By Dallas Braun, General Manager

COVID-19

On June 1, 2020, Gov. Whitmer issued Executive Order (EO) No. 2020-110, which lifted the stay-at-home order and provided that most other businesses in the state could reopen with restrictions and specific precautionary measures taken. While this EO is very much welcomed, it does not mean things will instantly return to the pre-COVID-19 pandemic normalcy. Only time will tell if and when things return to the past “normal” and how quickly they do or
do not.

At TEC, employees will continue working as they have during the pandemic, following the COVID-19 Department Work Procedures, as well as the COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan, which is available on our website. We will continue to operate with a limited number of employees physically present at the office working staggered schedules, while others that can work remotely from home do so, as still required by the recent EO. For the time being, the office lobby remains closed to the public, and the drive-thru also remains closed. When allowed and the time is right, we will slowly transition back to somewhat regular operation. Please follow TEC on Facebook for any future updates/notifications.

2020 Annual Meeting and Director Elections

A decision has been made to postpone the Annual Meeting until a tentative date of Dec. 5. A final decision will be made at the October board meeting regarding whether to hold a scaled-down, in-person Annual Meeting event, cancel the event for 2020, or consider other options.

Regardless of the final decision, the director elections will be held. Like last year, members will be able to cast their ballot using a mail-in paper ballot, which will be included in the November/December issue of Country Lines magazine. This year, members will also have the option to cast their vote electronically. If the Annual Meeting is not canceled, in-person voting will also be an option. Further information will be provided in future issues of Country Lines, on our website, and on Facebook.

Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH)

TEC recently had an outside firm conduct a survey of our members regarding providing FTTH internet service. While previous conversations with many members supported and encouraged TEC to move in this direction, the official survey results were very clear. A whopping 94% of those that participated in the survey supported TEC providing such a service. Thank you to all that took the time to participate in the survey and provide your input in this important step of the process.

The TEC staff and board of directors will continue their due diligence in investigating moving into the FTTH service. It is easy to say we are going to do it, but a bit more difficult and involved in determining the financing and operations of providing such a service without negatively impacting the financial position of the cooperative or the electric rates you as a member pay.

Later this fall, TEC will be pursuing a source of public funding that is available nationwide. This funding is meant to assist companies in providing high-speed internet to those rural areas identified that currently do not have that availability. If successful, things will most likely move very quickly, with the engineering and design starting before the end of this year, and construction starting in 2021.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns about this or any other matter, please contact us at the office. Stay safe and healthy.

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