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TCEC in your Community

Cover By:

Liberty Blair 11 years old

2017

Annual Report


Vol. XXI No. I September & October 2017

Board of Trustees

TCEC Staff

Julius Hackett, Chief Executive Officer Jeff Brewer, Manager of Engineering Stephanie Carroll, Manager of Corporate Services Eileen Herndon, Executive Assistant Darrell Tuten, Manager of Operations Wendell Williams, Manager of Finance Tri-County Rural Living, the voice of your member-owned electric cooperative, is published bimonthly — more if necessary — at no subscription cost to the membership. The publication team is comprised of TCEC employees in partnership with Madison Media Group. Postage is paid at Blountstown, Fla.

Publication Team

Julius Hackett, Chief Executive Officer Eileen Herndon, Executive Assistant Kaitlynn Culpepper, Community Relations Specialist

Publisher

Madison Media Group Michael Curtis & Staff Tri-County Electric Cooperative 2862 West US 90 Madison, FL 32340 www.tcec.com 1-800-999-2285

A Message to our Members Electric cooperatives play an important part in supporting rural America. At Tri-County Electric Cooperative, we are proud to be one of 834 electric cooperatives in the United States that serve 19 million electric consumers and 75 percent of the nation’s land mass. Rural life is not without its challenges, but we believe most of our members wouldn’t trade the view from our front porch, the security in knowing their neighbors, and the sense of community that exists in their small towns for metropolitan living. At Tri-County Electric, our mission is to provide safe and reliable electricity to our rural communities, and we work hard every day to fulfill that mission. During the last year we completed several projects designed to enhance reliability. These include the construction of a new substation in northeast Madison County, which is our third major substation project in recent years. We have completed line improvements throughout our service territory. These upgrades will not only improve reliability for our members, but they provide capacity for future system growth. A challenge for rural areas like ours will always be Julius Hackett vegetation management within our electric line corridors. Chief Executive Officer In order to deliver a dependable flow of power we need to keep these areas clear of trees, which can cause costly damage to our lines and equipment, as well as unwanted outages for our members. In 2016, we spent $1.3 million on right-of-way clearing and herbicide spraying along 1,000 miles of line. This is a significant expense to the cooperative, but it is crucial for reliability. Over the last year, our member service department was busy working with members to help them better understand their electric use and identifying and helping members correct electrical hazards. They also conducted numerous electrical safety programs in schools throughout the area. Educating area residents is also important. Many of our members have an interest in energy conservation, energy efficiency and renewable energy. Several ambassador meetings were held throughout the service territory to present information on cooperative solar programs and other topics. The National Rural Electric Youth Tour is a way we can promote a better understanding of both rural issues and the cooperative business model to groups of high school juniors who travel to Washington, D.C., for a week of learning about rural electric cooperatives. More information about the students who participated in this year’s event can be found on Page 14 of this newsletter. An important way we advocate for our rural area is through our work with elected officials. Earlier in the year, your cooperative’s members of the Board of Trustees and CEO had an opportunity to meet with legislators in Washington, D.C., to discuss issues important to our cooperative and to our region. The cooperative program is well respected at all levels of government, and governmental officials take an interest in our position on rural issues. Like most in rural America, Tri-County Electric strives to be a good neighbor. We support dozens of local community organizations in a variety of ways. We support programs to provide scholarships to graduating seniors seeking a college education. Our employees volunteer time for a variety of community service projects and have

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Tri-County Electric Cooperative 2017 Annual Report


TCEC in your Community A Message to our Members

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raised funds for local organizations that include United Way, American Cancer Society, and Operation Outdoor Freedom to name a few. Employees spend hundreds of hours of their time working for causes in our communities. We strive to keep our rates competitive and your cooperative on solid financial footing. As a result of our financial strength, your Board of Trustees approved the distribution of $1.2 million in the form of capital credits to the membership. We are pleased to be a part of the fabric of your rural community. Our board members and employees are your neighbors and friends. We have the same concerns that you have about the economy, the environment, and maintaining the quality of life for our families. We are in this together, and we will continue to be an advocate for rural issues that affect our members. Thank you for another successful and productive year at your cooperative. Gary Fulford Board President

H. Julius Hackett Chief Executive Officer

TRI-COUNTY ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE, INC.

OFFICIAL NOTICE OF ANNUAL MEETING The Annual Meeting of the members of Tri-County Electric Cooperative, Inc. will be held on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017, at the Madison County High School Gymnasium located on the campus of Madison County High School at 2649 West US 90, Madison, FL. Registration begins at 9:00 a.m. and the business meeting will convene at 10:00 a.m. The following matters will be brought before and considered at this Annual Meeting: I. Any business listed in Section 8 of ARTICLE III of the Bylaws of Tri-County Electric Cooperative, Inc. II. At this Annual Meeting, Trustees are to be elected from Districts 7, 8 and 9 to serve for a term of three (3) years. The following members have been nominated, pursuant to the Bylaws of the Cooperative, as candidates for Trustee of the districts indicated:

Thank you to the NFCC Young Engineers Club for documenting the construction progress of the new substation in northeast Madison County with their drones. A $400 donation to the NFCC Foundation was made in benefit of the club. Pictured (L–R) are Antonio Richardson, System Engineer; Bonnie Littlefield, Biological and Physical Sciences Department Chair; Dr. Guenter Maresch, Professor and head of the Young Engineers Club; and Jeff Brewer, Manager of Engineering.

ATTENTION Beginning Oct. 2, 2017, the Greenville District Office will have new hours of operation: the office will be open 9 a.m.–2 p.m. daily to better serve our Greenville members.

September & October 2017 • www.TCEC.com

District No. 7

Albert Thomas, Jr.

District No. 8

Johnny G. Edwards

District No. 9

Elmer Coker

III. A number of valuable prizes will be given away at this meeting, and all members are urged to attend this Annual Meeting of the Cooperative.

THIS OFFICIAL NOTICE OF ANNUAL MEETING DATED this 28th day of August 2017. Catherine Bethea, Secretary, Tri-County Electric Cooperative, Inc.

