CONYERS -- The free fans handed out by Snapping Shoals EMC at its 72nd annual meeting Thursday came in handy, as temperatures soared into the mid-90s, with the humidity making it feel even hotter.
Despite the heat, there were lots of smiling faces behind those flapping fans. The event, held at the Georgia International Horse Park in Conyers, included music, food and activities for children, along with the famous yellow Snapping Shoals buckets filled with goodies.
"I never knew so many people came to an event such as this. Next year, I'm going to bring my grandkids," said Betty Clark of Conyers, who was attending her first meeting.
Paula Baumann of Covington came with a friend; it was her second meeting in 23 years as a Snapping Shoals member.
"I'm enjoying the atmosphere, the music and the people," she said.
All told, 1,599 members registered. Snapping Shoals spokeswoman Leigh-Anne Burgess said that doesn't include spouses, children and others who might have tagged along. At least double that amount probably attended, she said.
Many were there in hopes of winning the grand door prize -- a 2003 Ford F250 truck being retired from the Snapping Shoals fleet. The lucky winner was Floyd Panter of Conyers.
Other door prizes handed out included a flat screen TV; DVD player; iron; crockpot; toaster; coffee maker; CD boom box and more.
Snapping Shoals members also re-elected Ruby Woods of Newton County to serve in the District 1 seat on the board of directors. A total of 975 ballots were cast, with 678 voting for Woods and 297 for opponent Robert Hartline.
Incumbents Dr. Millard Ross of Rockdale County and James White of Henry County did not face opposition and were reappointed to serve in Districts 2 and 4, respectively.
Board members serve three-year terms.
New Snapping Shoals President and CEO Brad Thomas recognized his predecessor Randall Meadows, whose retirement is effective today after 46 years at the cooperative.
"It's through his leadership that Snapping Shoals has become one of the best cooperatives in the country, in my opinion," Thomas said.
Thomas fielded several questions from the audience during the open comments section of the meeting.
Ab Roesel, a volunteer with Environment Georgia, a group that opposes Snapping Shoals' participation in funding a $2 billion coal power plant, asked how the new plant could affect rates.
Thomas said a decision to construct the plant has not been reached, though permits have been issued.
"We're into green and promoting efficiency, but at the end of the day we have to consider coal as a viable resource in our diverse portfolio," Thomas said.
Snapping Shoals is one in a consortium of EMCs that has signed on to build the power plant in Washington County.
Another member asked for an explanation of the PCA, or power cost adjustment, that appears on her bill.
Thomas explained that the PCA is a way for the EMC to recoup the difference between the projected and actual cost of power. He said the PCA is evaluated monthly by the board, but said he couldn't answer how long it will be in place.