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Breaking Ground on the Cooperative’s Future

Pictured from left to right: District 6 Trustee Jim Hall, General Manager Tim Smith, District 7 Trustee Dwight Luther, District 1 Trustee Larry Harvey, District 3 Trustee Max Shoemake, District 2 Trustee Lowell Hobbs, District 5 Trustee Jay Emerson. Not pictured: District 4  Trustee Michael Vernnon.


October is National Cooperative Month. Usually it is a time to reflect on the history of co-ops and the member-first values that make us unique. 

This year, we are using it as a reason to celebrate!

And boy, do we have a lot to celebrate.

At the end of August, our locally-elected Board of Trustees broke ground on a much anticipated facility expansion project. The $9.5 million project will both add space, and repurpose existing space, to maximize the benefit to our members and ecoLINK customers.

The project was made necessary by the amazing growth we have experienced in our ecoLINK fiber project.

Over the last few years, high-speed fiber internet has proven to be a critical resource for our members. 

We have reached the half-way point in extending fiber across our service area, and have already witnessed a revolution in productivity for rural students, families, and businesses. 

As we continue to integrate fiber with our current electrical infrastructure we are also seeing the benefit of improved communication and emergency reaction times.

ECE General Manager Tim Smith said, “This real time data with our electric infrastructure allows us to provide reliable power and responsiveness to our members.”

Beyond fiber, our Board of Trustees has implemented a strategic plan for how East Central Electric can continue to be at the fore-front of serving our members’ needs. This includes long-term planning for electric vehicles and member-owned renewable resources. 

But even as we move forward and seek ways to improve, the things that matter will never change. Like our commitment to community. 

In September, a team of dedicated East Central linemen traveled to Louisiana  to aid our sister cooperatives in restoring power after the devastation of Hurricane Ida. 

We are proud to have employees who embody our Cooperative Principles, like Cooperation Among Cooperatives and Concern for Community.



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