Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative held its 82nd annual meeting Aug. 27 at the cooperative’s headquarters in Hughesville. The board of directors election was conducted online and by mail prior to the meeting.
The following members were elected to serve on SMECO’s board for the next three years: Nancy Zinn of Calvert County, William Purnell of Charles County, Daniel Dyer of Prince George’s County, and J. Douglas Frederick and Joseph Murphy of St. Mary’s County.
One bylaw amendment was also included on this year’s ballot, and it passed.
More than 11,000 members voted — a record high number of votes cast in a SMECO election — and results were announced at the meeting.
This is the fourth year SMECO’s election was conducted by mail, and, for the second time, members could also vote electronically by casting their ballots online.
Ballots were mailed to members on July 22 and the deadline for submitting ballots by mail or electronically was Aug. 20. A total of 80% of the ballots were returned, while 20% were cast online.
Members who returned their ballots or voted online were eligible to win 1 of 30 electric bill credits of $50 each.
Scott White, SMECO board of directors chairman, chaired the meeting.
Sonja M. Cox, SMECO’s president and CEO since March 2020, recapped the cooperative’s accomplishments of the past year and noted that SMECO’s margins for 2019 totaled more than $29 million.
“SMECO uses margins to invest in new construction and infrastructure improvements,” Cox said in a news release.
SMECO has replaced substation transformers at the La Plata, Piscataway, McConchie, and Mattawoman substations.
“Over the past few years we’ve been working to rebuild the Farmington Switching Station to improve service in Accokeek by relocating the Piscataway substation to our Farmington station,” Cox said. “The project was recently completed and all of the customers who were being fed by the Piscataway substation have been transferred to the new Farmington station.”
Regarding the SMECO EV Recharge program, Cox said the company is “installing charging stations at local government-owned facilities, such as public libraries. Our pilot program was approved by the Public Service Commission, and SMECO was authorized to install up to 60 charging stations throughout Southern Maryland.”
SMECO was incorporated in 1937 and is one of the 15 largest electric cooperatives in the United States with more than 165,000 member accounts in Charles County, St. Mary’s County, southern Prince George’s County, and most of Calvert County.