs. Note: I make these a day before and refrigerate the dough until I am ready to bake right before the tailgate. I place them in an aluminum pan and cover with foil to keep them warm. Enjoy!

Watch a video of this month’s winning recipe at

Rod’s Dog Sauce What’s more American than tailgating at a Detroit Tiger’s game while enjoying a Michigan-made Koegel’s hot dog? Well, I’ll tell you——putting my amazing dog sauce in the mix hits your tastebuds out of the park! Rod O’Connor, HomeWorks Tri-County 1 pound ground beef 3 garlic cloves, chopped 2 habanero peppers, chopped 1 medium white onion, chopped 1 tablespoon salt 1 tablespoon black pepper 3 tablespoons chili powder 1 teaspoon cumin

1 12-ounce can Budweiser 1 14.5-ounce can stewed tomatoes 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce ½ cup rinsed dark red kidney beans

Brown beef with garlic, peppers, and onion. Drain fat. Stir in dry spices; salt, pepper, chili powder, and cumin. Add beer and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a medium-low. Mix in stewed tomatoes and tomato sauce. Stir in Worcestershire sauce. Simmer for 30 minutes, then add the beans. Simmer for another 30 minutes. Pack in cooler and reheat in a pot on the grill.

Fresh Poppers Kris Hazeres, Alger Delta

1 large (2-pound) bag sweet mini peppers 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened 1 pound package bacon, cooked and chopped (or pre-cooked bacon) 2–3 jalapeños, finely diced 1½ cups finely shredded sharp cheddar or pepper jack cheese

Touchdown Cheeseball Katie Schneider, Midwest Energy 1½ cups pecans 2 (8-ounce) packages softened cream cheese 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese 1½ tablespoons mayo 1 teaspoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce ½ teaspoon garlic powder 1 (2.25-ounce) jar dried beef 4 green onions

Pull cream cheese out to soften. Preheat oven to 350 F. Spread pecans on a baking tray and toast for 5–6 minutes. Let cool. Cream together the softened cream cheese, cheddar cheese, mayo, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, and garlic powder until light and fluffy. Chop dried beef and green onions; mix into cheese mixture. Spoon mixture into plastic wrap and form into football shape. Refrigerate for 2 hours. Chop the cooled pecans. Roll the chilled cheese ball in the toasted chopped pecans and serve with assorted crackers or veggies. It can be stored in fridge for 3–5 days or freeze before rolling in pecans.

Remove the cream cheese from the fridge and let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes. This will make it easier to mix with the other ingredients. Meanwhile, cook bacon until crispy (or use already cooked bacon). While the bacon is cooking, cut the mini peppers in half lengthwise and clean out seeds. You can also take this time to finely dice the jalapeños and shred the cheese. Once the bacon is done and cooled a bit, use a large knife to chop into small bits. In a medium to large bowl, use a spoon to mix together all of your ingredients except for the mini peppers. Use a small spoon or mini spatula to stuff the mini peppers with the mixture.

Christmas Cookies: due September 1

Comfort Food: due October 1 Submit your favorite recipe for a chance to win a $50 bill credit and have your recipe featured in Country Lines with a photo and a video.

Enter to win a


energy bill credit!

Go to for more information and to register.




LAND By Yvonne Whitman Photos courtesy of Daren Landis


or the Landis family of Isabella, a love of the family farmland is four generations strong. Daren Landis owns a farm in Delta County that was recently designated as a Centennial Farm by the Historical Society of Michigan.

“Agriculture is our wisest pursuit, because it will in the end contribute most to real wealth, good morals and happiness” —Thomas Jefferson


According to Larry J. Wagenaar, executive director and CEO of the Historical Society of Michigan, which administers the state’s Centennial Farm program, “Family farming has been a key feature in the social and economic development of Michigan. Through the Centennial Farm program, the Historical Society of Michigan seeks to bring honor and recognition to the rich legacy of those families who have maintained ownership of the same farm for a century or more.”

According to Historical Society records, there have been 130 Upper Peninsula farms, including the Landis’ farm, that have been certified as Centennial since the program was created in 1948. Statewide, there have been over 7,000 farms certified since that founding date. Daren’s grandfather, Jacob Landis Sr., originally purchased 40 acres in 1902, and continued to buy over the next few years until he amassed 320 acres. He, his wife Margaret and their three children, farmed the land to produce crops of hay and grains and had a herd of 40 dairy cattle. Along with operating a successful farm, Landis, a hard worker with a stellar reputation, also worked as a fire warden for the U.S. Forest Service for 41 years, retiring at age 82.

