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LENOIR — Local electric utility Blue Ridge Energy will announce the results of a mostly-uncontested board election and give business updates during its 2019 Annual Meeting on Thursday, June 27, at 4 p.m.

The meeting will take place at the utility’s corporate office, located at 1216 Blowing Rock Blvd. in Lenoir. Registration will begin at 3:30 p.m.

The yearly membership meeting is only open to BRE members, or customers, who can speak for one minute each.

This meeting is a business meeting format that will feature reports and the announcement of director elections, according to BRE.

Three of the four seats for the election for the 2019 BRE Board of Directors are unopposed incumbents; J.B. Lawrence for Watauga, Jeff Joines of Caldwell and Bryan Edwards of Alleghany. The lone contested seat will be between Chris Robinson and James Young for the Ashe County seat. Bradley McNeill, who has served on the board since 2004, is not running for reelection.

The 12-member board of directors it comprised of three members from each of Ashe, Watauga, Alleghany and Caldwell counties. Board member terms are three years and one seat per county is up for reelection every year.

According to its 2017 tax filings, BRE board members work between three and nine hours per week and make annual salaries between $22,000 and the $27,198 that board President Kenneth Greene made.

Voting occurs either electronically through a member’s BRE account, by mail via a form that BRE sends out on May, or in person at the Annual Meeting. In 2018, over 6,300 votes were tallied, according to BRE.

Board candidates have to either be considered by the nominating committee, which was due by the end of the first business day of Match, or via petition signed by 20 or more members, five from each of the four directorate districts, and submitted at least 60 days prior to the Annual Meeting or by the end of the first business day of April.

Blue Ridge Energy is one of the largest electric cooperatives in North Carolina, servicing over 75,000 in a six-county area of Ashe, Watauga, Alleghany, Caldwell, plus small portions of Alexander and Avery counties, consisting of over 200,000 square miles.

As a cooperative, BRE is classified as a nonprofit and is run by its customers, or “members.” BRE does have two for-profit subsidiaries – Ridgelink LLC, a telecommunications company and Blue Ridge Energies LLC, a fuel propane and district retail company – which BRE Chief Executive Officer Doug Johnson has previously said help save members from highest costs.

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