YVEA reports $600,000 loss

Electric company manager says 'paper loss' did not impact customer rates

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Last year Yampa Valley Electric Association lost more than $600,000 from equity investments.

But the general manager says the loss did not impact customer rates this year.

"That's a paper loss to us," said General Manager Lawrence D. Covillo. "We have subsidy companies and one is a telecom company. They lost a lot last year and Yampa Valley Electric owns 8 percent of that company."

Yampa Valley Electric invested $5 million in High Speed Communications, which resulted in a total loss of $644,677 last year.

The investment was made, Covillo said, to assist in bringing high-speed communications to Northwest Colorado.

"We didn't see anybody bringing it in last year and we still don't have it," Covillo said. "With telecom where it is right now we can't get people interested in coming in and handling things like that."

Despite High Speed Communications' poor year, Covillo said Yampa Valley does not intend to make investment changes soon.

"We're attempting to ride this one out," he said. "I think we have a sound plan. Hopefully the economy will turn around and more people will start to use high-speed Internet access."

The purpose of investing in companies like High Speed Communications and Paradigm Services, a company specializing in health care recruitment, is to make investments that will hopefully reduce rates in years to come,

Covillo said.

The $600,000 lost in equity investments this year had no effect on customer rates and could not have been used to offset rate increases, Covillo said.

"That money comes after the operating capital," he said. "Had we not invested it, we would have used the money to build power lines and infrastructure."

Covillo said the equity investments are just a small portion of Yampa Valley Electric's total operating budget.

"I don't want to say that $5 million is not a significant amount of money, but the reality is when you have $80 million, $5 million is not extremely significant," he said.

The annual meeting of the Yampa Valley Electric Association will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Hayden High School Auditorium.

New board members will be elected in three of the nine service districts.

Candidates in District 2, which represents Maybell, include:

Stuart Nadler

Frank L. Stetson

Harold Stover

Candidates in District 3, which represents Craig, include:

Dr. Leo Schneider

James Simos

Candidates in District 6, which represents Clark, include:

Pat Barber

William R. Haight

This is the first year all districts being voted on have more than one candidate running, Covillo said.

All Yampa Valley Electric customers can attend the meeting.

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