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76th Annual Meeting September 17, 2016 The 76th Annual Meeting of the members of Tri-County Electric Cooperative, Inc. was held Saturday, Sept. 17, 2016, in Van H. Priest Auditorium on the campus of North Florida Community College in Madison, Fla. Registration began at 9:00 a.m. While members were registering their attendance, the Madison County Boys Choir from Madison, Fla., entertained. Following the music, a short video was presented showcasing the unique business model of cooperatives and the value of being an electric cooperative member. The meeting was called to order by President Gary Fulford with the Jefferson County Middle/High School Junior ROTC presenting the colors followed by the Pledge of Allegiance. Tri-County Electric Cooperative Employee Mr. Antonio Richardson, System Engineer, gave the invocation. Mr. Fulford introduced the guests present as follows: Mr. Ben Stewart, Madison County Sheriff; Chief Ken Moore, Madison Police Department; Captain Tyrone Edwards, Madison Police Department; Mr. Tommy Hardee, Madison County Supervisor of Elections; Mr. Ronnie Moore, Madison County Commissioner; Mr. Tim Bennett, City of Madison Manager; Mrs. Phyllis Williams, Executive Director of the Madison County Chamber of Commerce; Mrs. Lisa Johnson, Ms. Jo Fuller, Mr. Ryan Hart, Ms. Leigh Hester, Ms. Barbara Davis and Mr. Tom Turke, Seminole Electric Cooperative, Inc.; Mr. Mike Bjorklund, Florida Electric Cooperatives Association; and Florida State Senator Bill Montford, District 3. Mr. Fulford introduced the Board of Trustees of the Cooperative as follows: Mr. Junior Smith, Mr. Bobby Dodd, Mr. Neal Brown, Mr. George Webb, Mrs. Catherine Bethea, Mr. Albert Thomas Jr., Mr. Malcolm V. Page, Mr. Elmer Coker, and himself. He further introduced CEO Julius Hackett and Attorney Dylan Rivers. Mr. Fulford asked for a round of applause for the guests and trustees. Mr. Fulford read and presented a resolution and plaque to Mr. Neal Brown,

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who has served on the Board of Trustees for 24 years and will be retiring at the end of this meeting. The audience and board of trustees gave Mr. Brown a hearty round of applause. Mr. Fulford began his address by stating that it is the members who have ensured the cooperative’s success by being involved and actively participating in cooperative matters and attending Annual Meetings. He used Mr. Neal Brown as an example of a member stepping up to serve his cooperative and fellow cooperative members by actively participating on the board for 24 years. He compared members’ participation in the early days when they devoted their time to clear a way for the building of the power lines so that electricity could be brought to their friends and neighbors, to that of the members today who dedicate their time by serving on the board, participating in member surveys, supporting the Energizing Education fund and other school programs, attending annual meetings, and voting in elections. He thanked the members for their involvement in the business of the cooperative and taking the opportunity to vote in the elections. Mr. Fulford further remarked that memberparticipation is crucial to the cooperative’s success, but he also wanted to recognize the hardworking cooperative employees whose commitment to the success of the cooperative was recently demonstrated when they all worked to help restore power to the members after Hurricane Hermine passed through the service territory two weeks earlier. Cooperative CEO Julius Hackett thanked the members for participating in the affairs of the cooperative. He spoke of the recent hurricane and the beating the power lines took as the eye of the storm passed through Taylor County and straddled the Jefferson County and Madison County boundaries. He advised that 13,000 out of 18,000 meters were off during the peak of the storm, and he spoke of the steps taken to obtain external help from fellow cooperatives prior to the arrival of the storm. He explained

the power restoration process and how the goal is to restore power to as many members as soon as possible, in priority order, while keeping our linemen safe during the process. He advised that although this was a difficult time for the area, a lot of members expressed kind words of encouragement and thanks. He encouraged members to be prepared for future storms by keeping their medically essential designation current, attending an area hurricane preparedness expo typically held in May, and to have a plan for their vulnerable loved ones. Mr. Hackett extended an invitation for members to participate in upcoming ambassador meetings where an opportunity to invest in a cooperativeowned community solar project and more detailed storm discussions would be conducted. He reminded the members they are the owners of the cooperative and they are recognized as the bosses and the cooperative is here to work for them. Mr. Fulford introduced the guest speaker, Mr. Steve Gilliland, a member of the Speaker Hall of Fame and recognized master storyteller and humorist. Mr. Gilliland entertained the membership with humorous stories. Cooperative Attorney Dylan Rivers called the business session to order. He reminded the membership that only members or those with a voter authorization were eligible to vote and should have been given a paddle in the shape of a light bulb upon their registration earlier in the meeting. Members eligible to vote in the District 3 election should have a number three written on the reverse side of the light bulb paddle. As the first order of business, Mr. Rivers called upon Mrs. Catherine Bethea, Secretary-Treasurer of the Cooperative, for a report on the quorum. Mrs. Bethea reported that the presence of 126 members of the Cooperative was necessary to constitute a quorum for the transaction of business, and that at 9:54 a.m. 432 members of the Cooperative had officially registered their attendance. Mrs. Bethea

Tri-County Electric Cooperative 2017 Annual Report


TCEC in your Community

declared that a quorum was present for the transaction of business of the Cooperative. The second order of business was the Official Notice. Mr. Rivers announced that a copy of the Official Notice of the Annual Meeting of the members of the Cooperative was mailed to each member of the Cooperative at the address of such member, as shown on the records of the Cooperative, by depositing such notice in the U.S. mail at Blountstown, Fla., on Aug. 26, 2016, postage prepaid. No one objected to the form or time of the notice and reading of the notice was waived by motion duly made, seconded and carried. Mr. Rivers then stated the next order of business was the reading of the Minutes of the 2015 Annual Meeting of the members of the Cooperative and their approval by the membership if the same were found to be in order. These Minutes were published in the 2016 Tri-County Annual Report and mailed to each member. Upon the motion duly made, seconded and unanimously carried, the reading of the Official Minutes of the 2015 Annual Meeting of the members of the Cooperative was waived, and the Minutes of such meeting as published in the 2016 Tri-County Annual Report and as set out in the official records of the Cooperative were approved. Mrs. Catherine Bethea was called upon to give the Treasurer’s Report. Mrs. Bethea reported that the Cooperative’s 2015 Financial Report was prepared by Nichols, Cauley and Associates, CPAs, with no instance of non-compliance reported. Mrs. Bethea reminded the membership that the financial statements of the Cooperative were printed in the 2016 Tri-County Annual Report, which was mailed to each member for examination prior to the Annual Meeting. Mrs. Bethea pointed out the most significant financial highlights for 2015 reflect a moderate growth in revenues to $40.1 million with operating expenses of $36.3 million, which resulted in net margins of $2.8 million for the year and slight increase in the number of active meters served. She reported that the Cooperative continues to make major investments in the electric utility plant that

