Gulf Coast Electric Cooperative
A P R I L 2018
2018 ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING
April 28, 2018, at 8 a.m. Central Time GCEC headquarters in Wewahitchka Sharing Careers With the Next Generation PAGE 6 Students Vie for Trip to D.C. PAGE 7 n
Members acknowledge that $3.96, plus actual postage, is the cost to publish 12 issues a year of Florida Currents (USPS8300). Published by Ruralite Services Inc., 5605 NE Elam Young Pkwy., Hillsboro, OR 97124—a not-for-profit Oregon cooperative corporation—the magazine serves the communications needs of consumer-owned electric utilities in Florida. Preferred Periodicals postage paid at Hillsboro, OR 97123 and at additional mailing offices. Postmaster: Please send address corrections to 5605 NE Elam Young Pkwy., Hillsboro, OR 97124. HOW TO CONTACT FLORIDA CURRENTS
Have a problem receiving your edition of Florida Currents? Utility members should contact the local utility office listed on the back cover. Nonmembers should contact Ruralite Services, 5605 NE Elam Young Pkwy., Hillsboro, OR 97124; (503) 718-3717; email firstname.lastname@example.org. Subscription services: Nonmember subscriptions $15 (U.S.) per year; $25 (foreign) per year. Prepayment required. Allow 4 to 8 weeks for first issue. Be sure to identify which local edition you want to receive. Order online at www.floridacurrents.com. Extra copies: $3 each, prepayment required. Supply is limited. Identify edition, month and year. Contact Ruralite Services. Reprint permission: Direct all requests to Ruralite Services. MANUSCRIPTS AND PHOTOGRAPHS
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When doing DIY projects, keep safety in mind. Always turn off electricity to the circuit before you install that nice, new appliance. We value your membership. We value you. www.gcec.com (800) 568-3667
April 2018 Vol. 7, No. 6
A Second Chance At Life 12 Kidney donation by big brother transforms little sister’s world. Also In This Issue Side Roads 10 In the Kitchen 16 Great Picture Hunt 18
Travel Journal 20 Festival Roundup 22 Parting Shot 30
Your utility pages: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 25, 26, 28, 29, 32
A P R I L 2 01 8
Annual Meeting Preview 2018
Unaudited Financial Reports for Gulf Coast Electric Balance Sheet UTILITY PLANT Utility plant in service Construction work in progress TOTAL UTILITY PLANT Accum. provision for depr. and amort. TOTAL UTILITY PLANT LESS DEPR. INVESTMENTS Associated organizations Economic development Temporary investments Other investments TOTAL INVESTMENTS CURRENT ASSETS Cash-general Accounts and notes receivable Materials and supplies Prepayments Other current and accrued assets TOTAL CURRENT ASSETS Deferred assets TOTAL ASSETS
160,711,490 40,633,411 120,078,079
158,311,201 37,839,570 120,471,631
23,634,431 60,277 2,048,248 6,883 25,749,839
8,468,116 5,959,259 1,332,123 2,476,705 563,714 18,799,917 1,063,364 165,691,199
23,466,752 83,799 1,990,571 6,828 25,547,950
7,011,600 3,837,556 978,873 2,282,412 1,510,387 15,620,828 1,155,966 162,796,375
EQUITIES AND LIABILITIES EQUITIES Memberships Patronage capital Other (loss) marketable securities TOTAL EQUITIES
84,195 47,713,374 (132,589) 47,664,980
83,310 45,264,081 (80,002) 45,267,389
LONG-TERM DEBT Economic development & other notes FFB and CFC mortgage notes Less current portion of long-term debt TOTAL LONG-TERM DEBT
0 102,709,746 (3,575,752) 99,133,994
0 104,424,277 (3,455,777) 100,968,500
2,696,663 3,575,752 1,835,804 1,570,499
2,357,914 3,455,777 1,825,216 754,853
9,678,718 9,213,503 165,691,199
8,393,760 8,166,726 162,796,375
CURRENT LIABILITIES Notes and accounts payable Current maturities on long-term debt Consumers’ deposits Other current and accrued liabilities TOTAL CURRENT AND ACCRUED LIABILITIES Deferred credits TOTAL EQUITIES AND LIABILITIES
STATEMENT OF OPERATIONS Operating revenue Purchased utilities Operation and maintenance Consumer accounting and information General and administration Depreciation Interest Other deductions and taxes TOTAL EXPENSES
26,109,564 5,498,864 1,095,635 2,964,395 5,215,305 4,097,849 69,199 45,050,811
25,839,847 4,840,774 1,339,750 2,838,158 5,083,069 4,317,980 30,712 44,290,290
OPERATING MARGINS Non-operating margins Capital credits and patronage dividends TOTAL MARGINS
1,622,189 528,157 766,456 2,916,801
1,883,300 215,555 935,999 3,034,854
Official Notice: 70th Annual Membersâ€™ Meeting Pursuant to the provisions of the bylaws of Gulf Coast Electric Cooperative Inc., the 70th annual meeting is Saturday, April 28, 2018, beginning at 8 a.m. Central Time at the cooperative headquarters in Wewahitchka, Florida. The purpose of the meeting is to act upon the following matters: XX
Reports of officers and CEO/general manager.
