One Door Closes, Another Opens

Thank you for your business

OCONTO FALLS – Oconto Electric Cooperative’s RadioShack wants to bring to your attention and announce that we have made the decision to sell our retail business. Effective June 11, a new Cellcom store will open next door to our current location at Highland Square Mall. We are pleased that we are placing the business in the very capable hands of the new owners who currently own three other Cellcom locations. We know you will continue to receive the best service available as the Owners/Operators have more than 28 years of combined hands on experience. 

    June 10 will be our last day as a Cellcom agent, but our RadioShack store will remain open through July 27.

    It has been a pleasure to serve this community for over two decades. “OEC has decided to put focus on our core business and emerging technologies that are directly related to our industry,” said Robin Banaszynski, OEC manager of member services.

    We wish to thank you for your patronage over the past 23 years. As we close we would like for you to know how much we appreciate your business and support.

    RadioShack is located in the Highland Square Mall, 323 E Highland Drive, Oconto Falls, WI.

Looking for Youth Tour Delegates

It’s the trip of a lifetime for sons and daughters of co-op members.

APPLY TODAY!

NRECA Youth Tour of Washington, D.C.

June 17-22, 2022

Oconto Electric is pleased to choose one delegate to represent our local co-op at the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) Youth Tour in Washington, D.C. The trip is hosted by NRECA and all expenses are paid by Oconto Electric, according to our cooperative principles to support youth and community.

Any current high school sophomore or junior whose parent or guardian is a residential member of Oconto Electric Cooperative is eligible. (Residential is defined as having the primary residence within OEC’s service territory.)

Applications must be submitted on or before December 17, 2021. Applications received after December 17, 2021, will not be considered.

Government-in-Action Youth Tour

Visiting a place like Washington, D.C., might sound like a far-away dream for high school students who grow up in rural Wisconsin. But every year, several cooperative students are given the opportunity to travel to the capital for an intensive weeklong tour—and it doesn’t cost them a dime.

In June, the Wisconsin Government-in-Action Youth Tour, sponsored by the state’s rural electric cooperatives in conjunction with the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, sends select students on an all-expense-paid trip to the nation’s capital. In Washington, tour participants get to see with their own eyes, sights many have only experienced in history books or on television. 

In addition to visiting monuments, museums, and historical sites that would be part of any standard tour, the students also fulfill the goal of then U.S. Sen. Lyndon Johnson, who inspired the Youth Tour in 1957, for young people to “actually see what the flag stands for and represents.”

Tour participants get to meet their Members of Congress, hear inspirational speakers, and interact with other Youth Tour participants from across the country. Additionally, Wisconsin students have the chance to witness in the wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery, see the Sunset Parade at the Iwo Jima War Memorial, and tour the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives chambers.

During the intense week on the go—traveling, eating and touring together—many of the Youth Tour participants form fast friendships that continue after they return home. Inspired by their trip, many Youth Tour alumni have gone on to become co-op leaders or perform other public service. Ask almost any of the alumni about their experience, and they will describe it as “the trip of a lifetime.”

Click here for application.

Public Information Meeting

Stiles Hydroelectric Project (FERC No. 1981) Machickanee Flowage Drawdown

Press Release

Oconto Electric Cooperative (OEC) will be hosting a public information meeting to provide the public with information about the proposed drawdown of the Machickanee Flowage.  The meeting will be held on June 15, 2021, 1 PM, at the Stiles Town Hall, located at 5718 Watercrest Road, Lena, WI 54139. 

OEC is planning a temporary five-foot drawdown at the Machickanee Flowage upstream of the Stiles Hydroelectric Project (Project).  The purpose of the drawdown is management of aquatic invasive species, excessive plant growth, and consolidation of flowage substrate for the purpose of improvements to navigation.

The drawdown is scheduled to begin the week of July 5, 2021, weather dependent and following regulatory approval.  The water level of the flowage will be lowered over approximately 10 to 14 days at an average rate of 3 to 6 inches per day (depending on rainfall).  Once the maximum drawdown of five feet is reached, the water level will be maintained at this level for approximately 70 days.  Upon drawdown completion, the flowage will be refilled over approximately 10 days to a level within the normal operational range.  The total duration of the project is planned for approximately three months. 

