Members to Vote on Self-Regulation
Wheatland Electric Cooperative, Inc. is asking its members to vote ‘yes’ for self-regulation to keep costs as low as possible
SCOTT CITY, KAN. (2/21/14) - Wheatland Electric Cooperative, Inc. is asking its membership to vote in favor of self-regulation. Wheatland’s service territory includes the Kansas Counties of Greeley, Wichita, Wallace, Logan, Scott, Hamilton, Kearny, Finney, Gray, Barton, Kingman, Harper, Sumner and Sedgwick along with portions of Kiowa County in Colorado.
A “yes” vote gives Wheatland’s member-elected Board of Trustees the decision-making authority to establish the electric rates for Wheatland’s members, a responsibility previously held by the Kansas Corporation Commission (KCC). Electric cooperatives across the state of Kansas have voted overwhelmingly in favor of self-regulation after the state legislature gave individual cooperatives the option for their membership to vote on the matter. Currently, 28 of Kansas’ 29 electric distribution cooperatives are self-regulated.
Self-regulation reduces the costs Wheatland’s members ultimately have to pay for rate cases under the jurisdiction of the KCC. Handling rate cases under the direction of Wheatland’s member-elected Board of Trustees decreases costs substantially. In the event of any proposed rate change, the Wheatland members will be notified and invited to attend the open meeting during which the Board discusses the matter.
“While this ultimately makes our Board of Trustees more accountable, it positions us better for future opportunities, while eliminating significant costs of KCC regulation incurred by our members under the current system,” said Wes Campbell, Board Chair.
Wheatland is beginning the process of informing its membership about the benefits of self-regulation through direct mailings, radio, and newspaper ads. Wheatland plans to include a series of town hall meetings for members who want to discuss the proposal in person. More information about the locations and dates of these meetings will be forthcoming.
“Wheatland will continue to improve the quality of life of our members and the communities we serve by providing reliable and competitively priced electricity and other essential services. We emphasis high quality and personal relationships, serving as stewards of our resources and by taking an active role in our communities,” said Bruce W. Mueller, Wheatland General Manager.
Votes will occur via a mail-in ballot scheduled for May, 2014, and certified by an independent accounting firm, who will verify the results of voting members. A majority vote of “yes” by the members is needed for Wheatland to become self-regulated.
For more information about self-regulation click here.