included technology upgrades, poles, wires and substation equipment that resulted in a year-ending plant value of $86.3 million. Further, overall, the financial condition of the Cooperative remains strong. As a display of this fiscal strength, the Board of Trustees voted to retire over $1 million in capital credits last year and returned those dollars back to the membership. Mr. Rivers then stated the next order of business was the election of Trustees from Districts 3, 5 and 6 to serve for a term of three years. He reminded the membership that according to Article III Section 7(a) of the Tri-County Electric Cooperative Bylaws, district meetings were held in July for the purpose of nominating candidates for trustee and that Article III Section 7(b) provides an additional method for nominating a candidate for trustee. Under Section 7(b) a member can indicate his or her intent to nominate a candidate for trustee from the floor during the Annual Meeting by filing their intent at least 15 days prior to the Annual Meeting. DISTRICT NO. 3 There being no official candidate for District 3 at the duly called District Meeting of District 3 due to a lack of a quorum, Mr. Rivers opened the floor for nominations for candidate for Trustee for District 3, pursuant to the applicable provisions of Section 7(b) of Article III of the Bylaws of Tri-County Electric Cooperative, Inc. The floor being opened for such nominations, upon a motion made, seconded, and unanimously carried, Mr. Donnie Waldrep was duly nominated as candidate for Trustee from the floor. That hearing no further nominations for candidate for Trustee made from the floor, the nominations were closed, and after the closing of nominations, having only one candidate for trustee, Mr. Waldrep was elected by a vote of acclamation. DISTRICT NO. 5 Mrs. Catherine Bethea being duly selected as the district’s official candidate at the duly called District Meeting of

September & October 2017 • www.TCEC.com

District 5, and no intention to make additional nomination from the floor for Trustee of District 5 being filed as required by the Bylaws of the Cooperative, was elected by a vote of acclamation. DISTRICT NO. 6 Mr. Lonnie Griffin and Mr. Gary Fulford, being duly selected as the district’s official candidates at the duly called District Meeting of District 6, was placed in nomination as the official candidates for District 6, and no intention to make additional nominations from the floor for Trustee of District 6 being filed as required by the Bylaws of the Cooperative, were placed in nomination as the official candidates for Trustee for District 6. The Madison County Supervisor of Elections was present to conduct and supervise the election, to count the ballots cast for the nominees, and to certify the result of the election. Mr. Hardee announced the results of the balloting to the membership as follows: Mr. Gary Fulford. . . . . . .74 votes Mr. Lonnie Griffin . . . . .48 votes Mr. Fulford having received the highest number of votes cast for the respective district was declared to be the duly elected Trustee of the Cooperative from District 6. Mr. Rivers then opened the floor for any unfinished business of the Cooperative which should come before the meeting. There being no unfinished business to come before the meeting, the floor was then opened for any new business of the Cooperative which should come before the membership of the Cooperative at the Annual Meeting. There being no new business to come before the meeting, upon a motion duly made, seconded and unanimously carried, the Annual Meeting of the membership of Tri-County Electric Cooperative, Inc. was duly adjourned at 11:24 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 17, 2016. Thereafter, a drawing for prizes was held. Gary Fulford, President Catherine Bethea, Secretary-Treasurer

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TRI-COUNTY ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE, INC. FLORIDA 28 MADISON Statements of Cash Flows Years Ended December 31, 2016 and 2015   2016    2015  Cash flow from operating activities: Net margins $ 1,834,576 $ 2,890,752 Noncash income and expenses included in net margins: Depreciation and amortization 3,182,101 3,028,594 G & T and other capital credits (621,118) (784,973) Provision for losses on accounts receivable 95 69,800 Loss (gain) on disposal of plant 463 1,805 Decrease (increase) in: Accounts receivable and unbilled electric revenue 177,059 (106,583) Temporary Investments Other current assets 42,343 130,547 Deferred debits/credits 37,792 (628,136) Increase (decrease) in: Accounts payable 544,147 (423,982) Other current liabilities 245,440 192,580 Deferred credits — 115,576 Cash flows provided by operating activities 5,442,898 4,485,980 Cash flows from investing activities: Construction and acquisition of plant (7,114,464) (5,760,092) Plant removal costs (443,219) (383,114) Materials salvaged from retirements 36,032 54,269 Increase in materials and supplies 26,545 49,314 Proceeds from disposal of plant 22,233 12,422 Proceeds from retirement of associated organizations patronage 74,912 96,548 Cash flows used by investing activities (7,397,961) (5,930,653) Cash flows from financing activities: Retirements of patronage capital credits (1,145,764) (1,012,292) Proceeds from long term debt 3,515,000 4,000,000 Payments on long-term debt (2,114,799) (2,005,292) Payments on capital lease obligations (92,780) (136,551) Increase (decrease) in: Membership fees 565 (465) Consumer deposits 13,910 (18,275) Cash flows provided by financing activities 176,132 827,125 Net change in cash and cash equivalents (1,778,931) (617,548) Cash and cash equivalents beginning of year 3,154,748 3,772,296 Cash and cash equivalents end of year $ 1,375,817 $ 3,154,748

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TRI-COUNTY ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE, INC. FLORIDA 28 MADISON Statements of Revenues Years Ended December 31, 2016 and 2015   ASSETS Operating revenues $ Operating expenses: Cost of power Transmission Distribution operations Distribution maintenance Consumer accounts General and administrative Depreciation and amortization Operating margins before interest expense Interest expense Operating margins after interest expense G & T and other capital credits Nonoperating margins Net margins $

