LPEA – The Pagosa Springs SUN http://www.pagosasun.com The most trusted source for news and information about Pagosa Springs, Colorado. Thu, 11 Jun 2020 19:41:16 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.4.2 http://www.pagosasun.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/cropped-sun-logo-512x512-1-32x32.jpg LPEA – The Pagosa Springs SUN http://www.pagosasun.com 32 32 Can’t pay your electric bill? Application period now open for residential bill-pay assistance http://www.pagosasun.com/cant-pay-your-electric-bill-application-period-now-open-for-residential-bill-pay-assistance/ Fri, 12 Jun 2020 11:00:50 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=205533 By Hillary Knox
La Plata Electric Association

Residential members of La Plata Electric Association (LPEA) who cannot pay their electric bill due to COVID-related economic hardship are now able to apply for support through the LPEA COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund. 

The fund, approved by the LPEA Board of Directors in March, provides onetime emergency financial assistance of up to $100 per residential member to persons who are usually self-sufficient but are unable to pay their electric bill due to COVID-19.

Members can apply online at: https://lpea.coop/covidrelief. Hard copy application forms are also available at the drive-through windows of LPEA’s offices in Durango and Pagosa Springs. To be qualified, applicants must hold an active residential account or sub-account within LPEA’s service territory and must carry a past due balance. Applicants should have a solid payment history with LPEA prior to COVID-19 and must provide documentation that their economic hardship is COVID-related. Applications are due no later than Monday, June 22, at 5 p.m.

As there are not enough funds available to help all LPEA members in need, nor to clear all debt owed, LPEA asks its members to call 247-5786 to arrange flexible payment plans on past-due balances to avoid being disconnected. LPEA also encourages its members to explore other funds available for utility assistance at:

• Southwest Colorado Disaster Assistance: swcoda.org. 

• Housing Solutions of the Southwest: swhousingsolutions.com, 259-1086.

• Low Income Energy Assist: colorado.gov/pacific/cdhs/how-do-i-apply, (866) 432-8435.

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Public Meetings http://www.pagosasun.com/public-meetings-222/ Thu, 14 May 2020 21:00:42 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=203527 The following meetings are subject to change.

Thursday, May 14

Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District regular meeting. 5 p.m., 100 Lyn Ave.

Saturday, May 16

La Plata Electric Association partial annual meeting. 10:30 a.m. Partial, virtual annual meeting to announce director results and conduct questions and answers. Meeting access details: www.lpea.coop/annual-meeting. Submit questions for the Q-and-A session by 4 p.m. Friday, May 15, to comments@lpea.coop.

Tuesday, May 19

Archuleta County Board of County Commissioners work session. 8:30 a.m. Call 264-8300 one to two days before the meeting to obtain the login information.

Archuleta County Board of County Commissioners regular meeting. 1:30 p.m. Call 264-8300 one to two days before the meeting to obtain the login information.

Wednesday, May 20

Archuleta County Republican Central Committee meeting. Noon, Pagosa Brewing, 118 N. Pagosa Blvd. Subject to cancellation due to COVID-19.

Upper San Juan Library District board meeting. 4 p.m. Zoom meeting; join us at https://us02web.zoom.us/j/79928556999. 

Thursday, May 21

Pagosa Springs Urban Renewal Authority Commission meeting. See town website for participation information.

Pagosa Springs Town Council meeting. See town website for participation information.

Tuesday, May 26

Archuleta County Board of County Commissioners work session. 8:30 a.m. Call 264-8300 one to two days before the meeting to obtain the login information.

Upper San Juan Health Service District regular board meeting. 5:30 p.m.

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Public Meetings http://www.pagosasun.com/public-meetings-221/ Thu, 07 May 2020 21:00:52 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=203082 The following meetings are subject to change.

Thursday, May 7

Dispatch Executive Management board meeting. 9:30 a.m., Pagosa Springs Medical Center board room, 95 S. Pagosa Blvd.

Town of Pagosa Springs Combined Parks and Recreation Advisory Board meeting. 5:30 p.m. See town website for participation information.

Monday, May 11

Pagosa Peak Open School Board of Directors regular meeting. 5 p.m., 7 Parelli Way.

Tuesday, May 12

Archuleta County Board of County Commissioners work session. 8:30 a.m. Call 264-8300 one to two days before the meeting to obtain the login information.

