LaGrange County REMC isn’t like other utilities — you, as a consumer and a member own a portion of the business. As a not-for-profit cooperative, any revenues in excess of expenses (we call them “margins”) accrued in a year are allocated in the form of capital credits to members who received electric service during that year. These margins are reinvested into the cooperative’s distribution system and then returned to members (or “retired” as we call it) after a period of 25 to 30 years.
Prior to retiring capital credits to members, our board of directors carefully analyzes our cooperative’s financial position. Before we can offer a retirement, we need to consider important aspects such as our ability to maintain adequate cash flow and meet the financial covenants of our lenders. In addition, we must also consider our long-term capital needs as we work to maintain and improve our infrastructure.
This year, our cooperative has set out to build a new fiber broadband network to provide a much needed, reliable, high-speed internet connection to our communities. An endeavor of this magnitude requires careful financial considerations, and retention of some margins is key for a successful project. For this reason, the LaGrange County REMC board of directors has voted to delay retiring capital credits this year so that we can put ourselves in the best financial position as we build out our fiber infrastructure.
As we now know, having high-speed internet access is no longer a luxury — it’s a necessity for supporting economic growth and connecting our rural communities to the world. From working remotely to accessing education and health care resources, fiber broadband is a critical ingredient for improving the quality of life for our members. We believe that our investment in this world-class fiber network will bring incredible long-term benefits to every member of our community for generations to come.
That is why we are confident in our decision to delay capital credit retirements while we construct our fiber network. We know our members are also excited to be able to enjoy everything that a reliable, fast internet connection can offer.
For decades, LaGrange County REMC members have shown that amazing things can be accomplished when we roll up our sleeves and work together. We brought electricity to rural areas where no other utility providers were willing to invest.
Now we are once again breaking new ground and bringing fiber-optic broadband internet to our communities. Great things are not achieved without a significant degree of hard work and a few sacrifices along the way. While our members may not receive a capital credit retirement this year, their patience is sure to help each one of us to connect LaGrange County to the world — and that is what we are all about.