From the Boardroom – February 2022

by Dion Cooper, President & CEO

The Board of Directors held meetings on February 28 to conduct its regular monthly Board Meeting to discuss and review several agenda items. During the meetings, they approved the Minutes of the last Board meeting and accepted the reports of the Attorney, President and Vice Presidents. In addition, Southwest Arkansas Telecommunication & Technology also held a regular Board Meeting.

SWAECC Agenda Items Reviewed and Actions Taken

The Cooperative’s attorney reviewed the Conflict of Interest, Director Duties and Standards of Conduct and the Whistleblower policies with the Board of Directors and Cooperative officers and Board Members signed the Conflict of Interest Certification.

The President prepared the annual CFC Officer’s Compliance Certification and the Board ratified the president’s completion of the worksheet and certification for 2021.

The Board authorized the Cooperative to pay the premium amount due to Arkansas rural Electric Self-Insurance Trust.

The President reported on the date and place for NRECA’s 2022 Legislative Conference.

The Board ratified the new date of April 25 for the 2022 Annual Meeting of Members.

The Board approved 86 new member applications making the total number of members to date 18,803.

SWATT Agenda Items Reviewed and Actions Taken

The President presented several updates including future fiber installation, current pre-registrations for service and on general funding and grants.

From the Boardroom – January 2022

by Dion Cooper, President & CEO

The Board of Directors held meetings on January 31 to conduct its regular monthly Board Meeting to discuss and review several agenda items. During the meetings, they approved the Minutes of the last Board meeting and accepted the reports of the Attorney, President and Vice Presidents. In addition, Southwest Arkansas Telecommunication & Technology also held a regular Board Meeting.

SWAECC Agenda Items Reviewed and Actions Taken

The Board of Directors authorized the Cooperative to continue its support of Touchstone Energy through the payment of its annual dues.

The Board confirmed the changed in the March regular Board Meeting date and time to March 26, 2022, at 10 a.m. to coincide with the Annual Meeting scheduled for Saturday, March 26, 2022, at 1 p.m. at the Headquarters Building.

The Board appointed a Nominating Committee consisting of Russell Pendergraft, Tommy Isbell, Jim Alford, Don Stemple, Alan Green, Jamie Stevens, Andy Youngblood and Warren Plyler. The committee met during a short recess and upon the meeting being called back to order, the committee reported that it would place into nomination Rickie Barnard of Columbia County.

The Board authorized the chairman to sign RUS Form 266 as an acknowledgement and support of the form’s guidelines, rules and laws.

The Board accepted the distribution amount of $33,208.71 from Arkansas Electric Cooperative, Inc.

The President reported that Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation is allocating Patronage Capital for the fiscal year ending October 31, 2021, in the amount of $16,622,020. SWAECC’s portion is $820,959.13.

The Board accepted the patronage credit allocation from NISC in the amount of $26,814.11.

The President reported that $4,181,418.28 of the $5 million in Capital Credit checks issued by the Cooperative in December have been cashed by the Membership.

The Board authorized a donation of $1,500 to the Arkansas Independent Colleges and Universities.

The President was selected to serve as the voting delegate at the 2022 NRTC Annual Meeting.

Vice Chairman Warren Plyler and Chairman Russell Pendergraft were selected to serve as the 2022 Voting Delegate and Alternate Voting Delegate, respectively, during the 2022 PowerXchange Annual Meeting.

The Board authorized changes to be made to the Cooperative’s Interconnection of Distributed Resources Net Metering Policy and for those changes to be reviewed in a future meeting.

The Board approved 95 new member applications making the total number of members to date 18,782.

SWATT Agenda Items Reviewed and Actions Taken

The President presented several updates including future fiber installation, current pre-registrations for service and RDOF.

From the Boardroom – December 2021

by Dion Cooper, President & CEO

The Board of Directors held meetings on December 27 to conduct its regular monthly Board Meeting to discuss and review several agenda items. During the meetings, they approved the Minutes of the last Board meeting and accepted the reports of the Attorney, President and Vice Presidents. In addition, Southwest Arkansas Telecommunication & Technology also held a regular Board Meeting.