2016 

2015 

38,924,731 $ 40,174,355 23,317,881 24,147,096 30,676 6,080 2,331,938 2,265,276 3,252,703 3,162,978 1,464,483 1,476,617 2,595,950 2,506,307 2,949,148 2,789,202 35,942,779 36,353,556 2,981,952 3,820,799 1,829,529 1,775,574 1,152,423 2,045,225 621,118 784,973 61,035 60,554 1,834,576 $ 2,890,752

The independent accounting firm of Nichols, Cauley and Associates, LLC, Warner Robins, Ga., audited the financial statements of Tri-County Electric Cooperative, Inc., which comprise the balance sheets as of Dec. 31, 2016 and 2015, and the related statements of revenues, changes in equities, and cash flows for the years then ended, and the related notes to the financial statements. In our opinion, the financial statements referred to above present fairly, in all material aspects, the financial position of Tri-County Electric Cooperative, Inc. as of Dec. 31, 2016 and 2015, and the results of its operations and its cash flows for the year then ended in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America.

Tri-County Electric Cooperative 2017 Annual Report


TCEC in your Community TRI-COUNTY ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE, INC. FLORIDA 28 MADISON Balance Sheets December 31, 2016 and 2015   2016    2015  ASSETS Electric plant: In service - at cost $ 99,936,128 $ 93,977,473 Construction work in progress 3,517,907 3,255,023 103,454,035 97,232,496 Less - Accumulated provisions for depreciation and amortization 27,477,672 25,852,522 75,976,363 71,379,974 Other investments: Investments in associated organizations 8,150,079 7,603,873 Current assets: Cash and cash equivalents: Cash 1,375,817 1,110,119 Temporary investments — 2,044,629 Accounts receivable (less allowance for accounts of $169,299 in 2014 and $94,731 in 2013) 1,379,522 1,556,676 Unbilled electric revenue 1,450,000 1,450,000 Materials and supplies (at avg. cost) 401,430 427,975 Other current assets 28,935 71,278 4,635,704 6,660,677 Deferred debits 643,526 681,318 Total assets $ 89,405,672 $ 86,325,842 EQUITIES AND LIABILITIES Equities Membership fees $ 63,760 $ 63,195 Patronage capital 34,211,360 33,725,848 Other 808,430 605,130 35,083,550 34,394,173 Long-term debt, net of current maturities: Mortgage notes 46,127,033 44,821,158 Capital leases 339,194 195,677 46,466,227 45,016,835 Current liabilities: Current maturities of long-term obligations 2,334,396 2,196,832 Accounts payable 2,578,703 2,034,556 Consumer deposits 1,138,186 1,124,276 Other 1,659,258 1,413,818 7,710,543 6,769,482 Deferred credits 145,352 145,352 Total equities and liabilities $ 89,405,672 $ 86,325,842

September & October 2017 • www.TCEC.com

MEET THE CANDIDATES Each year, TCEC holds meetings in three of its nine districts for the purpose of nominating candidates for Trustee. Those candidates will then be voted on during the Annual Meeting on Sept. 16, 2017. Meetings this year were held July 24–27, 2017, for Districts 7, 8 and 9. District 8, Taylor and Madison Counties — Johnny Edwards, Candidate Mr. Johnny Edwards is a native Floridian and lifelong resident of Perry. He and his wife, Victoria, have four children and seven grandchildren. He is the mechanical coordinator for the Drying, Finishing and Line 3 departments for Georgia Pacific at the Foley Mill. Mr. Edwards’s desire to serve the people of District 8 and become their voice has lead him to the decision to run as a candidate for trustee. “I will strive to always make sound and logical decisions that are in the best interest of the Co-op and its members,” says Mr. Edwards. District 7, Jefferson and Madison Counties — Albert Thomas, Jr., Incumbent Mr. Albert Thomas and his wife, Celestine, live in Jefferson County. He has served on the Tri-County Electric Cooperative Board for 12 years. Now serving as vice president of the board, he also serves on the board of electric cooperatives statewide group, the Florida Electric Cooperatives Association. He is a graduate of Florida A&M University and a retired educator. In 2016, he earned the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s Director Gold certificate, the highest certification awarded to trustees committed to continuing their education in the electric utility industry. He is also a Credentialed Cooperative Director, and he holds a Board Leadership certificate. District 9, Taylor County — Elmer Coker, Incumbent Mr. Elmer Coker and his wife, Pat, live in Keaton Beach. Mr. Coker has served on the Tri-County Board of Trustees since 2006 and has been re-elected by the members for four consecutive terms. He also holds the distinction of earning the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s Director Gold certificate. The Director Gold certificate is the latest professional accomplishment awarded to Mr. Coker in addition to his Certified Cooperative Director and Board Leadership certificate credentials. Mr. Coker is a graduate of Florida State University and a former football coach in Taylor, Wakulla and Jefferson counties. During his tenure, he has served as past vice-president of TriCounty’s Board of Trustees.

