It's About Time for High-Speed Internet
Joe Wheeler EMC Administration Building
25700 Alabama Highway 24
Trinity, Alabama 35673
To: All members of the Joe Wheeler Electric Membership Corporation
You are hereby notified that the Special High-Speed Internet Election of the Joe Wheeler Electric Membership Corporation, a rural electric cooperative, will be held in accordance with the provisions of the bylaws at the Joe Wheeler EMC Administration Building, 25700 Alabama Highway 24, Trinity, Lawrence County, Alabama on Friday, November 1, 2019. Members may also vote by mail.
The special election polls will open at 9 a.m. and continue until 3 p.m., at which time the polls will close and
the votes tallied.
The Special High-Speed Internet Election will be held to:
1. Vote for, or against, Joe Wheeler EMC building and owning a fiber-optic network for the purpose of providing high-speed internet, telephone, and other services.
Information on prizes, mail balloting, and voting in person.
1. Members who vote by mail or in person are eligible to win one of TEN one-hundred dollar pre-paid Visa gift cards.
2. You have the right to reserve your vote until the in-person vote held at the Trinity office on November 1, 2019.
3. If you choose to vote by mail, your ballot must be received by the Independent Auditor no later than the close of business October 29, 2019. Mail ballots will be mailed out on October 1, 2019 and a self-addressed, stamped envelope is included for your convenience.
4. Members who vote in person on November 1 will also be eligible for the drawing for the pre-paid Visa gift cards.
Mail Voting Instructions for the High-Speed Internet Special Election
No duplicate ballots will be issued, so please read the following instructions carefully before mailing in your ballot.
DO NOT INCLUDE ANY PAYMENTS OR CORRESPONDENCE!
READ and SIGN the BLUE registration/certification Card, fill out your updated contact information and PLACE in the WHITE business reply mail envelope, but DO NOT SEAL IT.
After MARKING THE BALLOT provided, PLACE it in the YELLOW envelope marked “BALLOT ENCLOSED” and SEAL the envelope.
PLACE the sealed ballot inside the WHITE business reply mail envelope and SEAL.
PLACE the envelope in the U.S. mail, no postage necessary. Your mail ballot will be counted only if received by the Independent Auditor by October 29, 2019.
Should you have any questions or require further instructions, contact:
Rhonda Rutherford or N’Kima Pinchon at 256-552-2300
By returning your mail ballot, you are automatically registered to win one of TEN, one hundred dollar, prepaid Visa gift cards.
The drawing for these gift cards will be at the Board meeting, held at 4 p.m. on Nov. 1 following the close of voting at 3 p.m.
All winners will be notified soon after.
Special Membership Meeting Information
A Special Meeting of the membership of Joe Wheeler EMC has been set for November 1, 2019. The meeting is required under the Bylaws of Joe Wheeler EMC, Section 14.01. [This section of the Bylaws requires the cooperative to seek approval of the membership to invest more than one percent (1%) of the gross annual revenues of the Cooperative. The project has received a favorable recommendation from the Board of Trustees and must be approved by a vote of the membership of the Cooperative in order to proceed.]
Members may vote by marking the enclosed ballot and returning in the postage-paid envelope. Ballots must be received at the audit firm by the close of business on October 29, 2019. Members may also vote in person at the Joe Wheeler EMC office at 25700 AL Hwy 24 Trinity, AL. Voting in person will be done in the boardroom on November 1, 2019 beginning at 9 a.m. and ending at 3 p.m. Members voting in this election will automatically be entered into a drawing for ten (10) $100 gift cards.
Joe Wheeler EMC is seeking approval of the membership to build and own a fiber-optic network for the purpose of providing high-speed internet, telephone, and other services. It has been estimated that the system will take at least five (5) years to build and will cost approximately $95 - $110 million to complete. In addition to the public, Joe Wheeler EMC intends to use a portion of the fiber-optic network for communications and other electric co-op purposes.
In 2017, the co-op commissioned a feasibility study performed by Pulse Broadband to explore the possibility of building a fiber-optic network. The study indicated that there was a need for additional high-speed internet service in the service area of Joe Wheeler EMC. Joe Wheeler EMC staff, over the course of a year, reviewed and examined the feasibility study and reached a conclusion that there was a need for additional high-speed internet service in the two counties served by the Cooperative. The consultant updated the feasibility study in early 2019 to reflect current materials and labor prices. JWEMC engaged Jackson Thornton Utility Consultants to develop a business plan for the proposed internet business. Both the feasibility study and business plans were presented to the JWEMC Board of Trustees as a part of compliance with the Bylaws. The JWEMC Board of Trustees, after considering the feasibility study and the business plan, voted to adopt a resolution to have JWEMC Staff conduct a minimum of three (3) public meetings to educate the membership and respond to member questions about the proposal. JWEMC has conducted six (6) public meetings, three (3) in Lawrence County and three (3) in Morgan County to educate the membership and answer member questions about the proposal. With the completion of this vote of the members, JWEMC Staff and the Board of Trustees have complied with and exceeded the requirements of Section 14.01 of the Bylaws of the Cooperative regarding this proposal.
Everyone who votes will be entered into a drawing to win one of TEN $100 gift cards. Please see ballots for voter eligibility rules.
Look for this envelope in your mailboxes: