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Events of Interest

1936 

November 27 - Application to State of Montana for License to operate as Sun River Electrification Association
   
1937
  
    
April 10 -  First organized as Sun River Electrification Corporation Board of Directors: S.F.Hackersmith, J.J. Morris, A.L. Meyer, C.G. McDermott, Kurt Knudson, P.L. Hame, Hy Hanson - $100,000 loan authorized to build lines in Cascade and Teton counties
  November - Office was rented in the Simms Bank building, furnished with rented desk, chair, typewriter, and file cabinet
  E.P. Harwood appointed manager
  First electric service lines were built from Vaughn to Simms and north to the Fairfield Bench
   
1938  May -  Headquarters moved to Fairfield into rented space, building and land purchased in the same location as the current office
   
1939 August -  name changed from Sun River Electrification Assoc. to Sun River Electric Cooperative, Inc.
  September 26  By-laws formalized
   
1940   R.C. Sherman becomes General Manager
   
1941 Certificate of Membership list grows to 720
   
1946  Art A. Wells becomes third manager of SREC
   
1950 Reorganized Generation and Transmission Cooperative, Charlie McDermott appointed director
   
1954  SREC becomes member of National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA)
   
1955 Board of Directors rescind the recommendation calling for replacement of Manager Art A. Wells
  B.F Waldron becomes General Manager
   
1957  Member equity 29.17%, total assets $2,200,167, and total member equity was $641,758
  171 people attend Annual Meeting
  Rod Hanson becomes fifth manager of Sun River Electric
   
1958 Manager's report of system growth:
 

1942 - 91 kwhs/mo/account
1947 - 168 kwhs/mo/account
1952 - 411 kwhs/mo/account
1957 - 568 kwhs/mo/account
1958 - 584 kwhs/mo/account

  12 miles of 69,000 volt transmission line and substation built to Brady
  Board of Directors hear feasibility report on Gibson Dam and Sun Butte Dam from Harold Aldrich and M.W. Drazich of the Bureau Of Reclamation
  System changes completed to necessitate joint use of poles with 3-Rivers Telephone Cooperative
   
1959  Rates: 
  First 40 kwhs - $3.50
Next 40 kwhs - 4 cents/each
Next 120 kwhs - 2.5 cents/each
Over 200 kwhs - 2 cents/each
   
1960   Security lights offered to membership for lease
   
1961 Transmission line to North Augusta Substation completed–SREC took over management of Central Montana Power Cooperative and continued managing until 1975
   
1962 Great Falls Tribune Dr. Heinz Speilman, asst. professor of agriculture economics at Montana State University, Bozeman
  Reports:
  1935 - 10% of nation's farms have electricity
1962 - 97.6% of nation's farms have electricity
  Gold Medallion Home Program offered
   
1964 Spring flood devastates the area
  Kwh rate is 2.1 cents per kwh
   
1972 Henry and Irene Zanto win grand prize at annual meeting, a trip to the NRECA Annual Meeting in Dallas, TX.
  The image of a city slicker against a country bumpkin was false, and he placed blame on media that wanted a story,  stated Lawrence Pettit, campaign manager for Tom Judge in the 1972 governor's race was the guest speaker at the 1972 Annual Meeting
   
1975    June flood SREC loses truck in Teton River, employees unharmed
   
1976  51 irrigation pumps added to system (In 2011 there were 836 active irrigation services)
   
1977 

Commissioner of Agriculture, Gordon McOmber, is guest speaker at Annual Meeting - 650 people attend Annual Meeting

  Electric cooperatives feeling pinch of Colstrip delay
  January 25  Articles of Incorporation extended to "Perpetual Existence"
   
1978


 
"We can't build hydro plants because of snail darters. We can't build coal-fired plants on account of pollution. Gas fired plants are out because of a shortage of natural gas. Oil is out because of a lot of reasons. Nuclear was ruled out at the November election, and the only people who can afford solar are the movie stars. Our hands are being tied. We just can't do anything, any place."  Rod Hanson, SREC Manager
   
1979 
 
Office building remodeled - $203,000, F.L. Zion, contractor
SREC had a 24% demand increase. Conservation promoted by Manager Rod Hanson. "Energy conservation is the cheapest, cleanest, and quickest energy resource available."
  S.T. McFarland completes 27 years of service on the SREC Board
   
1981 Senator John Melcher is guest speaker at 44th Annual Meeting. Melcher often was called "the best friend Montana agriculture has"
  23 miles of transmission line built to Highwood
   
1982 Lead topics: "REA Loan Program in Jeopardy", "Reagan Administration wants Market Price vs. Cost of Production"
   
1983 
 
Montana Power Company proposes 122% increase to Cooperatives. In May the Cooperative looses 700 poles in worst storm of the Cooperatives 46 year history. In one 9-mile stretch east of Conrad only two or three poles were left standing. Power was restored in two weeks.
   
1984   FERC allows 86.5% increase request from MPC to Cooperatives to pay for Colstrip 3
   
1985   80 miles of transmission line built, funded by WAPA to better serve SREC area
   
1986  

Transmission line from Bole Substation to Ashuelot Substation completed

  Jim Eskridge takes over as General Manager
   
1987
 

50 year anniversary Honored guests: Past board members: Morton Higgins, Leland Garner, George Huffman, S.T. McFarland, Robert Lindberg, and Alvin Meyer, Sr.

   
1989  New transmission line to South Augusta Substation completed
   
1990 Transmission from Pendroy to Agawam completed
   
1991  South Conrad Substation expanded and Midway Substation constructed
   
1997  Joint resolution between Glacier, Marias, Sun River, and Hill County Electric Cooperatives to share major equipment
   
1998  Present General Manager Scott Odegard hired
   
2005  SREC office remodeled ($197,000)
   
2006 Harvey Bremer retires with 40 years of service to the Cooperative. This is the longest tenure of any employee ever to work for SREC.
   
2007 March - Annual Meeting - SREC celebrates 70 years of service to you, our members!

 

 
2008 SREC adds a new substation "North Fairfield"
   
2009 The metering program changes from "Turtle Meters" to "TWACS Meters"
   
2012 March - Annual Meeting -  Sun River Electric celebrates it's 75th Annual Meeting!
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