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Executive Staff

Corporate Services

Meet you r TCEC Team

Julius Hackett

Stephanie Carroll

Chief Executive Officer

Manager of Corporate Services

Eileen Herndon

Carol Timmons

Executive Assistant

Billing Supervisor

Angela Eastabrooks Member Service Specialist

Sandra Harrison

Monica Wagner

Andrew Pinkard

Human Resources Assistant

Kisha Tolar

Derrick Calhoun

Billing Assistant

Tom Rucks

Field Service Representative

Lavonne Browning

Jackie Bennett

Communications Technician

Robbie Coker

Member Service Representative

Member Service Representative

Member Service Representative

Member Service Representative

Member Service Representative

Member Service Representative

Sandy Wilson

Brian Ponder

Wendell Williams

Tamara Ashley

Sharon Boothe

Mark Burnett

Michael Haynes

Kyle King

Antonio Richardson

Rusty Smith

Keith Ruff

Tina Wells

IT Director

Leroy Rutherford

Maintenance Supervisor

Custodial Services

Finance

Member Service Representative

Kevin Pryor

Field Service Representative

Kaitlynn Culpepper

Community Relations Specialist

Engineering

Manager of Finance

Jeff Brewer

Manager of Engineering

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System Technician

Staff Assistant

System Engineer

Fiscal Assistant

Safety Director

Purchasing Agent

David Allen

Staking Technician

Warehouseman

Trey Barrs

Staking Technician

Tri-County Electric Cooperative 2017 Annual Report


Operations

TCEC in your Community

Darrell Tuten

Manager of Operations

Terry Dobson

Cooperative Foreman

John Tuten

Contractor Supervisor

David Wesson

Paul Burnett

Luis Otero

Troy Pickles

Lead Mechanic

Mechanic

Mechanic

Lead Apparatus Tech

Apprentice Apparatus Tech

Jason Hughey

Terry Barrs

William Carter

Bill Kinsey

Bobby Lundy

Ellis Anderson

Clint Nash

Tony Stephenson

Willie Bell

Bryan McMullen

Rosevelt Nelson

Allen Welch

Shane Roberts

Crew Leader

Scotty Henderson Journeyman Lineman

Dustin Fletcher Apprentice Lineman

Steve Walden GIS Specialist

Crew Leader

Cody Holden

Journeyman Lineman

Kyle Fox

Serviceman

Crew Leader

Bailey Stewart

Journeyman Lineman

Chad Mitchell

Serviceman

Lead Trimmer

Josh Thomas

Journeyman Lineman

Seth Ragans

Apprentice Lineman

Entry Level Lineman

Entry Level Lineman

Amy Straka

Candice Gray

Marvin Johnston

Lead System Operator

September & October 2017 • www.TCEC.com

System Operator

System Operator

Serviceman

Tree Trimmer

Journeyman Lineman

Serviceman

Tree Trimmer

Service Technician

Josh Williams

Entry Level Lineman

Ken Odom

System Operator

Jeremy Tuckey System Operator

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About Tri-County •

Tri-County Electric Cooperative (TCEC) delivers electricity to 12,797 members in four northeastern Florida counties — Jefferson, Madison, Taylor and Dixie — and maintains 3,036 miles of energized electric lines.

Incorporated in 1940, TCEC is headquartered in Madison and maintains district offices in Greenville, Monticello, Perry and Steinhatchee.

Mission Statement: Provide Quality — Safe — Affordable Electric Service Powered by Members

Average Monthly kWh Usage Per meter: 949

Number of Meters Energized: 17,932

Total Energy Revenues: $38,924,731

2016 Energy Sales (kWh)

Residential: 168,226,946(54.23%) Commercial: 122,706,343 (39.6%) Other Sales: 9,723,267 (3.1%) Irrigation: 9,310,336 (3.0%) Security Lights: 225,724 (.07%)

Your Energy Dollar in 2016:

Cost of Power

Maintenance and Operating Expense

Operating Margins

Interest & Depreciation Expense

Residential: 168,226,946(54.23%) Commercial: 122,706,343 (39.6%) Other Sales: 9,723,267 (3.1%) Irrigation: 9,310,336 (3.0%) Security Lights: 225,724 (.07%)

Annual Report Cover Drawing Contest Thank you for all of the submissions to our drawing contest. There were so many great submissions that came in from all across our service territory. Artists were asked to draw a picture of TCEC in their community. Liberty Blair’s drawing of a lineman restoring power outside of a farm house with children playing and farm animals grazing in the pasture was selected for the cover. Liberty received a $125 VISA gift card, and she will be recognized at the Annual Meeting on Sept. 16. Two submissions were selected as runners-up. Johnathon Alexander’s, 18, pencil sketch of a lineman carrying a wooden power pole depicts the hard work TCEC employees put into powering his community. Savanna Wilford, 15, submitted a stunning drawing of a sunset behind the power lines in her community. These young artists both received a $35 VISA gift card.

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Tri-County Electric Cooperative 2017 Annual Report


TCEC in your Community $13,500 in College Scholarships Awarded Tri-County Electric Cooperative is proud to announce the recipients of the TCEC Energizing Education Scholarships: Aucilla Christian Academy: Stephanie English, Nicholas Arceneaux, Traynor Barker, Ramsey Sullivan, Nathan Guenthner and Faith Demott Jefferson Middle High School: Zoron Wade Taylor County High School: Caleb Wentworth Madison County High School: Sarah Kauffman and Joshua Bradley James Madison Prep School: Tucker Cherry, John Flournoy and Jim Flournoy TCEC’s Energizing Education Scholarship, established by the Board of Trustees, was created in an effort to provide education support for qualified members and their families in Jefferson,

MCHS senior Sarah Kauffman was presented with two Energizing Education Scholarships — one of behalf of the NFCC Foundation and the other on the behalf of TCEC Board of Trustees.

Madison and Taylor counties. High school seniors and nontraditional undergraduate students are eligible to apply. Scholarships, up to $1,000 are awarded to students planning to continue their education at various accredited Florida universities, community colleges or technical colleges. “A total of $13,500 in scholarships have been awarded to 15 students throughout our service territory this year,” said Kaitlynn Culpepper, TCEC Community Relations Specialist. “These dollars will help ease the financial burden placed on college students and their families. We could not have done it without our members, who graciously donate to the fund every month, and the support of our Board of Trustees.” The TCEC Energizing Education Scholarship has been made possible through the Energizing Education program in which TCEC members elect to have their monthly statement rounded up to the next dollar, and those cents set aside

MCHS senior Joshua Bradley received a scholarship to Edward Waters College.

ACA students received their scholarship awards during the ACA Academic Awards Program. Pictured (L–R): Stephanie English, Nicholas Arceneaux, Traynor Barker, Ramsey Sullivan, Nathan Guenthner, TCEC CEO Julius Hackett, Faith Demott and TCEC Community Relations Specialist Kaitlynn Culpepper. September & October 2017 • www.TCEC.com

to fund education scholarships. Applicants for the scholarship are evaluated not just on GPA or class rank, but on community service and extracurricular activities as well. An essay, letter of recommendation, and official transcript are among the required documents for the application. Ross Bass (JMPHS), Sarah Kauffman (MCHS), Dylan Dudley (TCHS) and Nathan Guenthner (ACA) were also awarded a $500 TCEC Energizing Education Scholarship on behalf of the North Florida Community College Foundation. This scholarship can be used for books and tuition at NFCC. TCEC wishes each recipient continued success in their educational endeavors. If you are a member of TCEC and are interested in contributing to the Energizing Education fund, please contact a Member Service Representative at 850-973-2285 or enroll online at www.tcec.com/content/ energizing-education.

