East Peace Gas Co-op ready to build new Falher office

Express Staff

The economy and changes in government are presenting real challenges.
“(But) with your support and the hard work of staff, we know we can prevail and keep East Peace Gas the focused Co-op that it is,” says Gerard Noel.
He is the chairman of East Peace Gas Co-op and made this statement as part of his report to members during their annual general meeting in Donnelly on March 29.
Noel also highlighted that Gas Alberta Inc. reviewed the strength of all the partners in the province and East Peace Gas Co-op stands out.
“I am very proud to let you know that the high rated Co-ops were in the northern half of the province and that our position is number two. No small feat in any stretch of the imagination.”
In the past year, there were 14 rural domestic services, six commercial services and three urban services added. Three RMO stations and 10 regulator stations were replaced.
Noel also says this infrastructure replacement and the construction of eight km of pipe were done at a cost of $750,000.
East Peace Gas Co-op is looking ahead to the construction of a new shop/office complex in Falher.
“We feel the economy will work in our favour with lower contractor costs and will help show our support to the community by creating jobs when seriously needed. We are pleased to announce that we have started … making this plan a reality.”
Property has been secured in Falher and some site preparation has been completed, as has most of the engineering.
He adds that they are hoping to open the new building later this year or sometime in early spring 2017.
Dale Dupuis read his manager’s report.
Dupuis noted that the Co-op caught up in many areas in 2015, as they had fallen behind due to extenuating circumstances in the previous two years.
In 2016, the Co-op will fulfill its responsibility with Measurement Canada and implement appropriate documentation, as well as implment a Co-op Health and Safety Manual.
The biggest challenge for the Co-op in the last two years has been sales, with a drop between 30 and 40 per cent. He attributes this to the weather and the drop in the price of oil and energy demands, as well as major changes in farming procedures.
“No till seeding and pre-harvest spraying have both affected use of grain dryers to a significant level,” says Dupuis.
“Those drops in sales has forced us to reveiw our plan to reduce the monthly fee once the Retail AMR (costs) were recovered. With the drop in revenues, I cannot see as to how this reduction could occur now.
“I must also state that we have survived better than some, as were are in a financially secure position to ride out this storm for a while.”
He adds, the biggest concern now is the proposed carbon tax, as members could face a 30 per cent increase on their energy needs effective Jan. 1, 2017.
“I and your board will continue to diligently keep ourselves current on development with the legislative system so that we may keep you better informed and make decisions that will be of the best interest to you, the membership,” Dupuis said in conclusion.
The chairman’s report and manager’s report were approved by the membership. Will Petluk of Petluk Clarke LLP in Peace River discussed the 2015 financial statements and they were approved as well.
Two winners were announced for the 2016 ACCA (REDA) Leadership Camp Bursary Award. They were presented to Kayla Guerette and Kyle Guerette.

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