Election of three trustees to serve for three years from the district and groups hereinafter set forth. District Number 3 Composed of Bay County and consisting of three trustees. The trustees from this district shall be divided into the following groups, and the trustees so elected shall be a resident of the group in which he or she is elected: Group 1. A resident of the Southport area, bounded on the east by the center line of North Bay, Deer Point Lake and Econfina Creek; on the north by the Bay County line; on the west by the extremities of the cooperative lines; and on the south by the Gulf of Mexico. Group 2. A resident of the Green HillsFountain area, bounded on the west by the center line of North Bay, Deer Point Lake and Econfina Creek; on the north and east by the Bay County line; and on the south by the township line dividing Township 2 South and Township 3 South. Group 3. A resident of the Allanton area, bounded on the north by the township line dividing Township 2 South and Township 3 South; on the east by the Bay County line; on the south by the Gulf of Mexico; and on the west by the center line of North Bay.
Meet Your District III, Group 3 Trustee Robert Byrd represents members in the Allanton area, bounded on the north by the township line dividing Township 2 South and Township 3 South, on the east by the Bay County line, on the south by the Gulf of Mexico and on the west by the centerline of North Bay. He began serving on Gulf Coast Electric Cooperativeâ€™s Board of Trustees in 2005. He is retired. Robert attended Gulf Coast Community College. He is a member of Callaway Masonic Lodge No. 369, Shaddai Shrine Temple and Am Vets. In 2005, Robert earned his Credentialed Cooperative Director cerRobert Byrd tification. He has served on the Florida Electric Cooperatives Association board where he was a member of the legislative and public affairs committee. Robert and his wife, Sylvia, have four children and five grandchildren. He is Methodist by faith. n
Any other business that may properly come before the meeting.
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GCEC Employee Earns HR Certification Mindy Maddox, Gulf Coast Electric Cooperative’s manager of human resources, recently achieved a milestone. She passed the four-hour, 160-question, computerbased exam to become SHRM-CP certified. It is the only certification offered Mindy Maddox by the world’s largest HR membership organization. As the industry leader in HR professional development, SHRM has supported more than 100,000 employers representing 140 million employees worldwide. n
Right-of-Way Work Continues in April Gulf Coast Electric will clear rights-of-way in the Bayou George, Crystal Lake and Fountain areas in April. The cooperative has about 2,600 miles of distribution line. Vegetation can interfere with your electric service and cause a dangerous situation. GCEC’s membership agreement gives the co-op the right to remove anything that could interfere with safe, reliable electric service for all members from the right-of-way. Thank you for your patience and understanding as GCEC works to bring you quality, reliable service. n 6
T.J. Davis shows Callaway Elementary School students how a pop tool operates at the school’s inaugural Science Career Day.
