Page 1

September/October 2019


COUNTRY LINES Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op


2018 Annual Report Pages 12–13

Meet Your Director Candidates & Vote Pages 4 and 5

PIE&G Special Board Meeting Page 16


Upgrade to geothermal for incredible comfort and savings

Upgrading to geo can save you even more, if you hurry! WaterFurnace units can save you up to 70% on heating, cooling & hot water by capturing the clean, renewable energy in your backyard to provide incredible home comfort. Now, for a limited time, we’re offering very special rebates on our most efficient and comfortable geothermal heat pumps— the variable speed 7 Series and the dual capacity 5 Series—from now until October 31, 2019. Hurry and contact your local WaterFurnace dealer to learn more about the Geothermal Upgrade Event! 7 SERIES







Bad Axe B & D Htg (989) 269-5280

Caro AllTemp Comfort, Inc. (866) 844-HEAT (4328)

Indian River M & M Plmb & Htg (231) 238-7201

Muskegon Adams Htg & Clg (231) 873-2665

Berrien Springs WaterFurnace Michiana (269) 473-5667 gogreenmich

Clifford Orton Refrig & Htg (989) 761-7691

Michigan Center Comfort 1/Aire Serv of Southern Michigan (517) 764-1500

Muskegon Kiessel Geothermal Htg & Clg (231) 747-7509

Mt Pleasant Walton Htg & Clg (989) 772-4822

Portland ESI Htg & Clg (517) 647-6906

Big Rapids Stratz Htg & Clg, Inc. (231) 796-3717

Hart/Ludington Adams Htg & Clg (231) 873-2665 adamsheating


Amazon Echo Dot FOR FREE2

Sunfield Mark Woodman Plmb & Htg (517) 886-1138 Traverse City D & W Mechanical (231) 941-1215 Traverse City Geofurnace Htg & Clg (231) 943-1000

visit us at 1. 30% through 2019, 26% through 2020 and 22% through 2021. 2. With registration of your Symphony Home Comfort Platform by March 31, 2020. Rebates available only to residential customers through participating dealers. WaterFurnace is a registered trademark of WaterFurnace International, Inc.

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!











Board Of Directors Charles Arbour, Treasurer

23899 M32 S, Hillman MI 49746 989-657-4358 • Term Expires: 2020

Allan Berg, Vice-Chairman


1117 E. Heythaler Hwy., Rogers City, MI 49779 989-734-0044 • Term Expires 2020

I was raised in Alpena County and have been a PIE&G member since 1984. My professional background consists of 38 years in outside plant copper and fiber engineering and installation in the communication utility industry with GTE, Verizon, and Frontier. I have worked with numerous utility companies, governmental agencies, private companies, and customers during my career. My experiences with utilities, customer service, corporate operation, and budgeting have provided me a well-rounded utility background.

Sandy Borowicz, Secretary

5341 Carlson Rd.,Cheboygan, MI 49721 231-627-9220 • Term Expires 2021

John Brown, Chairman

21 W. Devereaux Lake Rd., Indian River, MI 49749 231-625-2099 • Term Expires 2020

Sally Knopf

1849 W. 638 Hwy., Rogers City, MI 49779 989-734-4196 • Term Expires 2021

Kurt Krajniak

7630 Wallace Rd., Alpena, MI 49707 989-884-3037 • Term Expires 2019

Brentt Lucas

Kurt Krajniak Alpena

15841 Carr Rd., Posen, MI 49776 989-766-3678 • Term Expires 2019

I understand the challenges facing PIE&G members. I am committed to working for affordable energy, reliable service, technology, and facility upgrades. It has been a privilege to serve on the PIE&G board. I would be honored to continue representing PIE&G members as a director and would appreciate your vote. Thank you.

Daryl Peterson

P.O. Box 54, Hillman, MI 49746 989-742-3145 • Term Expires 2021

I am a lifelong Wellington Township resident. I’m married to Michelle and we have four children: Hailey 13, Landon 11, Brayden 7, and Eliana 2.