SWAECC Agenda Items Reviewed and Actions Taken

The Board of Directors reviewed and accepted the audit report for the year ending September 30, 2021, prepared by Baird, Kurtz & Dobson.

Special Service Contracts for 2022 were approved with 10 contractors for a total budget of $3,550,000.

Plans for the March 26, 2022, Annual Meeting of Members were reviewed and the President was authorized to proceed with the necessary preparations.

Regular Board Meeting dates were approved for 2022.

The President reported that the Arkansas Rural Electric Self-Insurance Trust applied the Cooperative’s portion of the dividend for the 2018 fund year toward the 2019 and 2020 assessments.

The Board reviewed and authorized the Cooperative’s 2022 Strategic Plan.

The Board authorized the Cooperative to include photos and basic information about the directors on its Website.

A contribution of $1,000 was authorized for the Arkansas Rural Development group as a means of being more active in the statewide political races.

The President was selected to serve as the NRTC Voting Delegate for 2022.

The Board approved the Loan agreement and other documents provided by the National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation.

The Board approved 92 new member applications making the total number of members to date 18,780.

SWATT Agenda Items Reviewed and Actions Taken

The President presented several updates including future fiber installation, current pre-registrations for service and RDOF.

From the Boardroom – September 2021

by Dion Cooper, President & CEO

The Board of Directors held meetings on September 27 to conduct its regular monthly Board Meeting to discuss and review several agenda items. During the meetings, they approved the Minutes of the last Board meeting and accepted the reports of the Attorney, President and Vice Presidents. In addition, Southwest Arkansas Telecommunication & Technology also held a regular Board Meeting.

SWAECC Agenda Items Reviewed and Actions Taken

Southwest Arkansas Electric Cooperative’s portion of CFC’s patronage capital retirement allocation and payment was $83,786.98.

The Board authorized the Cooperative to declare payable $5 million that includes portions of 1988, 1989 and 2020 allocated capital credits.

The President reported that the Cooperative received a payment of capital credits from AECI in the amount of $46,447.60 for allocations made in 2020, 1998 and 1999 and that AECI will pay $14.4 million in ERMCO common stock dividends divided equally between the distribution cooperatives. SWAECC’s share equals $504,007.

The Board reviewed and approved the Cooperatives 2021 Power Requirements Study Annual Update as prepared by Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation.

The President was selected to serve as the Voting Delegate for the Cooperative at the 2021 Touchstone energy Annual Electronic Business Meeting and Board of Directors elections scheduled for December.

The Board approved the new DOT Drug Testing Policy and made it a part of the Cooperative’s official Personnel Policy.

The Board authorized a contract between Service Electric Company and the Cooperative for Primary Construction at the De Queen and Lockesburg South Substations.

The Board reviewed the Cooperative’s IRS Form 990 prepared by Baird, Kurtz & Dobson and authorized the President to execute all documents.

Director Tommy Isbell was selected as the voting Delegate and Director Jim Alford was selected as the alternate voting delegate for the CFC Region 8 meeting in Dallas, Texas.

The Board approved 99 new member applications making the total number of members to date 18,751.

SWATT Agenda Items Reviewed and Actions Taken

The President presented several updates including future fiber installation, current pre-registrations for service, RDOF and the Arkansas Broadband Summit.

From the Boardroom – August 2021

by Dion Cooper, President & CEO

The Board of Directors held meetings on August 30 to conduct its regular monthly Board Meeting to discuss and review several agenda items. During the meetings, they approved the Minutes of the last Board meeting and accepted the reports of the Attorney, President and Vice Presidents. In addition, Southwest Arkansas Telecommunication & Technology also held a regular Board Meeting.

SWAECC Agenda Items Reviewed and Actions Taken

Amanda Strange, CPA of Baird, Kurtz & Dobson, discussed the Cooperative’s accounting records audit for the year ending September 30, 2021.

The Board of Directors authorized the Cooperative to employ a wage and salary consultant to update the Cooperative’s nonunion wage and salary schedule.

A payment for the Arkansas Public Service Commission dues was authorized for 2021

The Board reviewed the 2022 NRECA group employee benefit rates and authorized its renewal.

A payment for the NRECA annual dues was authorized.

