Kootenai Electric Cooperative (KEC) continues to monitor COVID-19 and the recommendations offered by appropriate authorities. Based on this guidance, KEC is reviewing and refining its preparedness plan. Providing reliable electric service is essential to our members and our plan must safeguard business continuity. It is with this in mind that KEC has reluctantly but thoughtfully chosen to follow the practice set by our regional utility peers and temporarily cease in-person member service at our office, effective Wednesday, March 18. We will reopen our offices to our membership as soon as possible.
In the meantime, we strongly encourage members to make payments online, through the SmartHub app, by phone, mail or using the drop box in front of our building. Members are also encouraged to contact us during business hours (Monday-Thursday 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.) via phone or email with any questions. We also recognize that some exceptions to this practice will likely be necessary. In the event we are unable to meet your needs through other venues, we will schedule an appointment for you to meet with staff in-person on a limited and case-by-case basis.
Members who find themselves impacted by COVID-19 or any other hardship and unable to pay their bills should contact KEC to discuss their account and possible resources available. KEC will continue to ensure appropriate accommodations are made under these circumstances.
KEC has also made the difficult decision to postpone its 2020 Annual Membership Meeting that was scheduled for May 4, 2020. This decision is in response to recent Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines discouraging public gatherings of over 50 people. We are working on a plan that will enable us to facilitate this meeting without requiring a quorum of 150 members to participate in-person. Postponing the meeting should enable us to reschedule and constitute a quorum by ballot instead. The annual meeting could then be held without requiring so many members to attend in-person. Those comfortable doing so would still be afforded the opportunity as has been our historical practice. We will notify members when the meeting has been rescheduled.
Again, these actions are being taken to help ensure KEC's critical business operations can continue without interruption. KEC will continue to monitor recommended practices as outlined by the CDC, the World Health Organization, state and local officials, and of course, good common sense. Please contact us at 208.765.1200 or firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
We apologize for any inconvenience this causes you and request your patience. These actions are not implemented lightly and are being made in an effort to safeguard our ability to serve you in the weeks ahead.
Douglas A. Elliott
KEC General Manager/CEO