Raymond Wozniak

6737 State St., Posen, MI 49776 989-766-2498 • Term Expires 2019

I operate a small hog business with my wife and children, and I am partnered with my parents and youngest brother at Lucas Dairy Farm LLC. I’m active in Alpena County 4-H and also volunteer to serve on the 4-H Council. I graduated from Alpena High School and MSU Dairy Tech Program.

President & CEO: Tom Sobeck

Communications Director/Co-op Editor: Maire Chagnon-Hazelman

Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op

I have served on the PIE&G Board of Directors for the last three and a half years.

19831 M-68 Hwy., P.O. Box 308 Onaway, 49765

Business Office & Billing: 989-733-8515 Toll-Free: 800-423-6634 Gas Emergency Toll-Free: 800-655-8565

Brentt Lucas Alpena

I appreciate the opportunity to serve PIE&G.

2018 CEO Annual Salary: $174,681 2018 Director Compensation Rate: • $750 per regular meeting • $200 per special meeting • After 11-1-18: $920/regular meeting and $270/special meeting

My wife, Gloria, and I reside in Long Rapids and have been members of PIE&G since 1973. I have previously served as an on-call firefighter, medical first responder and on various boards, often assuming leadership positions. My work experience includes construction, manufacturing, and government, with over 30 years in management positions. I currently serve on the Thunder Bay River Restoration Board.

New memberships in 2018: • Electric—1,408 • Natural Gas—259

2018 Non-member Revenue—$136,447 Join us on Facebook. Most PIE&G natural gas rates and charges are not regulated by the Michigan Public Service Commission. Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op is an equal opportunity provider and employer.


Maintaining quality utility service is not only important to me and my operations but also to my community. Keeping affordable electric and gas services in our rural area is a challenge that, as a board member, must be met and maintained.

Howard Lumsden Long Rapids

As our economy continues to recover, PIE&G needs to look toward the future needs of its members and clean, affordable energy. I am prepared and willing to work on reasonable energy solutions. Having always been interested in the operation of PIE&G, I now have the time to be a productive board member and fulfill the duties of that position.

ALPENA DISTRICT (Continued) I was born and raised on a farm near Beaver Lake in Alpena County. My wife and I raised seven children on our 120-acre farm in Lachine, where we breed, raise and sell Belgian draft horses and a few head of cattle. I played football and wrestled as an Alpena High School student and received a scholarship for both sports at Hillsdale College. I returned to the area to teach biology and English and coach football and wrestling at Hillman High School, receiving the 1977 Coach of the Year award from the Michigan Athletic Association. I was inducted into the Alpena Sports Hall of Fame in 2000. Darrel Spragg Lachine

I retired from management at Lafarge Corporation in 2006. I served 25 years on the Alpena County Road Commission and eight years on the Michigan County Road Commission’s Self Insurance Pool. I was a member and served as president of the Alpena Optimist Club, organizing the Punt, Pass and Kick program for Alpena area youth. I served as president of the Alpena County Draft Horse Association and remain an active member. I’ve lived in the county all my life except while at Hillsdale College. Lachine is my home and my wife and I will remain here. It would be a privilege to serve the people and on the Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op Board of Directors.

PRESQUE ISLE DISTRICT I was raised on a dairy farm in Saginaw County. In 1976, I started working at GM on production and skilled trades and was then elected chairperson of the bargaining committee. In 1998, UAW International placed me on staff to bargain contracts and direct their Community Action Program in northern Michigan. I served on the Workforce Development Board, Saginaw Future Economic Development, United Way and various other boards. I have an applied science degree.

Gary Shepherd Onaway

I moved to Onaway in 2009, and operate a small farm and maple syrup operation, Bonz Beach Farms. I have three daughters and sons-in-law and 11 grandchildren. I’m the chairperson of the Presque Isle Conservation District and member of Black Lake Association and the Sportsman Club. I believe my life experience will make me an effective, responsible and compassionate director for PIE&G and members. I would appreciate your vote. My wife, Laurie, and I have been PIE&G members for over 50 years. I am currently a PIE&G director and have also served as a director on each of the boards for Wolverine Power Supply Cooperative and Michigan Electric Cooperative Association (MECA). As a director, I also participated in the education program and attained the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) Director Gold Certificate. My community service includes serving as a firefighter and also Fire Chief of Posen Fire and Rescue. I retired after 34 years of service at the U.S. Steel——Calcite plant as an electrician.

