MT. VERNON — —
One of the highlights of Saturday's meeting was the live-line safety demonstration.
Co-op serviceman Dan Paschal led the demonstration, giving the audience vivid examples of why it's important to avoid power lines. At one point, he asked a volunteer from the audience, 7-year-old Daven Flota, to help out with the presentation.
“Just (be) aware that you can't see it, you can't smell it, you never know if it's live,” Paschal said of power lines. “You can have a cable TV, a power line, a telephone wire all laying side by side, you can't tell them apart. … Don't touch it. Call.”
Co-op member Stephen Kula of Ashley said the safety demonstrations can be very educational.
“That's really good because I don't think everybody understands and you learn a little bit,” Kula said.
Some co-op members, like Gerry Arnold of Mt. Vernon, also picked up patronage refund checks Saturday for the years of 1986 and 1987. Arnold retrieved a check on behalf of his father.
“It's a lot of fun,” Arnold said of the meeting. “Of course, we have to elect officers and that's important. And especially when there's a contested election like there is today.”
Co-op officials Saturday spent a great deal of time discussing new proposed federal mandates regulating carbon emissions from coal-fired plants.
These guidelines could result in higher utility rates and possibly decreased reliability, Scott said.
The membership was urged to express to the federal government their support for a “common sense energy strategy” not an “all-but-coal” strategy.
“To many of us here in Southern Illinois, coal is what keeps the lights on and pays the bills,” said Tom Beyers, president of the co-op's Board of Directors. “We hope that you, the members, will keep informed about these possible changes and that you will take an active interest in this process.”