Archuleta County Republican Women’s meeting. Noon, Boss Hogg’s, 157 Navajo Trail Drive. (Subject to cancellation due to COVID-19.)

Archuleta School District Board of Education work session and regular meeting. 5 p.m. work session, 6 p.m. regular meeting, virtual meeting. 

Pagosa Fire Protection District Board of Directors regular meeting. 6:30 p.m., Station 1, Training Room, 191 N. Pagosa Blvd.

Wednesday, May 13

Pagosa Springs Community Development Corporation regular board meeting. 4 p.m., contact admin@pagosaspringscdc.org for Zoom meeting link. 

Thursday, May 14

Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District regular meeting. 5 p.m., 100 Lyn Ave.

Saturday, May 16

La Plata Electric Association partial annual meeting. 10:30 a.m. Partial, virtual annual meeting to announce director results and conduct questions and answers. Meeting access details: www.lpea.coop/annual-meeting. Submit questions for the Q-and-A session by 4 p.m. Friday, May 15, to comments@lpea.coop.

Tuesday, May 19

Archuleta County Board of County Commissioners work session. 8:30 a.m. Call 264-8300 one to two days before the meeting to obtain the login information.

Archuleta County Board of County Commissioners regular meeting. 1:30 p.m. Call 264-8300 one to two days before the meeting to obtain the login information.

Thursday, May 21

Pagosa Springs Urban Renewal Authority Commission meeting. See town website for participation information.

Pagosa Springs Town Council meeting. See town website for participation information.

Wednesday, May 20

Archuleta County Republican Central Committee meeting. Noon, Pagosa Brewing, 118 N. Pagosa Blvd. (Subject to cancellation due to COVID-19.)

Upper San Juan Library District board meeting. 4 p.m. Zoom meeting; join us at https://us02web.zoom.us/j/79928556999. 

Tuesday, May 26

Archuleta County Board of County Commissioners work session. 8:30 a.m. Call 264-8300 one to two days before the meeting to obtain the login information.

Upper San Juan Health Service District regular board meeting. 5:30 p.m.

Wednesday, May 27

Archuleta County Planning Commission regular meeting. 6 p.m., Archuleta County administration building, commissioners’ meeting room, 398 Lewis St. and via Zoom online.

Thursday, May 28

Archuleta School District Board of Education work session — presentation of budget. 5 p.m., Pagosa Springs High School auditorium, 800 S. 8th St. 

Public meeting information should be sent to editor@pagosasun.com with “Public Meeting” in the subject line. The deadline is noon Monday each week prior to publication for that week’s issue.

 

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LPEA adjusts annual meeting plans in response to COVID-19 http://www.pagosasun.com/lpea-adjusts-annual-meeting-plans-in-response-to-covid-19/ Sat, 25 Apr 2020 11:00:11 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=201954 By Hillary Knox
Special to The SUN

The La Plata Electric Association (LPEA) Board of Directors voted at its meeting last week to adjust LPEA’s annual meeting plans to support social distancing efforts amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. 

LPEA will now host a virtual meeting on May 16 at 10:30 a.m. solely for the purpose of electing and seating new directors. The remainder of the annual meeting will be postponed until later this year when it can be held in person.

In addition to director election announcements, LPEA employees and the LPEA board president will also answer previously submitted questions from members. Members are encouraged to join the meeting virtually and submit questions to comments@lpea.coop by 4 p.m. on May 15. Due to time limitations, not all questions will be answered during the meeting. Submitted questions with answers will also be posted to the LPEA website at the conclusion of the meeting and a summary will be included in an upcoming edition of the Colorado Country Life magazine. For more details and for access instructions, visit lpea.coop/annual-meeting.

As the meeting is virtual, it is not an option for members to submit their ballots for the LPEA director election on the day of the meeting. Ballots must be received, either by mail (using the postage-paid envelope provided in the election packet) or at a listed drop box location, by 4 p.m. on May 15. For more details on the LPEA election, 2020 candidates and ballot submissions, visit: lpea.coop/2020-lpea-board-directors-election.

LPEA’s annual meeting, including board member presentations, CEO updates and director election results, was originally scheduled for May 16 at Pagosa Springs High School.