Daren’s uncle, Roy Landis, recalled an important occasion that took place on the farm in 1944. Roy shared, “I was in the woods picking berries with my mother when we heard a loud clanging noise coming from the highway. The noise was the result of the steel wheels of a brandnew threshing machine that my father was pulling home down the highway. It was quite a big deal in those days.” The thresher had to be towed down the highway, from the dealer, for 45 miles. Jacob Landis helped his farm neighbors by taking the threshing machine to their farms to have “threshing work-bees,” working cooperatively, much like a barn-raising, to get each other’s grain crops harvested. While a bit rusted, the threshing machine, along with other original farm equipment, still stands on the property. Daren’s grandfather lived on the farm until he died, and the farm then passed to his three children. In 1989, Daren bought his share of the property from his father Jacob Jr., his uncle Roy and his aunt Betty. He rents the land out to farmers for alfalfa and corn crop production. The land is known for its rich soil as, according to one of the renters,

Craig Knudson, “It is some of the best farmland in the area.” While Daren does not farm, he and his family still enjoy the property for hunting whitetail deer and enjoying its solitude. Daren’s 19-year-old son, Daren Jr. stated, “The Centennial Farmland means a lot to me. My dad has a great love for the land, and he has shared his passion with me. Growing up, my dad and I always stayed in Isabella during deer hunting season. Some of my best memories are of the two of us hunting for whitetail deer together on the land. I know that my grandpa and great grandfather would be very proud of my dad and I for keeping the farmland in use and in the Landis family name, and that inspires us to keep the tradition going.” Daren’s wife Lorie said that while she and daughter Brooke do not hunt, “We still love to be out there and walk the land. It’s a special place for us.” When Daren is asked why this land is so important to him, he thoughtfully responds, “This land meant everything to my grandpa and dad. My dad just thought the world of it. And so do I.”

Daren's father, Jacob Landis Jr. , stands in a field on the farm.

Daren’s grandfather, Jacob Landis Sr., is pictured with his tractor.






SAIL THE STRAITS. Take in gorgeous views like this one.



Public Act 295: The Clean Renewable and Efficient Energy Act

Notice to Members of Alger Delta Cooperative Electric Association

2018 Annual Energy Waste Reduction Report Alger Delta Cooperative Electric Association MPSC Case Number U-18271

Case No. U-16589 2018 Renewable Energy Plan Annual Report Summary

During 2018, Alger Delta Cooperative Electric Association administered its Energy Waste Reduction (EWR) plan through the Michigan Electric Cooperative Collaborative in order to comply with PA-295. Previously, Alger Delta, through the Collaborative, submitted its EWR plan with the MPSC. This EWR plan was approved by the MPSC. The Collaborative implemented the EWR Plan during 2018. Overall, Alger Delta achieved/exceeded the goal at approximately 113% savings. The full report can be obtained at your cooperative’s headquarters.


co-op entrepreneurs SUBMIT A NOMINATION TODAY!

2008 PA 295, as amended, requires all Michigan electric utilities to get 10% of their power supply from renewable sources during 2018. Under this requirement, Alger Delta Cooperative Electric Association submits an annual report to the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) regarding its Renewable Energy Plan. In 2018, Alger Delta acquired a total of 7,269 renewable energy credits All credit transfers were directed through Alger Delta’s wholesale power supplier, Alger Delta will continue to generate renewable energy and bank unused renewable energy credits for future use and compliance with statutory renewable portfolio standard requirements on behalf of all of its members. A full copy of the cooperative’s Renewable Energy Plan annual report that was filed with the MPSC is available by request at the cooperative’s offices.

Michigan Country Lines is on the hunt for entrepreneurial movers and shakers to showcase in our March 2020 magazine. We know co-op members are awesome and there is no shortage of

pioneers, innovators and leaders in our service territory. Featured entrepreneurial endeavors can be small start-ups, large operations or anything in between. If you know a friend, neighbor or coworker we should consider, nominate them by December 31 at Self-nominations are accepted.