Public foot traffic in the exposed areas may pose a public safety risk.  The public is asked to stay away from the exposed river/flowage bed.   Additionally, picking items off the bed of the river, and disturbing sediment may require permits from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.  The public boat landing will be closed until the flowage is returned to normal water levels. 

Please contact OEC at 920-846-2816 if you have any questions about this project.

Click here to view slideshow from the meeting.

Information on aquatic invasive species is available on the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources website:

https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/Invasives/

Now Accepting Applications for “Change” Matters Grant

Community Change is a project of Oconto Electric Cooperative. Members can sign up to have their electric bills rounded up to the next whole dollar, with the extra money going into the Community Change fund. In addition, due to the generosity of the former Bay Lakes Cooperative, Community Change has additional funding available for this special grant. To be considered, an organization should show through this grant application how an innovative idea for funding could provide far-reaching enhancement for a neighborhood or community. Grant(s) will be awarded to projects being done in the footprint of the former Bay Lakes territory and the current Oconto Electric service territory. Request not to exceed $4,000 (grant total could be split based on the nature and scope of applications received). Grant application deadline is March 1, 2021.

Applications can be found here.

Financial Assistance Available

Have you fallen on hard times because of the coronavirus? Trying to keep up with the bills and other finances can be really stressful.

There are local county offices and other agencies that may be able to help you with financial assistance.

Oconto County DHHS 920-834-7000
Shawano County DHS 715-526-4740
Marinette County HHS 715-732-7740
Menominee County HHSD 715-799-3861
St. Vincent de Paul 920-604-2320
Salvation Army 920-887-5352

Assistance resource website: www.homeenergyplus.wi.gov

OEC is committed to its members and we look forward to working with you during these trying times.

COVID-19 Small Business Guide

As COVID-19 continues to impact our community, it is causing a lasting economic impact that cannot be fully quantified at this time. Oconto Electric Co-op knows that small businesses throughout our service territory will be greatly impacted as a result of this crisis. Given this reality, OEC offers this resource guide to help you through these trying times.

https://ocontoelectric.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Small-Business-Guide.docx

Notice of Unclaimed Capital Credit Money

The following members or former members of Oconto Electric Cooperative, 7479 REA Road, Oconto Falls, WI 54154, have unclaimed capital credit money at the cooperative. If this money is not claimed by January 30, 2020, the money shall be forfeited to the Oconto Electric Education Fund and will be used for scholarships or other charitable purposes as designated be the cooperative board of directors. The listing of names with last known addresses can be found by clicking here.

To claim this money, call Oconto Electric Cooperative at 800-472-8410 during regular business hours. The co-op will require some form of identity verification. 

Making a Difference in Oconto County Oconto

Electric Co-op Employees distribute $17,000

Oconto Falls, WI; October 4, 2019 –October is National Cooperative Month, what a great time for Oconto Electric Cooperative (OEC) employees to demonstrate Co-op principle number seven: commitment to community.

OEC employees worked all year to raise $9,500. CoBank, one of the co-op’s lenders, also donated $7,500 as part of its Sharing Success Matching Grant program. 

Employees were able to present $8,500 to Oconto Falls Law Enforcement. They recently obtained an armored vehicle through the US Military at no cost. The armored vehicle is being funded strictly through fundraising and grants, at no cost to the local tax payers. The plan is that all local departments can utilize the armored vehicle as a rescue vehicle in the event that there is a victim or downed officer. At this time, there is no such vehicle in Oconto County. If there is a situation, they currently depend on Marinette or Brown County for assistance. 

Oconto County Commission on Aging, Inc. also received $8,500. They have been operating their Oconto County Elderly Nutrition Program (Meals on Wheels) since 1980. Good nutrition is critical to good health. Poor nutrition is the greatest threat to an older adult’s independence. This program is funded by state and federal grants and contributions from participants. The funds they were given are going towards a new delivery van. 

Since 2004, OEC employees have awarded $113,000 to charities and organizations.

Ruth Carriveau, Executive Director of Oconto County Commission on Aging, Inc., and Oconto Falls Police Chief Brad accept money from Oconto Electric employees.