 

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LPEA awards scholarship to Pagosa Springs senior http://www.pagosasun.com/lpea-awards-scholarship-to-pagosa-springs-senior/ Thu, 23 Apr 2020 21:00:23 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=201985 By Hillary Knox
Special to The SUN

La Plata Electric Association (LPEA) has awarded the John Voelker Memorial Scholarship to Emzy (Tay) Barker from Pagosa Springs High School to pursue electrician training.

The full version of this story is available in the print edition and e-edition of the Pagosa Springs SUN. Subscribe today by calling (970)264-2100 or click here.

 

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Candidates for LPEA 2020 Board of Directors election verified http://www.pagosasun.com/candidates-for-lpea-2020-board-of-directors-election-verified/ Fri, 27 Mar 2020 11:00:27 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=200165 By Hillary Knox
Special to The SUN
La Plata Electric Association’s (LPEA) independent election supervisory committee has verified candidates for the cooperative’s 2020 board of directors election.
LPEA has four director districts, established geographically. Each year, LPEA’s membership elects four representatives to the LPEA Board of Directors, one from each district.
“LPEA is a cooperative, which means we are owned by our members,” said Jessica Matlock, LPEA CEO. “All LPEA members in good standing are qualified to vote for the directors who represent them. As the directors make decisions that impact everyone, I encourage members to learn about the candidates and vote to make sure their voice is heard in the LPEA boardroom.”
Candidates for the 2020 election are as follows:
District 1, Archuleta County: Bob Lynch, current LPEA board president, is running unopposed. Pending formal approval by the LPEA board, Lynch will be reappointed.
District 2, south and west La Plata County: Two new candidates, Doug Fults and John Lee Jr., are vying to fill the seat to be vacated by retiring director Davin Montoya.
District 3, city of Durango: Incumbent Rachel Landis is being challenged by new candidate Dave Nulton.
District 4, north and east La Plata County: Incumbent Guinn Unger is being challenged by new candidate Sue McWilliams.
More details on the candidates and how to submit ballots will be distributed in the ballot packet to be mailed to all members in mid-April 2020. To be counted, ballots must be received no later than 4 p.m. on May 15.
Election results will be confirmed at LPEA’s annual meeting, currently scheduled to take place on May 16 at Pagosa Springs High School. Given the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the meeting may need to be postponed. In this instance, the current directors will continue to serve until the annual meeting can be held to officially confirm the new directors. For the latest details on the annual meeting, visit lpea.coop/annual-meeting.

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LPEA temporarily suspends disconnects for nonpayment of electric bills during COVID-19 pandemic http://www.pagosasun.com/lpea-temporarily-suspends-disconnects-for-nonpayment-of-electric-bills-during-covid-19-pandemic/ Fri, 27 Mar 2020 11:00:14 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=200153 By Hillary Knox
Special to The SUN
Effective immediately, La Plata Electric Association (LPEA) will temporarily suspend disconnects for nonpayment of electric bills for its residential and small-commercial members.
“We are aware of the deep economic impact the COVID-19 pandemic will have on the local economy,” said Jessica Matlock, LPEA CEO. “We are owned by our members and want to express empathy and solidarity with our communities during this difficult time. Our phones are open. Any members having trouble paying their bill should call us to discuss options. We are in this together.”
While no residential or small-commercial utility services will be disconnected during the suspension, LPEA members are still expected to pay their bill when they are able, either through a flexible payment plan or third-party funding assistance. Members should contact LPEA at 247-5786 for more details.

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LPEA implements Continuity of Operations Plan http://www.pagosasun.com/lpea-implements-continuity-of-operations-plan/ Fri, 27 Mar 2020 11:00:00 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=200159 By Hillary Knox
Special to The SUN
La Plata Electric Association (LPEA) will modify its operating procedures to proactively respond to the growing novel coronavirus pandemic. Under its Continuity of Operations Plan, LPEA will prioritize the continuation of reliable electric service to its more than 46,000 meters while also protecting the safety and health of its employees and members.
“Given LPEA’s essential mission to power the lives of our communities, it’s vital that we proactively address all potential threats that would prevent us from achieving that,” said LPEA CEO Jessica Matlock. “We’ve been closely monitoring the ongoing situation with the novel coronavirus. … We believe it’s LPEA’s civic duty to be proactive and act before we must.”
Under the new plan, LPEA operations will change as follows until further notice:
• Main lobbies in Durango and Pagosa Springs are closed to the public. Drive-through options are available at each office and phones remain open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 247-5786.
• In-home energy audits will not be conducted. Members can still call LPEA for remote assistance at 247-5786.
• LPEA meeting facilities are closed to all public events. Existing events will be canceled or postponed.
• Board meetings will be held remotely via video conference. The public will be able to participate virtually, and meetings will be recorded for later viewing. Access details will be made available at lpea.coop/board-directors-meeting-agendas.
• LPEA’s annual meeting, currently scheduled for May 16, at Pagosa Springs High School, may be postponed.
• Staff are canceling nonessential travel and conducting meetings virtually.
• LPEA is encouraging members to pay their bill from home. Members can receive their bill via email, make energy payments using a credit card or pay from a checking account through the LPEA SmartHub App. The pay-by-phone automated system is also available 24 hours per day. For more information on payment options, members should call 247-5786.
LPEA will resume normal operations as soon as is safely possible. For more information and updates from LPEA, members should visit lpea.coop/coronavirus.

