|Attending the legislative reception on behalf of ECI REC were (left to right) CEO Steve Marlow and Board Directors Don Shonka and Jeff Elliot.|
East-Central Iowa REC co-sponsored a legislative reception on the evening of December 12 for legislators representing the greater Waterloo/Cedar Falls area. Other sponsors included Butler County REC, Grundy County REC, the Cedar Valley Alliance and Chamber, and the Cedar Valley Manufacturers’ Association. The reception was held at Isle Casino Hotel in Waterloo. The hotel graciously donated the room and food for the event.
The reception is an annual event held in December before the start of the legislative session in January. It gives the sponsoring organizations an opportunity to meet informally with their elected officials and discuss their legislative priorities for the coming year. ECI REC was represented by Board Directors Jeff Elliott and Don Shonka, along with CEO Steve Marlow. Legislators attending the reception included Representatives Walt Rogers, Sandy Salmon, Bob Kressig, and Pat Grassley, as well as Senators Bill Dix and Bill Dotzler.
In his presentation on behalf of the three electric cooperatives,Grundy County REC General ManagerFran Buckel explained, “Since electric cooperatives are owned by their local customers, our goal is to provide reliable, affordable electric power in a safe and environmentally responsible way.”
One of the main issues that RECs discussed with legislators was anew Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) policy, which could devastate electric cooperatives. Along with the Iowa Congressional delegation, RECs have asked FEMA to reconsider the unfair and arbitrary policy on unprecedented testing required to substantiate storm damage. The policy has the potential to lead to devastating economic impacts on electric cooperatives and could lead to large increases in electric bills for our member-consumers. For more information, read our September news article about FEMA’s decision to deny disaster aid to Iowa electric cooperatives and municipal utilities that suffered damage in a major snow, ice, and wind storm in April 2013.