JMPHS seniors (L–R) Jim Flournoy, Tucker Cherry and John Flournoy were presented with TCEC Energizing Education Scholarships.

Jefferson County Middle High School senior Zoron Wade receiving his TCEC Energizing Education Scholarship.

TCHS senior Caleb Wentworth received a scholarship to Taylor Technical Institute.

JMPHS senior, Ross Bass, received a TCEC Energizing Education Scholarship on behalf of the NFCC Foundation.

TCHS senior Dylan Dudley received a TCEC Energizing Education Scholarship on behalf of the NFCC Foundation.

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Trustee Earns NRECA Certification During the July 2017 Board of Trustees meeting, District 1 Trustee Junior Smith was presented with his NRECA Director Gold (DG) credential. The DG credential, introduced by NRECA in 2016, recognizes electric cooperative directors who have made the commitment to continue their education beyond earning their Credentialed Cooperative Director and Board Leadership Certificate. By earning

this latest credential, Mr. Smith demonstrates his commitment to continuous learning while serving on the Tri-County Electric Cooperative Board of Trustees. Only 18 percent of directors participating in the NRECA director education programs has achieved Director Gold status. 71004468001 All of us congratulate Mr. Smith on this latest achievement.

TCEC Welcomes Two New Employees A new, friendly face will soon be welcoming members at our Greenville office. Monica Wagner joins the team as a part-time Member Service Representative. She was born and raised in Cincinnati but moved to the Greenville area with her high school sweetheart a few years ago. Monica has extensive experience in customer service and office management. In her free time she enjoys fishing, exploring the local springs, cooking, and playing poker. Fun Fact: Monica and her fiancé are currently working to start a Certified Naturally Grown farm of fruits and vegetables in Greenville while raising two dogs, two cats, a pony and a few chickens. Members of the Madison community may recognize our newest Tree Trimmer, Rosevelt Nelson. Rosevelt was born and raised in Madison. He is a 2001 graduate of MCHS and a member of Boothill Motorcycle Club. He joins the TCEC team after working as a machine operator for Madison County. With over 10 years experience working with heavy equipment, Rosevelt is sure to be an asset to the co-op. Favorite thing about working at the co-op: “So far ... getting to work with Willie [Bell].”

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Tri-County Welcomes Three to the Co-op Family

Congratulations to Katelyn and Kyle King (System Technician) who have been happy parents since May 31, 2017, of Kenley (a beautiful baby girl, weighing 6 pounds, 19¼ inches long) and Kolton (a bouncing baby boy, weighing 5.3 pounds, 19 inches long) — adorable twins. Katelyn and Kyle are both adjusting well to being new parents.

Best wishes to Kasey and Jason Hughey (Apprentice Apparatus Technician) on the birth of their precious daughter, Carolina, on June 14, 2017, weighing 6.2 pounds and 19 inches long. This sweet girl joins her older brother, Waylon. We wish both families and their newborns all the very best.

Tri-County Electric Cooperative 2017 Annual Report


TCEC in your Community

TCEC Visits Our Nation’s Capital to Meet with Legislators This past April, America’s electric cooperatives made their way to Washington, D.C., to be a part of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s (NRECA) 2017 Legislative Conference. Ten Florida electric cooperatives attended the Legislative Conference, including Tri-County Electric Cooperative. Representing TCEC were Julius Hackett, CEO; Kaitlynn Culpepper, Community Relations Specialist; and Board members Elmer Coker and Catherine Bethea. During the Legislative Conference, NRECA hosted discussions and panels to define what electric cooperatives are facing around the country, and their plan of action. Following the conference, members of Florida’s electric cooperatives visited the Florida Congressional delegation, which included meetings with Florida’s Senators Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson, and Representatives and staff of 24 of Florida’s 27 districts in the House of Representatives. Florida’s cooperatives, including TCEC, worked with the Florida Electric Cooperatives Association, NRECA, and Seminole Electric Cooperative to determine which issues and messages we would advance on Capitol Hill. The issues discussed with representatives included the following:

Support the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) Help Fight Electricity Theft Protect Energy Tax Credits Support Safety and Reliability with Sensible Vegetation Management Policies Support Endangered Species Act Reforms Oppose Costly Carbon Regulations and Pricing We encourage and ask our members to visit www.vote.coop for information and to take action on issues that affect all electric cooperative members. Contact Kaitlynn Culpepper, Community Relations Specialist, if you would like more information regarding these issues, where they stand amidst debates in Washington, and how they affect all our members. September & October 2017 • www.TCEC.com

Florida Electric Cooperative representatives with Congressman Neal Dunn (center).

Florida Electric Cooperative representatives meeting with Senator Bill Nelson.

Florida Electric Cooperative representatives meeting with Senator Marco Rubio.

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ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE

Youth

Tour

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Tri-County Electric Cooperative 2017 Annual Report


