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New Facility: Cooperative outgrows its current facilities

Originally published in December 2013 issue of TCEC LiveWire newsletter.

Vintage photo of the TCEC office in HookerMembers of Tri-County Electric will have a new place to pay their bill in a couple years. Employees will have a little room to breathe when they move into the cooperative’s new facility in late 2015.

“The current headquarters building is more than 50 years old,” CEO Jack Perkins said. “We have outgrown it and it does not meet today’s standards such as the Americans with Disabilities Act.”

Plans are under way to have all the cooperative’s facilities, including its warehouse, on one site near Hooker. The new facility will be northeast of Dollar General on Highway 54.

Tri-County Electric’s Board of Trustees and management team have carefully considered the decision to build new facilities, weighing the pros and cons involved. The trustees formed a facilities committee of three board members to work closely with management to make the process as efficient as possible.

“The new building will not drive rate increases,” Perkins said. “We are making an investment in the cooperative’s future. Just as with our current building, we need to build the new facility so it will meet the cooperative’s needs for the next 50 years.”

The cooperative is in good financial health and today’s interest rates are very low. Now is the time to build to meet future needs.

Rates, equity and patronage capital retirements will not be influenced by the new building, although other factors outside the control of the cooperative may impact rates.

The cooperative is still in the early planning stages of building its new facilities. The land has been purchased but many decisions have yet to be made. More information will be shared with members as planning progresses.

TCEC Office in 2005Regardless of where the cooperative’s facility is located, members will still be able to pay their bill at self-service kiosks in towns throughout the cooperative’s service territory or via any other currently available payment option.

Employees currently operate out of five separate buildings spread throughout Hooker: cooperative’s headquarters building, two modular buildings and the two warehouses. Having all employees in one facility will create efficiencies and a better working environment for the organization.

“We must meet the needs of our cooperative," Perkins said. “Members will be kept informed every step of the way.”

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