About Coles-Moultrie Electric
To seek the highest level of Member
Satisfaction while improving Quality of Life for our members, our
employees and our communities.
Much has changed since May 18, 1938 when the
Cooperative was first organized by rural residents of Coles and Moultrie
counties, but the goals and interests of those early leaders are still
important today. The delivery of reliable and affordable electrical energy
to meet the needs of our members is still our primary objective.
to May 18, 1938 attempts had been made to bring electrical energy to the
sparsely populated rural areas, but were mostly unsuccessful. The existing
power companies were mainly investor-owned utilities that were not
interested in building the lines into the rural areas where only a few
farmsteads per mile would use minimal amounts of electricity and where
profits for stockholders would be hard to achieve. An individual rural
resident had to either pay for the cost of installing the lines, or be
fortunate to live near an existing line, in order to receive service. Under
the terms of the Rural Electrification Act of 1936 rural residents and
farmers could join together to form electric cooperatives and borrow funds
from the Rural Electrification Administration (R.E.A.) for the purpose of
constructing electrical lines and facilities.
With the leadership of farm advisors Paul Krows and W.S.
Myers, and the support of the Moultrie and Coles County Farm Bureaus,
Coles-Moultrie Electric Cooperative was formed and incorporated. Three men
from Moultrie County-John G. Waggoner, Carl McKown and Austin Shields-- were
named to serve on the incorporating board of directors with C. I. Campbell,
Walter Daily, Lillian Cottingham and Leland Hallock from Coles County.
The initial loan from R.E.A. was for $355,000 to be
used to build 338 miles of lines to serve 753 members in Coles and Moultrie
Counties. The desire to have electricity was so great that many members
cleared rights-of way and helped set poles in order to get the lines built
more quickly. Those lines were first energized on October 20, 1939.
Today, Coles-Moultrie Electric Cooperative (CMEC) has
more than 9,500 members and an electrical distribution system stretching
more than 1,900 miles, with a net utility plant value of more than $25,
000,000. Members are served in Clark, Cumberland, Douglas, Edgar, Piatt and
Shelby Counties in addition to the two original Counties of Moultrie and
Coles. We provide electrical service to more than 8,000 residential members,
850 small commercial members, and large commercial members such as Sarah
Bush Lincoln Health Center, manufacturing facilities such as Mattoon
Precision, Inc. and Mid-State Tank Company, plus educational facilities such
as Lake Land College and the Arland D. Williams, Jr. School in Mattoon.
A 7-member board of directors represents the members of the cooperative.
Each director has a term of three years
and must reside within the boundaries of his or her respective
We have 36 local employees and annually pay more than
$13,000 in property taxes to the Counties we serve. Our annual total direct
and indirect tax payments to local, State and Federal units of government
We have repaid our debt to the R.E.A. (now known as RUS)
in the amount of $10,667,536 in principal and $4,450,002 in interest and are
no longer borrowers of RUS.
As a not-for-profit cooperative, all margins are
allocated to our members in the form of capital credits that are paid as the
financial condition of the cooperative allows, and as the board of directors
CMEC is an active and integral part of the community we
serve. We remain committed to the same goals and interests set forth by
those early leaders-the delivery of reliable and affordable electrical
energy to meet the needs of our members.