Sharing Careers With the Next Generation Gulf Coast Electric Cooperative recently participated in two local career days. On February 16, Callaway Elementary School had its first Science Career Day. Students rotated through stations, participating in hands-on activities led by different organizations. Brennis Smith, left, and T.J. Davis participated in Deane They learned first aid from military Bozeman School’s Career Day. They are pictured with WJHG members, got to see animals from Gulf Anchor Neysa Wilkins. World and learned about the importance of mosquito control. Critter Inc. taught the kids about wildlife conservation. About 10 organizations showcased their careers. Linemen T.J. Davis and Josh Pitts of GCEC demonstrated how the bucket truck works, showed students the tools of the trade and talked about safe work practices. “We’re hoping the kids will get motivated to learn the science and maybe go into one of these careers and become part of our society and community,” fifth-grade teacher Kierman Sullivan said. On February 22, 700 Deane Bozeman School eighth-graders to seniors spent the morning trying their hand at different types of careers. Forty-seven groups participated—from Gulf World Marine Institute to law enforcement agencies and the military—answering questions and informing students what careers in those fields require. Some of the students were already working toward their career goals, while others were still exploring their options. GCEC’s Brennis Smith joined T.J. to speak to students about careers in the electric cooperative industry. n
Students Vie for Trip to D.C. Makenzy Perkins and Aubrie Rounds will represent Gulf Coast Electric Cooperative in Washington, D.C., for the annual Rural Electric Youth Tour. The two were selected in the cooperative’s recent competition. Kyndell Moore is the alternate. Each year, the cooperative sponsors the contest for high school juniors whose parents or guardians are members of GCEC. Contestants are interviewed by a panel of three judges from the electric cooperative industry. Two winners are chosen for the all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., in June, where they join other high school seniors-to-be from across the United States. Local civic organizations and high schools nominate students who vie for the trip. This year’s contestants and the organizations they represented were: • Daniel Bozeman, Wewahitchka Woman’s Club. • Beau Brown, Wetappo Creek Volunteer Fire Department. • Kade Hawkins, Wewahitchka Search and Rescue. • Caitlyn Hurst, Blountstown High School. • Kyndell Moore, Port St. Joe High School. • Rayanna Penix, Wewahitchka Volunteer Fire Department. • Makenzy Perkins, Scotts Ferry Volunteer Fire Department.
Above, the contestants, from left: Joshua Schneider, Makenzy Perkins, Aubrie Rounds, Beau Brown, Kade Hawkins, Caitlyn Hurst, Alex Wiggins, Daniel Bozeman, Kyndell Moore and Rayanna Penix. At left, the winners and alternate, from left: winner Makenzy Perkins, alternate Kyndell Moore and winner Aubrie Rounds.
• Aubrie Rounds, A. Crawford Mosley High School. • Joshua Schneider, Kinard Volunteer Fire Department.
• Alex Wiggins, Deane Bozeman School.
“The Youth Tour contest is a great opportunity for us to reward local students for being outstanding leaders in their communities,” said GCEC Vice President of Marketing and Communications Kristin Evans. The Rural Electric Youth Tour program got its start in 1957 when co-ops sent students to Washington, D.C., to work during the summer. By 1964, the program had caught on, and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association began to coordinate the effort. Since then, thousands of young people have experienced this once-in-alifetime opportunity to visit our nation’s capital and learn about the government. n A P R I L 2 01 8
Annual Meeting Preview 2018
Entertainment will be provided by The Drummond Family, a gospel group from Chipley.
2018 April 28, ka ch Wewahit
GCEC’s 70th Annual Meeting! Schedule of Events (Based on Central Time) 8:15 a.m. Welcome Invocation Presentation of colors Pledge of Allegiance Announcements 8:30 a.m.
Entertainment by The Drummond Family
Determination of quorum Proof of mailing of official notice Report of nominating committee
10:30 a.m. Introduction of trustees Introduction of special guests CEO/general manager’s report Announcement of election results Adoption of minutes Remainder of prizes Adjourn 8
Trading Post For Rent Three-bedroom, two-bath, 1,900-sq.-ft. home in Mowat Highlands in Lynn Haven. Two-car garage, fireplace, eat-in kitchen, separate living room, split bedroom plan, privacy-fenced backyard. $1,545 a month. (850) 271-0289. Horse barn with five stalls, paddock and about 4 acres of pasture in Wewahitchka, one block from the old courthouse. Lease by the stall, with discount for multiple horses. (740) 334-0341.