TCEC in your Community

Every June for over 50 years, high Sunset Parade are often the most school students from across the United powerful moments of the trip for the States gather in Washington, D.C., students as they reflect on the price paid for a week long, once-in-a-lifetime for their freedoms. 22886001 opportunity to participate in the A tour of the Capitol was concluded Electric Cooperative Youth Tour. Triwith visits from congressmen in Florida County Electric Cooperative sponsored where the students were able to meet four local high school juniors to attend with them, take pictures, and ask this year’s Youth Tour: Alexis Kornegay, questions about congressional matters Madison County High School; Katie important to them. Congressman Mays, James Madison Prep School; Al Lawson and Congressman Neal Samyia Howard, Jefferson County Dunn both took time from their busy Middle High School; and Sydney schedules to meet with the four young Aman, Taylor County High School. ladies from TCEC who live, work and June 10–15, these four young ladies attend school in their districts. represented TCEC as they traveled from Kornegay, Mays, Howard and Aman north Florida to Washington, D.C., worked hard for this opportunity. with 31 other students from electric coThe top four out of 10 applicants, ops in Florida, then joined over 1,800 these young ladies excel in leadership, students from co-ops across the United academics, extracurricular activities, States — all brought together by the and community service. (L–R) Samyia Howard, JMHS; Alexis Kornegay, National Rural Electric Cooperative “Youth Tour 2017 was a lifeMCHS; Katie Mays, JMPHS; Sydney Aman, Association (NRECA). changing experience for these girls,” TCHS; and Kaitlynn Culpepper, TCEC This unique trip gives students said Kaitlynn Culpepper, TCEC Community Relations Specialist, on the the opportunity to learn about Community Relations Specialist and steps of the Thomas Jefferson Memorial. our nation’s history by exploring Youth Tour Chaperone. “Now that they museums, monuments and memorials. are back in their hometowns we look to The Holocaust Museum, WWII Memorial, and Washington them to be ambassadors for the co-op, continued leaders in their Monument were just a few of the stops along the way. The communities, and good stewards of the environment, with the students had the rare opportunity to visit the recently opened common goal of enriching the future for themselves and those African American History Museum. Walking through President around them.” George Washington’s home at Mount Vernon and standing where If you would like more information regarding this rewarding Martin Luther King, Jr. gave the most famous delivery of his “I program, please contact Kaitlynn Culpepper at 850-973-8036 or Have a Dream” speech gave these students an opportunity to kculpepper@tcec.com. Applications for the 2018 Youth Tour will experience history and see the possibilities of the future. be available October 2017 at www.tcec.com and with guidance Touring Arlington National Cemetery and watching the counselors in schools across our service territory.

September & October 2017 • www.TCEC.com

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Tri-County Electric Cooperative, Inc. Board Meeting Notes for June 12, 2017

Tri-County Electric Cooperative, Inc. Board Meeting Notes for July 10, 2017

With all trustees except one, key cooperative personnel, and guests present, the regular monthly meeting of the Board of Trustees of Tri-County Electric Cooperative, Inc. was held on Monday, June 12, 2017, in the Tri-County Electric Cooperative, Inc. headquarters office building located in Madison, Fla. Reports to the Board included those of the Seminole Electric Cooperative May Board Meeting, Finance Committee, Policy Committee, Building and Land Committee, and CEO. Mike Bjorklund, Executive VP and General Manager of Florida Electric Cooperatives Association (FECA), gave a report on the FECA May/June board meeting. The Policy Committee recommended and the Board approved revised Policy 202, “Check Signing and Signing of RUS Form No. 595,” and revised Policy 500, “Employee Wage and Salary Plan,” effective immediately. The Board was asked to take proposed revised Policy 111, “Election of Cooperative Trustees,” and proposed revised Policy 114, “Board Meeting Procedures,” home for study for possible action at the July 2017 board meeting. Other action taken by the Board included the following: approval of the June 12, 2017, Board Agenda and the May 8, 2017, Board Meeting Minutes; authorization for the first quarter 2017 present uncollectible accounts for the appropriate accounting designation; employee health insurance renewal for 2017-18; approval of Work Order Inventories (RUS Forms 219) for October–December 2016; approval of Incumbency Certificate, Credit Agreement and Amended and Restated Revolving Credit Promissory Notes with CoBank; and approval of items as written and recommended by the CEO, which included the WPCA for June 2017 as established by resolution; RUS Form 7 for April 2017; the list of new members for April 18–May 22, 2017; and the Safety and Accident Report for April 2017 along with the System Outage Report. The following item was presented for the Secretary’s signature: Certification of Mailing of District Meeting Notices for Districts 7, 8 and 9 on June 14, 2017.

With all trustees, key cooperative personnel, the attorney, and guests present, the regular monthly meeting of the Board of Trustees of Tri-County Electric Cooperative, Inc. was held on Monday, July 10, 2017, in the Tri-County Electric Cooperative, Inc. headquarters office building located in Madison, Fla. Reports to the Board included those of the Finance Committee, Policy Committee, Building and Land Committee, CEO, and Attorney. Action taken by the Board included the following: approval of revised Policy 111, “Election of Cooperative Trustees,” and revised Policy 114, “Board Meeting Procedures,” effective immediately. The Board was asked to take proposed revised Policy 501, “Employee Conduct and Discipline,” and proposed revised Policy 502, “Employee Dress Code,” home for study for possible action at the August 2017 board meeting. Other action taken by the Board included the following: approval of the July 10, 2017, Board Agenda and the June 12, 2017, Board Meeting Minutes; a resolution adopting the Seminole Electric Cooperative 2017 Load Forecast; Consent Agenda Items as written and recommended by the CEO, which included the WPCA for July 2017 as established by resolution; RUS Form 7 for May 2017; the list of new members for May 23–June 20, 2017, and June 21–July 10, 2017 (cutoff date for voting at district meetings); the Safety and Accident Report for May 2017 along with the System Outage Report; authorization for the CEO to continue Directors/Officers and Managers Liability Insurance with Federated Rural Electric Insurance Company. Miscellaneous information presented included a review and explanation of an Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) and High-Altitude Electromagnetic Pulse (HEMP) by Jim Frauen, Vice President of Power Delivery and Technical Services at Seminole Electric Cooperative; a video highlighting the 2017 educational scholarship recipients; and a video from the 2017 Rural Electric Youth Tour held June 11–15, 2017, in Washington, D.C.

Gary Fulford Catherine Bethea President Secretary-Treasurer

Gary Fulford Catherine Bethea President Secretary-Treasurer

Find Your Hidden Account Number & Get a $150 Bill Credit! Hidden somewhere in this issue of Tri-County Rural Living are two member account numbers. Look carefully, one might be yours. If you find your account number exactly as it appears on your bill for electric service, we’ll credit your bill up to the amount of $150!* You have until Oct. 31, 2017, to claim your credit by calling Carol Timmons at (850) 9732285, Ext. 203, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. You must contact the TCEC representative before the deadline to collect your prize. * Total credit on bill will not exceed $150.00. This one-time credit is valid only on the current balance. Any balance remaining after the $150.00 applied credit is the member’s responsibility.