Raymond Wozniak Posen

I understand the energy challenges facing PIE&G members. I am committed to working for a sound energy future and keeping the price of energy affordable to all members. I would appreciate your vote in hopes of continuing my service for the PIE&G members. Thank you.

Don’t miss your co-op’s

2019 Annual Meeting

Onaway High School

Friday, Oct. 25 10 a.m. Registration starts at 8:30 a.m. Lunch is provided

See you there! 211


M-33-68 To Indian River

N M-68 To Rogers City


Onaway High School 4475 M-33

Just like you, these candidates are member-owners of the co-op.

Your vote is important!


prize drawing for voting by mail, with an additional $50 if you are present at the meeting!

See the back cover of this magazine and the ballot cover wrap for voting details. MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES


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

Photo Contest Most votes on Facebook!







Sunrise/Sunset 1. Black Lake. By Karleen Johnson 2. Lake Huron March sunrise. By Wilma T. 3. Sunset reflection on Thunder Bay River. By Susan Bowen 4. Sunset on Lake May. By Brad Taylor 5. Love you! By Megan Hagadone 6. Sunset on the floodwaters. By Elizabeth Myer 7. The Fourth of July on the river. By Kate Olmsted 8. Sunrise on Lake Huron and the M/V Kay E. Barker. By Sandra Adair 9. The end of another perfect day at Burt Lake. By Jess Miller




Submit Your Favorite “Ugly Christmas Sweaters” Photos!

Submit your best photo and encourage your friends to vote! The photo receiving the most votes from our Facebook contest will be printed in an issue of Country Lines along with some of our other favorites.

Enter to win up to a


energy bill credit!

Our September theme is Ugly Christmas Sweaters. Photos can be submitted through September 20 to be featured in our November/December issue.

Enter Your Photos And Win A Bill Credit!

To enter the contest visit and click “Photo Contest” from the menu tabs. If you’re not on Facebook, that’s okay. You can also enter the contest at Enter your picture, cast your vote, and encourage others to vote for you as well. If your photo is printed in Country Lines during 2019, you will be entered to win a credit of up to $200 on your December 2019 bill. 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.



Your Co-op’s 2018 Annual Report To Our Member-Owners: 2018 was a good year for your cooperative. PIE&G successfully balanced our costs and income in both our natural gas and electric operations. That puts us on solid footing to continue bringing our aging power grid into the 21st century.

John Brown Chairman

Tom Sobeck CEO

No change in natural gas distribution rates was necessary because PIE&G’s natural gas operating margins were sufficient. In part, that was due to the acquisition of Aurora Gas Company, which allowed us to spread our operating costs over increased sales volumes. And while our electric operating margins required a modest 1.8% overall rate increase, our electric members continue to benefit from positive margins. The board of directors is committed to the cooperative business model and is returning nearly $2.5 million in patronage capital retirements to the membership. This year PIE&G will continue working to provide power that is reliable and affordable. We are: • Planning the construction of a new service center and headquarters facility; • Considering upgrading meters on homes and businesses with Automated Metering Infrastructure, to wirelessly connect them to PIE&G; and • Exploring bringing broadband internet to members’ homes. Thank you for trusting us to serve your energy needs this year and beyond. Respectfully, John Brown Chairman of the Board

Tom Sobeck President & Chief Executive Officer

Where Your Energy Dollar Goes: 54%

Cost of Energy

25% Operations & Maintenance

18% Depreciation, Interest & Tax Expense

3% Member Capital Contribution

2018 Statistical Summary:


Active Meters . . . . . . . . 33,650 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Energy Sold. . . . . . . . . . 247,825,873 kWh. . . . . . . . . New Services. . . . . . . . . 245. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Miles of Line . . . . . . . . . 3,841 (overhead) . . . . . . . . . 1,068 (underground) 12 SEPTEMBER 2019


12,399 9,531,438 CCF 3,086 568

Treasurer’s Report Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op’s Statement of Operations and Balance Sheet for the years ending December 31, 2018 and 2017 are included in this Annual Report. As indicated by these financial reports, the cooperative has completed another successful year. Our electric and natural gas operations continue to provide competitive energy alternatives to our members.