For Sale 1066 International tractor, $2,000. Sawmill edger, $1,500. 1972 Power King Economy tractor, $1,800. Allis Chalmers “G,” $3,500. (850) 849-2427. Baby stuff. (850) 819-2046.
Quarter horses. Ride well on trails, gentle, good for lessons. (850) 773-1957. Antique oak ladies’ desk, $900. Antique oak wardrobe, $700. Four antique primitive arrow back chairs, $200. (850) 871-6404. Miniature donkeys. Jacks and Jennys, black, brown, gray and paints. All ages. $300 and up. Make great pets. Also standard donkeys. Betty, (850) 899-7424. Goulds JR10 1-horsepower pump with jet and well adapter with two pumps, including 20 feet of 2-inch pipe with screen at foot, $300. Set of four sharp 12-inch chipper blades for Woodchuck or Asplundh drum chippers, $40. Woodchuck chipper floor plate with hardware, $75. (850) 722-6004 or (850) 960-4233.
Real Estate FSBO. Two adjacent lots, about 2.5 acres on paved road, 10 miles north of Wewahitchka, 45 minutes from beaches. Borders the Chipola River and Cypress Creek. Cleared and ready to build. Quiet and peaceful; no neighbors. Deeded restrictions. Underground utilities, deep well and many fruit trees. $69,900. (850) 648-4214. ½-acre corner lot. (850) 639-2220.
Wanted Retired veteran seeks farmer-hunter partnership. Will invest in farm/land improvements in exchange for hunting privileges on land in the Vernon-Wausau area. (850) 481-1815.
Trading Post is a FREE service to members of Gulf Coast Electric Cooperative. GCEC reserves the right to edit or reject ads. PLEASE PRINT LEGIBLY OR TYPE. Please circle the category that applies: For Rent For Sale Real Estate Free
Check Out GCEC On the Following Social Media Channels “Like” our Facebook page by visiting www.facebook.com/ GulfCoastElectric “Follow” us on Twitter: @GulfCoastEC
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Mail your ad to: The Trading Post; Gulf Coast Electric Cooperative; P.O. Box 8370; Southport, FL 32409; return with your electric payment; or email ad information to email@example.com.
“Watch” us on YouTube at www.youtube.com/ gulfcoastelectriccooperative
** Due to press deadlines, it may take 60 days from submission for your advertisement to appear.
A P R I L 2 01 8
CALL BEFORE YOU
One free, easy call gets your utility lines marked AND helps protect you from injury and expense. Safe Digging Is No Accident: Always Call 811 Before You Dig Know what’s below. Always call 811 before you dig. Visit call811.com for more information. 26
Annual Meeting Preview 2018
Minutes of the 2017 Annual Members’ Meeting May 6, 2017 The 69th Annual Meeting of the Members of Gulf Coast Electric Cooperative Inc. was convened at the headquarters building in Wewahitchka, Florida, on Saturday, May 6, 2017. The meeting was called to order at 8:15 a.m. by CEO/General Manager John Bartley, who welcomed everyone to the meeting. The invocation and Pledge of Allegiance were given by Director Gary Cox. Vice President of Marketing and Communications Kristin Evans presented the following announcements: Mossy Pond Volunteer Fire Department was serving hamburgers, hot dogs, potato chips and Pepsi products provided by the cooperative. She announced no food coupons were needed. She also encouraged members to stop by the Gulf Coast Electric marketing department booth; Project Helping Hand booth; Safety City and Van de Graaf Generator sponsored by PowerSouth Energy Cooperative; and the Wewahitchka Ambulance Service, which was giving free blood pressure checks in the conference room. She also announced the children’s bounce house. Mrs. Evans introduced The Drummond Family, who provided entertainment for the annual meeting. Immediately following the entertainment, there was a short break, and Mrs. Evans reminded members to visit the food booths, as well as the displays and booths set up in the conference room. Mrs. Evans made a last call for prize ticket drop-off and then gave away door prizes. Mrs. Evans introduced Attorney Pat Floyd, master of ceremonies. Mr. Floyd announced a quorum of members was met for the cooperative’s 2017 Annual 28
