DURANGO, Colo. – In an effort to support rural community members during the 416 Fire and make good use of idle funds left abandoned by former members of La Plata Electric Association (LPEA) as unclaimed Capital Credits, the cooperative’s board of directors has awarded $25,000 to the Community Foundation for their Community Emergency Relief Fund (CERF).
(L-R) LPEA Board Director Vice President Britt Bassett, Treasurer Tim Wheeler and Doug Lyon awarded a $25,000 donation to the Community Foundation Board Vice President Suzanne Harrison. The funds will be used to assist individuals and families in La Plata and San Juan counties affected by the 416 Fire.
“The LPEA donation expresses the organization’s commitment to our community,” said Executive Director of the Community Foundation serving Southwest Colorado Briggen Wrinkle. “This donation will help the Community Emergency Relief Fund (CERF) support people in our community who have lost work due to the 416 Fire through bridge funding to get then back on their feet.”
CERF is set up for broad-based community emergencies in Southwest Colorado. In response to the 416 Fire, CERF’s goal is to raise $500,000 to directly support local people and relief efforts. These funds will help 750-1000 people in La Plata and San Juan counties with bridge funding (immediate expenses) for food, transportation and shelter.
“We are so grateful to the La Plata Electric Association Board of Directors for this generous grant,” said the Community Foundation serving Southwest Colorado Board Vice President Suzanne Harrison. “Our committee’s first priority is to provide assistance to members in our local communities who have lost their jobs or residence due to the 416 Fire.”
“Concern for community. One of the cooperative business principles that makes LPEA different,” said LPEA Board Vice President Britt Bassett. “The LPEA Board of Directors made the donation because a portion our cooperative members need assistance because of the 416 Fire.”
Capital Credits are in essence LPEA’s margins or revenues remaining after all expenses have been paid. Annually, the electricity payments made by members in excess of the cost to provide their electric service is placed into a patronage capital account in each member’s name.
When the cooperative is able, Capital Credits are returned to members. The dollars become “unclaimed” when LPEA cannot find members deserving of the refund. The board has determined that these unclaimed funds should be invested in the community and thus established the Educational/Special Project Grants program.
LPEA, a Touchstone Energy Cooperative established in 1939, provides to its more than 30,000 members, with in excess of 42,000 meters, safe, reliable electricity at the lowest reasonable cost, while being environmentally responsible.
For additional information, contact LPEA at 970.247.5786 or visit www.lpea.coop.