Daryl Peterson

Our independent auditor, Harris Group, has confirmed that the financial statements and records presented to them accurately reflect the financial position of the cooperative. The reports of the results of our operations are in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles. It has been my distinguished pleasure to serve as treasurer for the past year. Charles Arbour, Treasurer

Statement of Operations

2017 2018

OPERATING REVENUES. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $42,909,614 $46,046,735 OPERATING EXPENSES Cost of Purchased Power. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24,003,855 25,020,082 Operations & Maintenance Expense. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10,006,233 11,607,372 Depreciation.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3,748,845 4,311,187 Interest. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2,464,041 2,717,104 Taxes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1,138,899 1,169,592 Total Operating Expenses. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41,361,873 44,825,337 Member Capital Contribution. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1,547,741 1,221,399 NON-OPERATING MARGINS Capital Credits—G&T and Other.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1,612,186 1,759,758 Non-Operating Margins—Other. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (14,374) (414,147) NET MARGINS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3,145,553 2,567,010

Balance Sheet ASSETS Total Utility Plant. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 140,272,009 159,406,503 Accumulated Depreciation. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (63,737,119) (70,648,602) Net Utility Plant. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76,534,890 88,757,901 Investments in Associated Organizations.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24,644,319 24,621,871 Cash & Cash Equivalents.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2,971,080 2,964,539 Accounts Receivable.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4,648,383 4,498,418 Materials & Supplies. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1,460,638 1,945,684 Other Assets.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 347,401 373,934 Deferred Debits. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 236,795 341,403 Total Assets. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 110,843,506 123,503,750 EQUITIES & LIABILITIES Margins & Equities Patronage Capital. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53,531,597 54,481,033 Other Equities. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ($253,082) ($253,082) Total Margins & Equities. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53,278,515 54,227,951 Liabilities Long Term Debt. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48,874,610 58,272,209 Notes Payable. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0 0 Accounts Payable. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8,661,137 11,003,590 Other Current & Accrued Liabilities. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29,244 0 Total Liabilities. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57,564,991 69,275,799 TOTAL EQUITIES & LIABILITIES. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 110,843,506 123,503,750 MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES 13





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



NOTICE TO MEMBERS OF PRESQUE ISLE ELECTRIC & GAS CO-OP A SPECIAL BOARD MEETING IS SET FOR SEPTEMBER 24 AT 9 A.M. AT THE COOPERATIVE’S ONAWAY OFFICE The board of directors will consider changes to the cooperative’s rates and tariffs at its meeting on September 24, 2019, to be held at 19831 M68 Highway, Onaway, Michigan. The meeting will start at 9 a.m. and is open to all members of Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op. The session will begin with an opportunity for members to provide direct input to the board of directors. Time constraints on each member’s comments will be at the discretion of the board chairman, but members are asked to keep comments to less than five minutes. • The board will establish the 2020 Power Supply Cost Recovery Factor, to be applied to the cooperative’s retail member-consumers’ kilowatt-hour use. The Power Supply Cost Recovery Factor represents the power supply costs as established by the cooperative in conjunction with Wolverine Power Cooperative. The factor is established annually and reviewed monthly. • The board will also consider potential revisions to the Consumer Standards and Billing Practices for Electric Service. Notices of changes or additions to the cooperative’s rates or service rules shall be sent to all members, as required by P.A. 167, by first class mail or by publication in Michigan Country Lines at least 30 days prior to their effective date.  Participation: Any interested member may attend and participate. Persons needing any accommodation to participate should contact Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op at 800-423-6634 a week in advance to request mobility, visual, hearing or other assistance. Comments may also be made before the meeting date by calling CEO Thomas Sobeck at 800-423-6634, or by email at


co-op entrepreneurs SUBMIT A NOMINATION TODAY!

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.

Public Act 295: The Clean Renewable and Efficient Energy Act 2018 Annual Energy Waste Reduction Report Presque Isle Electric and Gas Co-op MPSC Case Number U-18278 During 2018, Presque Isle Electric and Gas Co-op administered its Energy Waste Reduction (EWR) plan through the Michigan Electric Cooperative Collaborative in order to comply with PA-295. Previously, Presque Isle, 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, Presque Isle achieved the goal at 112% of savings. The full report can be obtained at your Cooperative’s headquarters.