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Tri-County Electric Cooperative 2017 Annual Report


TCEC in your Community Company Chicken Casserole A warm and creamy comfort style food. It’s an easy and inexpensive dish to serve when company is coming over. Serve with or without broccoli — it’s fabulous either way! Ingredients 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts 1 cup chicken broth 2 cloves garlic 2 wedges of onion 4 cups Pepperidge Farms Herb Seasoned stuffing mix ½ cup butter 1 can Cream of Chicken soup 1 pint sour cream 8 oz. frozen broccoli cuts, thawed (optional) Directions 1. Place chicken breasts, broth, garlic and onion in a skillet and bring just to a boil over medium high heat, turn heat down to medium, cover and simmer until pink is gone — about 15–20 mins. 2. Remove the chicken and shred

3. 4.

5.

6.

with a fork and set aside. Reserve the broth (this should equal about 1 cup, but if it doesn’t, add enough canned broth to equal a cup). Melt the butter and pour over stuffing mix in a bowl and whisk with a fork to blend. Spread half the stuffing/butter mixture in a large casserole dish or glass 9x13” pan. Blend the soup, sour cream and reserved broth together with a wire whisk. Place shredded chicken over the layer of stuffing mix. If using broccoli, spread this over

the chicken. 7. Pour the soup mixture over the chicken, then top with the remaining stuffing mixture. 8. Bake for 30 mins. at 350°. Serve and enjoy! Source: Clever Housewife

BOARD MEETINGS

This Publication’s Inspirational Moment

The regular monthly meeting of the Board of Trustees of Tri‑County Electric Cooperative, Inc. will be held the second Monday in each month at 3:00 p.m. in the central office building of the Cooperative located at 2862 West U.S. 90, approximately two miles west of the city of Madison.

“Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full — pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.”

Energy Efficiency Tip of the Month Cooler temps will be here soon! No matter what kind of heating system you have in your home, you can save money and increase your comfort by properly maintaining and upgrading your equipment. Contact a licensed professional to inspect your system before the winter chill arrives. Source: U.S. Dept. of Energy

September & October 2017 • www.TCEC.com

Luke 6:38 (NLT)

To Report Electrical Problems or Outages Please Call:

850-973-2285 or 1-800-999-2285 24-HOUR SERVICE THANK YOU

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T C EC in your Cooperatives around the world operate according to the same set of core principles and values. Concern for Community is the seventh cooperative principal and one that your cooperative’s employees try to demonstrate to our community through caring for others every single day. During the past year TCEC employees volunteered 726 hours of their time and talents to many important causes and completed 34 community-related projects. They worked with organizations such as Ability 1st, Operation Outdoor Freedom, Relay for Life and United Way of the Big Bend. They served as Girl Scouts of

TCEC Cooking Team for the 2017 Legislative Cookout in Tallahassee.

William Carter, Serviceman, and Julius Hackett, CEO, after completing the 40mile Ride for Hope bike race to help support cancer patients and their families.

America troop leaders, volunteer firemen, and coached local youth athletic teams. Some mentored students, while others voluntarily serve through community civic and educational organizations. Why do we do this? Satisfaction comes from helping others. Volunteering in our communities gives us a sense of purpose. It provides us with a chance to look beyond our own circumstances and appreciate what others are experiencing. The difference that we can make in someone else’s life makes an even bigger difference in our own.

Scotty Henderson and Jason Hughey teaching local 4th graders about how to play it safe around electricity at the Farm Bureau Ag Day.

In partnership with the Madison Kiwanis Club, Amy Strakka, Lead System Operator, and other TCEC employees visited local elementary schools to read Dr. Seuss classics to students on his birthday.

(L–R) Trey Barrs, Steve Walden, Josh Williams and Seth Ragans representing TCEC at the Good Government Clay Shoot organized by Florida Electric Cooperatives.

Education is key to helping people be prepared for an unlikely but possible extended outage event. Jeff Brewer, Manager of Engineering, recently presented at the Madison Rotary Club.

Julius Hackett isn’t just the CEO of your co-op, he also served as president of the Monticello-Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce this past year.

Rusty Smith, Safety Director, teaches that learning how to “Play it Safe Around Electricity” is important for all age groups — even the youngest of members at Room to Grow preschool in Perry. William Carter, Serviceman, also stopped by to show off his service truck and tools.

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Tri-County Electric Cooperative 2017 Annual Report


Co m m unity

Congratulations to the Madison County 8U Baseball Team; they are the state runner-ups for the 2017 season and were coached by one of TCEC’s own linemen, Josh Thomas.

Antonio Richardson, Seth Ragans, Kaitlynn Culpepper and Julius Hackett spreading the word about the bright future for the students at Jefferson County Middle High School through the TCEC Energizing Education Scholarship, Youth Tour, and possible career opportunities at the co-op after high school or college.

TCEC partnered with Taylor County Reef Association in their effort to maintain and restore the ecosystem in the Gulf. TCEC donated metal from a retired substation that will be submerged off the coast of Taylor County to create a reef for ocean animals and plants to thrive in.

Tamara Ashley and Eileen Herndon love both a good ball game and serving their community. What better way to do it all than to volunteer at the concession stand?!

Cancer doesn’t take a holiday. Not even for Dr. Seuss’s birthday. Employees enjoyed building the Dr. Seuss-themed booth, selling food, and relaying to raise awareness for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life event in Madison. A special thanks to Carol Timmons who served as captain for this year’s team event

Our engineers are both engineers and teachers — spreading the word about energy management, hurricane preparedness, and safety at Taylor County’s Annual Emergency Management Hurricane Preparedness event.

September & October 2017 • www.TCEC.com

TCEC’s Grill Masters getting lunch ready for our Chicken Dinner fundraiser for Relay for Life.

“Hotdogs! Get your hotdogs!” TCEC served up hotdogs, fruit and water at the Greenville Elementary School Field Day to all of the students and teachers.

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Tri-County Electric Cooperative, Inc. 2862 West US 90 Madison, FL 32340

Tri-County Rural Living Newsletter  

2017 Annual Report