Reflecting on our history

More than 500 members attend Paulding Putnam Electric Co-op’s annual meeting

The newly elected directors from Paulding Putnam Electric Co-op pose for a photo.

Paulding Putnam Electric Co-op held its 80th annual meeting on Saturday, March 18. It was a momentous event, where both Board Chairman Dr. John Saxton and President/CEO George Carter reflected on the co-op’s rich history.

“In 1936, the original membership fee to bring electricity out to rural America was $10,” Carter said at the meeting. “That may not sound like much, but that was the equivalent of $175 today.”

At the time, investor-owned utilities didn’t want to take the chance on electrifying rural America. They felt rural America wouldn’t use enough electricity to justify the means.

“The investor-owned utilities didn’t have the vision, but our original board of directors did,” Carter said. “It had a profound effect on rural America and has made us what we are today.”

Aside from hitting the milestone of holding 80 annual meetings, Saxton pointed out several highlights for 2016. Again, in 2016, the cooperative did not increase its charges to the membership.

“Members will not see an increase in 2017 either, but we may have an increase in 2018,” Saxton said.

A cost of study will be completed in late summer to determine if a rate increase will be necessary in 2018.

During the meeting, it was also noted that in October 2016, PPEC employees achieved one full year without a lost-time accident.

“This is an unprecedented milestone,” said Carter. “This doesn’t happen without dedication to a culture of safety embraced by all employees and supported by the board of trustees.”

In other business, attorney Norman Cook reported on the results of the trustee elections. In District 1, Joseph Kohnen from Monroeville, Indiana, won a two-way race to fill the seat that had been served more than 15 years by retiring board member Jerry Sorg. In District 6, Saxton ran opposed, and in District 9, Dr. Ronald Black ran against incumbent Gary Hayden and won.

Members who couldn’t make it to the meeting are invited to visit our website at to watch the full video of the annual meeting.