Notice to Members of Presque Isle Electric and Gas Co-op Case No. U-16596 2018 Renewable Energy Plan Annual Report Summary 2008 PA 295, as amended, requires all Michigan electric utilities to get 10 percent of their power supply from renewable sources in 2018. Under this requirement, Presque Isle Electric and Gas Co-op submits an annual report to the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) regarding its Renewable Energy Plan. In 2018, Presque Isle acquired a total of 38,297 renewable energy credits (8,815 credits from Harvest Wind Farm, LLC, 2,985 credits from Thunder Bay—Four Mile, 26,363 credits from Deerfield Wind Farm and 134 credits from Spartan Solar) and 287 incentive credits from Spartan Solar and 280 incentive credits from Thunder Bay. All credit transfers were directed through Presque Isle’s wholesale power supplier, Wolverine Power Supply Cooperative, Inc. Wolverine 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 on by request at the cooperative’s offices.

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. 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. Source:

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.


PIE&G’s bylaws are available at or by request at PIE&G’s office. Call 1-800-423-6634.

PROPOSED BYLAW AMENDMENTS: (additions in blue, deletions in red strike-out) Article I, Members, Section 2. Joint Memberships* – “A husband and wife legally married person and his or her spouse (hereafter “spouse” or “spouses”) may apply for a joint membership … The term “member” as used in these bylaws shall be deemed to include a husband and wife spouses holding a joint membership….” *NOTE: This bylaw amendment includes deletion of all subsequent references to “a husband and wife” and replacement with “spouse” or “spouses”, specifically as follows: Article I, Members, Section 8. Transfer and Termination of Membership – Paragraph (b): “When a membership is held jointly by a husband and wife spouses …” Article II, Meetings, Section 4. Quorum – “…In case of a joint membership, the presence at a meeting of either husband and wife spouse, or both, shall be regarded as the presence of one member.” Article III, Directors, Section 2. Qualifications and Tenure – Second paragraph: “…When a membership is held jointly by a husband and wife spouses, either one, but not both, may be elected …” Article XI, Waiver of Notice – “Any member or director may waive, in writing, any notice of meetings required to be given by these bylaws. In case of a joint membership, a waiver of notice signed by either husband and wife spouse shall be deemed a waiver of such meetings by both joint members.” Article II, Meetings, Section 6. Proxies** – Delete this Section in its entirety and re-number the subsequent bylaw provisions in Article II as follows: Section 7 becomes 6, Section 8 becomes 7, and Section 9 becomes 8. **NOTE: This bylaw amendment includes deletion of all previous or subsequent references to “proxy” and “or by proxy”, specifically as follows: Article I, Members, Section 9. Removal of Directors – “…or represented by proxy…” Article II, Meetings, Section 5. Voting – “…or by proxy …”; Article II, Meetings, Section 7. Voting by Mail – First paragraph: delete phrase “A member who has not executed a proxy as set forth in the preceding section …”; Third paragraph: delete both references to “either” and delete both references to “or by proxy”. Article III, Directors, Section 2. Qualifications and Tenure – Second paragraph: “No member shall be eligible to become or remain a director or to hold any position of trust in the Co-op who is not a bona fide resident in the area served by the Co-op of the District to be represented, or who is in any way employed by or financially interested in a competing enterprise or a business selling energy or supplies to the Co-op, or a business primarily engaged in selling electrical, gas or plumbing appliances, fixtures or supplies to the members of the Co-op.” Article IV, Meetings of Directors, Section 2. Special Meetings – “Special meetings of the board of directors may be called by the President Chairperson or any three (3) directors.” Article IV, Meetings of Directors, Section 3. Notice – “Notice of the time, place and purpose of any special meeting of the board of directors shall be given at least five (5) days previous thereto, by written notice, delivered personally, or by electronic mail, or mailed to the directors at their last known address.” See back cover for mail-in voting ballot.

Profile for Country Lines

Sept. 19 PIE&G  

Sept. 19 PIE&G