Are you an REA member?

To the Editor;

Attention Kneehill County residents: Are you an REA member? Chances are if you don’t know the answer to that question, you never signed a contract either to become a member. New landowners and residents residing at these site locations pay an additional fee every month, and this piece of financial obligation is not included in the land title - thus, many members are oblivious to their voting rights or lack of them.

Let’s begin with what REA stands for: Rural Electrification Association - it was formed in the late 1940’s - early 1950’s by our forefathers bringing power beyond central municipalities. Power is now available to remote locations and residents no longer have to buy their own independently. The question I have is, “So why so we still have this association?” As REA members, let’s educate ourselves - update these contracts and receive our voting rights. Is this association worth paying into or is it time to dissolve and be paid out? Quorum of 25 per cent of membership must be in attendance before a vote can ever be held to determine possible sale of the association. Until such time, members keep paying in. The annual REA meeting was held April 19, 2017. Of that meeting, 17 members of 437 attended. Thus no change occurred.

This brings me back to the question, “Are you an REA member?” How do you find out? How do you reach your REA representative to update the contract bound to your land, and become a voting member? Check your energy bill - next to your legal land description between Kneehill AB, the letters REA will appear. Next, under Distributor charges an operating charge and a deposit reserve will appear, these are your REA membership charges. Speak with your energy distributor to find your local REA representative contact. Ask questions - get involved.

Now that you have the information before you, you can make an informed choice. Contact your REA representative and receive your voting right. Currently, 186 contracts have been updated out of 437. To me, this seems bizarre that people are left in the dark when they’re paying for energy.

T. Steiner