Meeting. He exhibited a copy of the annual meeting notice and announced to the membership, as required by the bylaws, that we had received certification and verification of mailing of the Official Notice of the Annual Meeting to the members. Mr. Floyd presented the minutes from the nominating committee, which met Monday evening, January 23, 2017. Nominations were presented by the committee as follows: • District 2, Group 1—Waylon Graham. • District 2, Group 2—Douglas Birmingham. • District 2, Group 3—Edward Jones. Since there was no opposition, Mr. Floyd asked for and received a motion and second to elect Waylon Graham, District 2, Group 1; Douglas Birmingham, District 2, Group 2; and Edward Jones, District 2, Group 3 for the next three-year term. The motion passed by an affirmative vote of the members. Mr. Bartley then announced each member of the board of trustees and told which areas they represented. Mrs. Evans then came forward and recognized and presented plants to the oldest person present, Vera Rozier of Wewahitchka, 93 years old; youngest person present, Dalton Forehand of Wewahitchka, 6 months old; the couple who had been married the longest, Mr. and Mrs. Ken Carroll of Deer Point Lake, 67 years; and the couple who had been married the shortest time, Katherine and Richard Toney of Callaway Heights, married nine months. Mrs. Evans then turned the meeting back over to Mr. Floyd to conduct the final business. Mr. Floyd announced the mail-in ballot election results as follows: 4,166 voted “yes” for re-election of the District 2 directors, and there were 95 percent
approval for ratification of board actions from May 1, 2016, through May 6, 2017. Mr. Floyd then turned the meeting back over to Mr. Bartley for the manager’s report. Mr. Bartley opened by welcoming everyone to the meeting. He reported that since 1941, the cooperative has focused on serving and supporting the local community and members. He reported we hold the annual meeting each year to celebrate and thank the members by providing them entertainment, food, drinks and prizes for them to enjoy. He encouraged members to enjoy themselves, and if they needed anything or information, to contact cooperative employees wearing blue shirts. Mr. Bartley reminded attendees that cooperative employees were their neighbors. You see them at the grocery store, the ballpark and other places around town. He said being a lineworker is one of the most dangerous jobs in the country, and employee safety is the cooperative’s top priority. He wants every employee to get to work and back home to their families safe each day. He commended cooperative employees for having more than 441 days without a lost-time accident, which comes to almost 300,000 total hours worked without an accident. Mr. Bartley reported participation in the cooperative is the member’s right. He let members know the cooperative appreciates their involvement and thanked them for helping the cooperative serve their needs. He reported we had more member involvement in annual meeting voting this year than ever before. Nearly 4,300 registered members voted. He then thanked members for participating in their cooperative. Mr. Bartley reported cooperative right-of-way crews have been working tirelessly to reclaim our system’s rights-of
Report of Cooperativeâ€™s Nominating Committee way to reduce outages. He said the rightof-way crews were currently working in Fountain and Crystal Lake. Mr. Bartley said in spite of Gulf Coast Electric having zero dollars in excess revenue, he thanked the board of directors for returning $500,000 in capital credits to the members last year. He reported each member should have received a check or a credit on their power bill. For the past six years, the capital credit payout amount has increased, and he hopes the financial position of the cooperative will allow this to continue in the future. In closing, Mr. Bartley thanked members for attending the meeting. He then turned the program back over to Mrs. Evans, who came forward for the drawing of the electric grill from Project Helping Hand. The winner was James Golden from Chipley. There being no further business, the 69th Annual Meeting of the Members was adjourned at 10:30 a.m.
The nominating committee appointed by the board of trustees of Gulf Coast Electric Cooperative Inc. met at 6 p.m. January 22, 2018, at the office of Gulf Coast Electric Cooperative Inc. in Wewahitchka. The committee presented nominations as follows: District 3, Group 1 Represents members in the Southport area. Rupert Brown District 3, Group 2 Represents members in the Green Hills-Fountain area. Jimmy Black District 3, Group 3 Represents members in the Allanton area. Robert Byrd The meeting was held and the above nominations are submitted in accordance with the bylaws of Gulf Coast Electric Cooperative Inc.