The Board accepted the proposal submitted by MDR Construction Inc., for the 2021-2022 System Improvements Contract and authorized the one and one-half year contract with a maximum price of $1 million.

Changes to approved to the Cooperative’s FMLA policy to update the language for compliance with Federal guidelines.

The President reported that the Cooperative’s Retirement Security (RS) Plan contribution billing rate for 2022 increased 2.1% for group 001 and 0% for group 002.

The President reported that the Cooperative received a recognition from the Action Committee for Rural Electrification (ACRE) for 100% Board and Management participation in ACRE and for 100% Board membership in the Century Club.

The Board authorized the Cooperative to move forward with Phase II of its fiber project.

The Board approved 99 new member applications making the total number of members to date 18,745.

SWATT Agenda Items Reviewed and Actions Taken

SWATT doing business as Four States Fiber requested a Line of Credit  increase in the amount of $5 million from its parent company, Southwest Arkansas Electric Cooperative. The Cooperative approved the increase.

From the Boardroom – July 2021

by Dion Cooper, President & CEO

The Board of Directors held meetings on July 26 to conduct its regular monthly Board Meeting to discuss and review several agenda items. During the meetings, they approved the Minutes of the last Board meeting and accepted the reports of the Attorney, President and Vice Presidents. In addition, Southwest Arkansas Telecommunication & Technology also held a regular Board Meeting.

SWAECC Agenda Items Reviewed and Actions Taken

The President and Board Chairman were authorized to execute an agreement with Baird, Kurtz & Dobson, CPA, for auditing services for the Cooperative’s annual audit as of September 30, 2021.

The President reported that BKD filed an extension for the Form 990 and that it will be presented at a future Board Meeting.

The renewal of casualty insurance coverages including the All-Risk Blanket, Commercial Umbrella, Directors, Officers & Manager liability, Cyber Liability Protection and Fiduciary Coverage with Federated Rural Electric Insurance Exchange effective August 15, 2021, through August 14, 2022.

A payment was authorized to the Arkansas Rural Electric Self-Insurance Trust for the Cooperative’s Statutory Worker’s Compensation and Employer’s Liability for Employees.

The President presented an update of the Cooperative’s Affirmative Action Plan. The Board accepted the update and the Chairman and President were authorized to sign the update and all related forms and documents.

The Board accepted the AECC 2020 Residential Sales and Revenue Summary presented by the President.

Vice Chairman Warren Plyler and Director Jamie Stevens were selected as Voting and Alternate Voting Delegates, respectively, for the 2021 NRECA Region 8 meeting scheduled in Dallas.

The Board approved 106 new member applications making the total number of members to date 18,741.

SWATT Agenda Items Reviewed and Actions Taken

The President presented updates on the Arkansas Rural Connect Funding program and RDOF.

From the Boardroom – June 2021

by Dion Cooper, President & CEO

The Board of Directors held meetings on June 28 to conduct its regular monthly Board Meeting to discuss and review several agenda items. During the meetings, they approved the Minutes of the last Board meeting and accepted the reports of the Attorney, President and Vice Presidents. In addition, Southwest Arkansas Telecommunication & Technology also held a regular Board Meeting.

SWAECC Agenda Items Reviewed and Actions Taken

The President and Board Chairman were selected to represent the Cooperative as ERMCO Voting Delegate and Alternate Voting Delegate, respectively.

The President reported that Jace Reid of Nashville, Arkansas, was the 2021 recipient of the Cooperative’s Lineman Scholarship.

The Cooperative was authorized to increase funds for the Foreman Loop: Primary Construction project as recommended by Toth & Associates.

The President reported on its Investment Credit that changes annually on its Wholesale Power Bill.

Buddy Hasten, President & CEO of AECC/AECI presented an update on the Statewide Agency.

The Board approved 88 new member applications making the total number of members to date 19,378.

SWATT Agenda Items Reviewed and Actions Taken

The Board authorized the Cooperative to amend the officers on file with the Arkansas Secretary of State for Southwest Arkansas Technology and Telecommunications.

The Board authorized the change of officers on fil for the bank Signature Card of Southwest Arkansas Technology and Telecommunications DBA Four States Fiber.