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Two Yellowstone Co-ops ink management agreement

By Derrill Holly 

Electric Co-op Today


A small Montana electric cooperative has signed a management services contract with a larger Wyoming co-op to reduce its operating expenses by as much as $500,000 a year.

“We’re still our own cooperative with our own employees,” said Roxie Melton, president of the Beartooth Electric Cooperative board of trustees. The Red Lodge, Mont.-based co-op recently announced a three-year contract designating Lower Valley Energy to assume operational management functions for its 5,700-meter system. Afton, Wyo.-based Lower Valley Energy serves 30,000 meters in northwestern Wyoming and eastern Idaho.

“This management services agreement provides economies of scale and expertise to help us improve performance and work toward more competitive rates,” said Dick Peck, interim manager of Beartooth EC.

Under the agreement, Jim Webb, president and CEO of Lower Valley Energy will manage both co-ops. Peck’s post and the position of interim chief financial officer would be eliminated when the transition period concludes next spring.

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