Committee Members The following members of Gulf Coast Electric Cooperative Inc. served on the nominating committee: XX
Tammy Lovrekovic, appointed by Rupert Brown
James Dauphin, appointed by Robert Byrd
Jimmy Yon, appointed by Kinneth Daniels
Joe Lilly, appointed by Gary Cox
Carl Goodson, (co-chairman), appointed by Waylon Graham
Harold Rowland, (co-chairman), appointed by Edward Jones
Pat Patterson, appointed by Douglas Birmingham
Dawn Spooner, appointed by Betty Moore
Mark Mercer, appointed by Jimmy Black Jr.
Gulf Coast Electric Cooperative Inc. By:
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Offices 722 West Highway 22 P. O. Box 220 Wewahitchka, FL 32465 (850) 639-2216 or (800) 333-9392 9434 Highway 77 P. O. Box 8370 Southport, FL 32409 (850) 265-3631 or (800) 568-3667 6243 East Highway 98 Panama City, FL 32404 Phone: (850) 481-1188 www.gcec.com
CEO/General Manager John Bartley
Trustees President Waylon Graham Vice President Jimmy Black Secretary Eddie Jones Treasurer Rupert Brown Doug Birmingham Robert Byrd Gary Cox Kinneth Daniels Betty Moore Trustees normally meet the third Tuesday of each month at 12:30 p.m. CST. The board meets at the Wewahitchka office in even-numbered months (February, April, June, August, October and December) and the Southport office in odd-numbered months (January, March, May, July, September and November). The mission of GCEC: Fulfilling the changing needs of our membership and communities by providing cost effective, reliable and safe utility services through a dedicated and responsive workforce. 32
GCEC President’s Message
You Are Invited! Valued GCEC Member:
It is my pleasure to invite you and your family to our 70th Annual Members’ Meeting April 28, 2018, beginning at 8 a.m. at our headquarters office in Wewahitchka. As a member-owned electric cooperative, it is imperative our Waylon Graham members participate by voting. Because not all of our members are able to attend the meeting, we offer two convenient options to ensure all members have the opportunity to make their voices heard: • Internet. Vote online at https://gcec.coopballot.com. Follow the online instructions to place your vote on the secure website. Please make sure you have your voting PIN handy. That is on the paper ballot enclosed in your packet. • Paper. Vote via the U.S. Postal Service by completing the ballot in your packet and returning it in the postage-paid envelope included in your packet. Your ballot is mailed to a third party, which is conducting the voting process on behalf of the cooperative so we do not have access to completed ballots. We are unable to accept ballots hand-delivered to our offices. This year, District III trustees are up for re-election. The incumbents are Rupert Brown, Group 1; Jimmy Black, Group 2; and Robert Byrd, Group 3. None of the incumbents face opposition. Therefore, following Robert’s Rules of Order, there is no need for a formal vote. The matter is decided by acclamation or unanimous consent. Because no voting will be brought before the membership on the day of the event, you need to check the “acclamation” box for us to install the three trustees. In appreciation of your time, we will credit $5 to your electric bill for participating. The cooperative also will work with the third party to randomly select members to receive prizes. Some will receive gift cards with a value of at least $25. Ten lucky members will be receive $100 electric bill credits. For those who plan to attend the meeting—and we hope you do—we will have children’s activities; complimentary food and beverages; informational booths; and live music by The Drummond Family. As a bonus, we have included a prize ticket in your election packet. If you attend the meeting, make sure you bring the ticket to the event. Turn in half the ticket to be eligible to win prizes. If you do not bring the ticket, you forfeit the chance to win prizes at this year’s event, so don’t forget your ticket. The grand prize will be a 2000 Ford Ranger! The election closes Wednesday, April 18. If the third party does not receive your ballot by this date, it will be rejected. Please be mindful of the deadline. If you have questions, please feel free to contact us. As always, it is a pleasure to serve you. n Gulf Coast Electric Cooperative offices will be closed 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, April 18, for a lineman/employee appreciation recognition.