Alger Delta Earns Safety Accreditation


lger Delta Cooperative Electric Association has completed the Rural Electric Safety Achievement Program (RESAP) sponsored by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) in Alexandria, Virginia.

corrective measures, training, and other safety-related functions. The application portion evaluates the cooperatives’ documentation and records maintained over the past three years.

RESAP is a national safety program in partnership with utility safety leaders and utilizes a framework for continuous improvement to improve safety performance and culture. The program is designed to recognize electric cooperatives for above-average safety performance.

“The safety achievement program is notable because it requires teamwork from the board room to the custodian’s closet,” said Tom Harrell, Alger Delta’s CEO. “This program reviews our processes and procedures, but also the culture of safety we’re trying to foster. In this business, whether working on high voltage lines or stacking material in the warehouse, working safely must be a part of what we do, every day, all day,” Harrell added.

Alger Delta submitted to a two-part process that took place over several months. One part consisted of an on-site evaluation by a team of trained and certified safety professionals from other utilities and the insurance industry. The observation team spent two days examining and evaluating Alger Delta’s facilities, vehicles and equipment, safety and security procedures, operational procedures, and interviewing employees regarding their knowledge and understanding of safety-related work practices. Another part of the process involves submitting an application that examines and evaluates the documentation of our safety-related work practices, reporting procedures, safety and health policies, accident investigations,

COOPERATIVE ADOPTS REVISED BYLAWS The Alger Delta membership and board of directors approved a new version of the cooperatives’ bylaws at the Annual Meeting held on June 5. Alger Delta policies require a periodic review of the bylaws. The board assigned the task to the Policy Committee with input from the manager and the cooperatives’ attorney. The members who attended the Annual Meeting and the board voted unanimously to adopt the proposed revisions.

Harrell praised the total team effort and all the staff at Alger Delta for doing their part toward supporting the achievement process and evaluation; including Operations Manager Troy Tiernan and Technical Services Manager Shannon Priebe. According to the NRECA, there are 547 electric cooperatives that have been recognized by the safety achievement program. Alger Delta is one of seven electric cooperatives in Michigan to complete the safety achievement program.

“Most of the bylaws remain unchanged. However, some have been revised to align with state and federal law or to reflect common industry practices,” said Tom Harrell, Alger Delta’s CEO. Harrell cited the section on indemnification as one example. Harrell noted that in the previous version of the bylaws, indemnification was covered in one short paragraph. Now three sections are dealing with the same issue. “Perhaps this is reflective of the society in which we now live. In any case, we are taking steps to protect the members, the directors, and the cooperative as a whole” Harrell added. Two areas addressed in the bylaws that members may not be aware of are vegetation management and abandonment of membership. Under the revised bylaws, members are required to allow “reasonable and customary” vegetation management where trees interfere with the safe and reliable operation of the power system. The cooperative is held accountable for its efforts by several authorities that

measure the frequency and duration of power outages. Reasonable and customary vegetation management practices include tree trimming, tree removal, mowing brush, and applying herbicides to control future growth. Another area often overlooked in the bylaws is the abandonment of membership. The cooperative says that is defined as when a member has been disconnected for more than 12 consecutive months. When a member abandons their service, the cooperative has the right to remove its facilities and equipment——which usually includes poles, wires, transformer(s) and meters——that were used to deliver electricity to the building or facility. This frees up the equipment to be used elsewhere and eliminates or reduces costs that are incurred by maintaining under-utilized equipment. A copy of the revised bylaws can be printed or viewed online at, or members can get a copy by calling Alger Delta at 906-428-4141.


Guess this photo and enter to win a


energy bill credit!

5 1 2 7

Where In Michigan Is This? Identify the correct location of the photo above by September 20 and be entered into a drawing to win a $50 electric bill credit. Enter your guess at or send by mail to: Country Lines Mystery Photo, 201 Townsend St., Suite 900, Lansing, MI 48933. Include the name on your account, address, phone number and the name of your co-op. Our Mystery Photo Contest winner from the July/August issue is Lena Clor, a Thumb Electric Cooperative member, who correctly identified the photo as Lake Huron by the Edison Plant in Harbor Beach, Michigan. Winners are announced in the following issues of Country Lines: January, March, May, July/August, September and November/December.

Best Beer




Our beautiful state boasts some of the best beer in the nation. You can’t throw a rock in Michigan without hitting a great brewery these days. Discover a new favorite craft beer, recommended by MCL readers, at these breweries around the state. Cheers!


