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Snapping Shoals donates funds to economic development

Covington-Newton County Office of Economic Development representatives, from left, Director Shannon Davis and Senior Vice President Roger Harrison, and, far right, Newton County Chamber President Hunter Hall accept a check for $10,000 from Snapping Shoals EMC's Manager of Economic Development Danny Stone.

Covington-Newton County Office of Economic Development representatives, from left, Director Shannon Davis and Senior Vice President Roger Harrison, and, far right, Newton County Chamber President Hunter Hall accept a check for $10,000 from Snapping Shoals EMC's Manager of Economic Development Danny Stone.

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Conyers Rockdale Economic Development Council staff Gina Hartsell, left, and Glenn Sears, center, accept a check for $10,000 from Snapping Shoals EMC's Manager of Economic Development Danny Stone.

Snapping Shoals EMC recently awarded $10,000 to both the Conyers-Rockdale Economic Development Council and the Covington-Newton Office of Economic Development. The funds were allocated from the co-op's unclaimed capital credits and will be used by the groups in several areas.

Gina Hartsell of the Conyers-Rockdale Economic Development Council said the funds will be used to support the workforce development programs that are not covered under the annual school budget at the Rockdale Career Academy, according to a press release from Snapping Shoals.

"A few of these programs include paying for the industry certification testing fees for pathway completer students; assisting with expenses associated with state and national industry related student competitions and field trips; and contributions to activities at RCA that reinforce accelerated learning opportunities for students without funding sources of their own," Hartsell said in the release.

"We are, of course, absolutely ecstatic to receive these funds."

In Newton County, the funds will be used to support existing industries and to recruit new industries and jobs to the county, according to Roger Harrison, senior vice president of the Covington-Newton County Office of Economic Development.

"We thank SSEMC for being a longtime partner in growth," Harrison said in the press release.

As a nonprofit organization, SSEMC offers capital credits, or margins, which are the revenues that are over and above the cost of providing service for the electric co-op's customer-owners. These are required by lending institutions to establish financial strength for loans.

Snapping Shoals EMC routinely refunds these capital credits to its members when its board of directors determines it is appropriate to do so.

Despite all of the co-op's efforts to locate past members, there are always those who cannot be located to return their patronage capital.

Legislation passed in 2005 allows EMCs to retain these unclaimed capital credits that historically would be turned over to the state. The unclaimed funds are used to support Snapping Shoals EMC's various educational programs, as well as other community and economic development projects.

Snapping Shoals Electric Membership Corporation is a consumer-owned electric cooperative providing electric service to approximately 95,000 homes and businesses in an eight-county area.

Most of the utility's service area is in Newton, Rockdale and Henry counties. Portions of DeKalb, Butts, Walton, Morgan and Jasper counties are also included.

The company's headquarters is on Brown Bridge Road in Newton County.