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LPEA board delays rate increase and allocates $90,000 to support community during COVID-19 http://www.pagosasun.com/lpea-board-delays-rate-increase-and-allocates-90000-to-support-community-during-covid-19/ Thu, 26 Mar 2020 10:57:57 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=200075 By Hillary Knox
Special to The SUN
The La Plata Electric Association (LPEA) Board of Directors approved a rescue package Wednesday to support its members and community during the COVID-19 pandemic.
LPEA, which already announced it will suspend disconnects for nonpayment for its residential and small-commercial members until further notice, will now also delay its rate increase three months and allocate $90,000 in unclaimed capital credits to utility bill assistance and local emergency response programs.
“LPEA is a not-for-profit electric cooperative, which means it is owned and operated by its members at cost,” said Bob Lynch, LPEA board president. “We, the board and LPEA employees, are a part of the communities we serve and we want to do what we can to help our neighbors in this time of need. We do not take these decisions lightly, as they will put additional financial and administrative pressure on the organization, but we feel strongly that this is the right thing to do.”
The LPEA COVID-19 rescue package includes the following three elements:
Delay of rate increase
The 2020 rate increase was unanimously approved by the board in January to generate the funds needed to update and improve LPEA’s electric infrastructure, improve reliability to members and keep up with the cost of inflation. Delaying the effective date of the rate increase from April 1 to July 1 will cost the utility roughly $1 million. To offset this loss, the board approved a withdrawal from LPEA’s emergency rate stabilization fund, which was created in 2019 to safeguard business operations in emergency situations. The board views the creation of this fund as fortuitous, because it can now be used to help LPEA members in this time of great need.
Allocation of $90,000 in unclaimed capital credits
As LPEA is a not-for-profit utility delivering service to its members at cost, any payments made by members in excess of the cost required to provide their electric service are placed into a patronage capital account in each member’s name, usually referred to as “capital credits.” When the cooperative is able, capital credits are “retired” and returned to members as bill credits or by check. If these checks are not cashed after three years, they are considered to be “unclaimed.”
Unclaimed capital credits are traditionally assigned to community causes and, in this spirit, LPEA will assign $90,000 to assist those in its service area as follows: $50,000 will be allocated to assist LPEA members who cannot pay their bills due to job loss and business closure; $25,000 will be allocated to the Community Emergency Response Fund; and $7,500 each will be provided to the Community Emergency Action Coalition and the Pagosa Outreach Coalition.
Suspension of
disconnects for
nonpayment
As previously announced, LPEA had suspended all disconnects for nonpayment until further notice. While no residential or small-commercial utility services will be disconnected during the suspension, this is not a debt forgiveness program. LPEA members are still expected to pay their bill when they are able, either through a flexible payment plan or funding assistance. Members should contact LPEA at 247-5786 for more details.

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Local seat open in LPEA election Candidate packets due tomorrow http://www.pagosasun.com/local-seat-open-in-lpea-election-candidate-packets-due-tomorrow/ Thu, 12 Mar 2020 10:55:52 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=199006 By Chris Mannara
Staff Writer
With the annual La Plata Electric Association (LPEA) election coming up, interested candidates have until Friday, March 13, to submit candidate packets in order to be placed on the May ballot.

The full version of this story is available in the print edition and e-edition of the Pagosa Springs SUN. Subscribe today by calling (970)264-2100 or click here.

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