Summer Love—Mackinaw Brewing Company, Traverse City As a northern Michigan pioneer in micro-breweries, Mackinaw Brewing Company in Traverse City has been serving up craft beers for 22 years, and during that time, brewmaster Mike Dwyer has been creating some of the finest brews in all of Michigan. I like Mike because he does a great job at pleasing beer connoisseurs with his Dark Stouts and Red Ales, as well as catering to novice drinkers, like me, with his American IPAs and Belgian Whites. My all-time favorites are his seasonal growlers of Summer Love with a hint of lemon and his Heritage Cherry Lager named in honor of the T.C. Cherry Festival Heritage Day Parade. Rumor has it he will be brewing up a fall seasonal craft named October Fest, which will be a nice multi German Amber Lager. Can’t wait… Allys Dreves, Cherryland


Lake Phantom—Ludington Bay Brewing, Ludington The best beer on the lakeshore of Lake Michigan is Lake Phantom by Ludington Bay Brewing. Mary Campbell, Great Lakes Energy


Two-Hearted—Bell’s Brewery, Kalamazoo The best brew is Two-Hearted by Bell’s Brewery in Kalamazoo. It’s also the #1 Craft Beer in the United States. If you haven’t tried it, you should. Jennifer Grosskurth, Midwest Energy & Communications


Prima Hoparina—BAD Brewing Company, Mason Go try Prima Hoparina, a double IPA, brewed and served at BAD Brewing Company in Mason. They have lots of awesome craft beer! Hilda Wittingen, Great Lakes Energy


Juicy New England Style IPA— Petoskey Brewing, Petoskey Juicy New England Style IPA from Petoskey Brewing is my favorite. It has mouthwatering citrus and tropical hop aromas. Leland Wolken, HomeWorks Tri-County


Experimental Ales—Greenbush Brewing Company, Sawyer Greenbush Brewing Company in Sawyer offers a large portfolio of house-brewed beer, including experimental Ales. Walter Maciaga, Midwest Energy & Communications.

July/August 2019 Photo by Heather Patterson



Walter Gets Buzzed—Pigeon Hill Brewing Company, Muskegon Pigeon Hill Brewing Company in Muskegon makes a tasty brew called Walter Gets Buzzed, a lighter beer with a hint of coffee taste. Linnea Miller, Great Lakes Energy

Best of Michigan UP NEXT! BAKERIES: We’re on a sweet journey to find the best bakeries in the state! Share your favorites. We will publish this member–recommended list in our November/December issue. Submit your favorites at under the MI Co-op Community tab by September 20.

Hybrid Geothermal

It Pays for Itself


Your financing cost and the cost to heat with Well-Connect is typically less than your current cost.

“Well-Connect is one of the best investments we’ve ever made. We are able to maintain our home at a warm and comfortable temperature during the cold months. Likewise, during the warmer months, the added benefit of the air conditioning keeps our home nice and cool. The best part is we are spending significantly less on our energy costs to have a more comfortable home."

- Aaron & Dawn Hamp, PIE&G Member “When I could no longer physically cut 20 cords of wood, I installed a Well-Connect. The system has met all claims and surprised me. If people are heating and cooling with propane, fuel oil, or wood and have their own well, they have a need and don't realize it. That need is to cut those heating & cooling costs by at least half (as well as emissions). As for cooling, it has cost us $9.00 to cool this month (July)!!”

- Jess Steed, Cherryland Electric Member

IT PAYS FOR ITSELF The cost to finance and heat with a Well-Connect is typically less than your current heating cost.

HOW DOES THE SYSTEM WORK? Well-Connect works in combination with your home’s current heating system. This hybrid approach allows almost any existing well to become a free, clean energy source for heating and cooling your home.


Tips For A Safe Harvest Harvest season brings hard work and can be an exhausting, but rushing the job to save time can be extremely dangerous (even deadly!) when working near overhead power lines. We urge farm operators and workers to keep the following safety tips in mind:

Use care when operating large machinery near power lines. Â Inspect the height of equipment to determine clearance. Always keep equipment at least 10 feet away (in all directions) from power lines. Remember to lower extensions when moving loads. If a power line is sagging or looks to be dangerously low, please call us immediately.


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