Supporting Communities

In 1990, Gulf Coast Electric Cooperative Trustee Eddie Jones, left, presents a $500 donation to a representative of the Wewahitchka Volunteer Fire Department.

In February 1990, Manager Hubbard Norris informed the board the new safety manual was being printed and should be available in the next couple of weeks. He also reported employees had completed two training sessions about hazard communication and the Right to Know, sponsored by Newman First Aid.

In March 1990, the board approved buying pad-mount transformers to serve the catfish ponds built at Howard Creek by Tachikawa International Corp. and a Howard Creek Volunteer Fire Department request to donate a retired old truck to them. Norris reported the Bayou George Bog-In lighting project had been completed.

In April 1990, Attorney Pat Floyd gave the results of the board election during the annual meeting. R. Charles Pettis won with 289 votes over L.L. Lanier with 262 votes. The board moved to seat Lowrey Wilhite, District II, Group 1; R. Charles Pettis, District II, Group 2; and George “Skeet” Jones, District II, Group 3.

In July 1990, the board approved a lineman training program Florida Electric Cooperative Association had adopted, allowing employees to qualify as journeymen linemen if they successfully completed the three-year course.

In August 1990, Norris reviewed with the board the proposed location for the new transmission line and plan for the new upgraded substation.

In September 1990, Norris advised the board the member services department had started doing fish fries for the volunteer fire departments. A $500 check was presented to the Wewahitchka Volunteer Fire Department, and the same amount was given to each of the fire departments in the service area.

In November 1990, Norris discussed a request from Larry Walter of Panama City to provide electric service to his proposed drag strip in northeast Calhoun County and a well-developed security lighting pattern for the overall development. A resolution was made and approved by the board commending Jimmy Gortman for his 34 years of service to Gulf Coast Electric and retiring number 31 from the truck fleet since it was Jimmy’s truck number for many years.

In February 1991, the board approved a $500 donation for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s Project Share—a program to furnish obsolete used electrical equipment to foreign countries to be used to establish rural electric systems. The board also approved a resolution supporting U.S. troops serving in the Middle East, and asked businesses and residences throughout GCEC’s service area to display the American flag and yellow ribbons as an acknowledgment of support of the armed forces.

In March 1991, Norris reported a new load would come on line—a large catfish farming business called Sunbelt Farms to be built on M&K property at Willis Landing.

Gulf Coast Electric Cooperative has achieved 100% participation from employees and trustees in the Action Committee for Rural Electrification program many times through the years.

At the 43rd annual meeting in 1991, Jim Vann recognized the progress GCEC had made through the years. He discussed services Alabama Electric Cooperative provided for GCEC, plans for expansion of AEC’s operations and how it would affect GCEC. He also talked about the new compressed-air energy storage plant AEC built, explaining its operation and how it would help AEC better serve members.

In May 1991, a new bill was presented. It was mailed to all consumers beginning that summer.

In June 1991, Norris reported Eudon Baxley had been appointed to fill the vacant overhead construction supervisor position for the Southport district.

In July 1991, the board approved the purchase from AEC of transmission lines from the Southport Substation to the Bayou George Substation.

In August 1991, the board approved participating in the Gatekeepers program, in which co-op meter readers and other personnel who worked in the neighborhoods were trained to be aware of indicators suggesting an older person may need assistance and to call in for further investigation.

In September 1991, the Public Service Commission conducted a study into the feasibility of putting all utility lines underground. Norris reported the White City bridge was complete and that as soon as the old bridge was torn down, GCEC would install its under-canal cable to serve consumers across the bridge served by Florida Power Corp. The board approved changing the color of GCEC work trucks to white because of safety factors and economic feasibility. The older trucks would not be repainted unless they had to be, and then it would be white.

In October 1991, Manager Norris reported that all poles would be changed out on the Crystal Lake Substation feeder going south within three weeks. He said eastern crews would move to the Wewahitchka area and change out 25 poles as an upgrade to coincide with a voltage change on the new substation AEC would energize in Wewahitchka in May or June 1992.

In November 1991, GCEC reported 100% participation in the Action Committee for Rural Electrification program. Norris reported the Overstreet canal underwater replacement was back to normal in that area, and the pole change-out program for Southport and Wewahitchka would be completed November 21. Beacons also were ordered and would be placed on all trucks.