Basin Electric Bylaw Review Committee recommends changes to bylaws

Basin Electric’s 2020 Bylaw Review Committee met Sept. 11. The meeting was held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The role of the committee, which is made up of one manager and one director from each district, is to review proposed amendments to the bylaws and provide recommendations to the membership.

During this year’s meeting, members of the committee reelected Vic Simmons, general manager of Rushmore Electric Power Cooperative, as chairperson. They reviewed the following four proposed amendments and voted to recommend them to the membership

Proposed amendment 1 would allow an association of municipalities located outside of a district the cooperative serves, on an all requirements basis, to become a Class A member of Basin Electric. In the past, when Basin Electric was a borrower of Rural Utilities Service (RUS), the co-op was not allowed to borrow money to serve municipalities. Now that it no longer borrows funds from RUS, this is no longer an issue. This amendment incudes safeguards that would not allow Basin Electric to pilfer municipal members from other member cooperatives. 

Proposed amendment 2 would allow Basin Electric to conduct annual or special member meetings via video conference. Mark Foss, Basin Electric senior vice president and general counsel, says he is confident that this year’s virtual annual meeting will be lawful under the current bylaws, but it is a better practice to specifically include the option in the bylaws.

Proposed amendment 3 deals with language written when Basin Electric was an RUS borrower. The current bylaws state that Basin Electric will follow RUS accounting rules and regulations. The amendment broadens the language to state that the cooperative will follow the accounting rules and regulations of any applicable regulatory body.

Proposed amendment 4 removes Delta-Montrose Electric Association from the list of Basin Electric members. This member left the membership earlier this year.

As required by the bylaws, the four proposed amendments were included in the Notice of Annual Meeting, which was mailed Oct. 13. The members will have the opportunity to vote on the proposed amendments at Basin Electric’s Annual Meeting on Nov. 4.