Celebrating the “power” of economic development

This column was published in the Gettysburg Times, April 9, 2015

By guest columnist, ACEDC Platinum Member, Duane Kanagy of Adams Electric Cooperative

Signs of springtime renewal are all around us; here at ACEDC “renewal” is something we enjoy celebrating year-round in the form of economic renewal! This is also the time of year when individuals and businesses renew memberships or join ACEDC, to support the mission of improving Adams County’s economy while preserving and enhancing the quality of life.

One business stands out at the top of our membership: Platinum Member, Adams Electric Cooperative. This innovative utility is celebrating a milestone in 2015—the 75th anniversary of its incorporation as a member-owned cooperative.

Adams Electric’s growth since August of 1940 is impressive. Founded during the age of rural electrification, Adams Electric provided vital power to 2,000 customers—primarily farms and rural residents of Adams and Cumberland Counties— by a staff of nine employees, producing gross revenues of $308,000 in its first year. Today, contrast those figures to 2015’s customer base of 32,000 accounts throughout a five-county area of south central Pennsylvania, 85 employees, and gross revenues of $62 million. As a member-owned utility, Adams Electric returns any excess margins to members in the form of ownership rewards, or patronage capital credits. In February, $1.7 million was returned to members, bringing its total monies paid back to $35 million.

During this anniversary year, look for additional publications and events commemorating Adams Electric’s 75th milestone. Manager of Communications and Community Services Duane Kanagy tells us that the focus will spotlight the efforts and dedication of those early pioneers who laid the foundation for Adams Electric. “Those early incorporators took a leap of faith, faced many obstacles and created an organization that puts the needs of its members first,” says Kanagy.

““As a utility we benefit from growth, so we want to assist ACEDC in that aspect,” Kanagy explains. “We certainly want to support economic development in Adams County. Part of our mission is that we provide power to our members at a reasonable cost, in a safe, reliable way—but we also have a mission to improve the quality of life in the communities we serve.”

Another way Adams Electric gives back to area communities is through a community development fund. During the past 16 years, Adams Electric has provided 18 low-interest loans to area nonprofits and civic organizations. Many loans have helped area fire companies add to their arsenal of life-saving equipment and vehicles. On March 31, Adams Electric provided their most recent loan in the amount of $150,000 to the Adams County SPCA to assist with the facility’s renovation and expansion. It’s a wonderful, community-minded program that dovetails nicely with the business development loan programs offered through ACEDC.

We salute and thank Adams Electric for their longtime, dedicated support of ACEDC as a platinum member.

See our “Member Directory,” located at the very top of our website, ACEDC.org where you’ll find Adams Electric and other community-minded businesses and individuals listed in thankful appreciation of their support. To add your company to this dynamic list, click on “Become a Member” also at the top of the website. You will find a variety of membership levels ranging from $100 individual memberships to $2,000 platinum levels of support. We hope Adams Electric’s story has “sparked” your interest!

 

 

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