Ohio Cooperative Living Magazine
The cooperative uses Ohio Cooperative Living to inform members of issues related to the cooperative, community events, and to make public notification of various items, including the non-discrimination policy, election processes, meeting notices, meter tampering consequences, and rate increases.
All rate schedules containing distribution components include the statement, “Notification will be made 60-days prior to any “Distribution” rate adjustment.” Rate adjustments do not happen every year, but if an adjustment to the distribution portion of the General Service rate is pending, the magazine may be used to make this notice.
As a borrower from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, cooperatives must undergo periodic civil rights compliance reviews as detailed in the Rural Utilities Bulletin 1790-1. In the review document under Section IV. Public Notifications, the cooperative is asked to verify print and non-print materials where the Nondiscrimination statement is provided. Further, under Section VII. Bylaws, the compliance review indicates, “Members are to be provided summary of bylaws section on election process prior to nomination of candidates for board positions for each election to be held. Explain below how notification was provided for the most recent election.” In Section VIII. Election Process, the cooperative must supply the date of the election process notification.
Section 4933.19 of the Ohio Revised Code requires, “Each electric light company, gas company, natural gas company, pipe-line company, water-works company, or heating or cooling company, as defined by division (C), (D), (E), (F), (G), or (H) of section 4905.03 of the Revised Code, or its lessees, trustees, or receivers, and each similar utility owned or operated by a political subdivision shall notify its customers, on an annual basis, that tampering with or bypassing a meter constitutes a theft offense that could result in the imposition of criminal sanctions.” We have historically used the magazine to make this notice.
The cooperative has a policy manual as indicated in Article XI, Section 2 of the Code of Regulations. Each policy is approved by the Board of Trustees and is reviewed on a periodic basis. Policy C-4 of this manual states, “It is the policy of the Cooperative to release a monthly publication. The publication shall include information, statistics, required notices, and news reports that would be of interest and assistance to the members/consumers.”
It is for the above reasons the cooperative continues to use the printed form of the magazine.