Farmers Mutual Electric members approve merger

Farmers Mutual Electric Company held a ­special member meeting on Nov. 13 to discuss the plan and agreement of merger with fellow cooperative, Jo-Carroll Energy, Inc. (NFP). Farmers Mutual Electric’s members voted overwhelmingly to approve the merger with 87 percent voting in favor. A two-thirds majority was required for passage. During the meeting Farmers Mutual General Manager Robert Delp and Jo-Carroll Energy, Inc. President and CEO Michael Hastings presented infor­mation about the merger plan and answered questions from the members.

“The overwhelming approval by the members of Farmers Mutual Electric Company to merge with Jo-Carroll Energy, Inc. (NFP) is a significant milestone in the history of both cooperatives,” said Tom Zwica, President of the Board of Directors of Farmers Mutual Electric Company. “The result of this merger will offer a level of assurance that quality service will be maintained, additional services ­provided and stable rates maintained.”

Hastings said, “Once we close the transaction, we’ll ­proceed immediately to implement the plan of merger, including updates in technology and payment of capital credits.”

The office in Geneseo will remain open and all current Farmers Mutual Electric employees will have the same or similar ­positions as they currently hold. Jo-Carroll Energy is headquartered in Elizabeth and also maintains an office in Savanna.

Members of both ­cooperatives will benefit from increased efficiencies, ­com­bining the talents and experience of employees from both cooperatives. Jo-Carroll Energy members will benefit from a stake in one of the newest, cleanest and most efficient power plants in the country through Prairie Power, Inc., the current ­generation and transmission cooperative serving Farmers Mutual Electric. This is important for long-term power supply planning of Jo-Carroll Energy.

Farmers Mutual Electric members will see a significant expansion in the number of services available to them, including wireless broadband Internet service, online bill pay, automated meter reading, budget billing, energy ­efficiency programs and discounts at local and national businesses through the Touchstone Energy Co-op Connections Card.