November 5, 2009

Tri-County Electric Cooperative to Get New $3.2 Million Home

The Tri-County Electric Cooperative board of directors has agreed to pursue a new home. At a special meeting October 15th the board voted to authorize a maximum of $3.2 million to build a new facility to house the cooperativeís office and equipment. The decision was announced after nearly 17-months of deliberation, which included consideration of a merger with a neighboring cooperative.

Representatives of the coop indicated the move has been made necessary by deteriorating conditions at the current facility in Lancaster. The facility is faced with structural issues and also has battled termites, mold and water damage as it continues to age.

Following a special baord meeting in September, the company hired a professional analyst to review the current facility. Michael Rallo, Ralco Construction Management Services inspected all of the cooperative buildings. After surveying the damage at the main office and the three equipment garages/storage areas, the analyst provided an estimate of nearly $1.1 million to renovate the existing structures to meet current standards and building codes.

That investment marked a significant price tag, well above the current market value for the facility, and representatives of the coop indicated that was a driving force in the decision to pursue a new facility.

Cooperative Building Solutions of St. Charles, MO was employed to oversee the architectural and general contracting of the new facility. The process will involve interviewing Tri-County employees and managers to get input on the design of the new buildings.

General Manager Dave Ramsey is heading up the site committee, and noted the cooperative is searching for a suitable site for construction. Ramsey stated that ideally that location would be centrally located in the center of the coopís service area, which is northern Schuyler County. The cooperative will need approximately 15 acres for the project.

Ramsey indicated the coop would like to complete the planning stage this winter and start construction in the spring.

ďIt is our duty to provide our employees with a safe healthy environment in which to serve their members,Ē said Ramsey. ďThe current location does not meet that requirement.Ē

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