October is Coop Month
- Date: October 9, 2017
- Author: Troy Radermacher-Accounting Manager
Hello, my name is Troy Radermacher and I’m the Accounting Manager at DRN. I’ve had the pleasure to be a part of the cooperative environment at DRN for 15 years.
Since October is Coop month, I’m going to discuss the history and benefits of being a part of a cooperative. Cooperatives are businesses owned and run by and for their members. Those members control how it operates and share in the profits of the business. Dickey Rural Telephone held their first meeting on July 26, 1950 which consisted of 38 people who wanted to organize a telephone cooperative. After months were spent on organizing a steering committee, beginning a membership drive and taking requests for service, Dickey Rural Telephone filed Articles of Incorporation with the Secretary of State on November 10, 1950 to become the first organization of its kind in the state.
So how does a cooperative help today you ask? To be a member of the cooperative you must purchase local telephone service. Your local line and any other services with the phone like caller id, call waiting and NDLD long distance services all qualify as patronage allocatable services. Patronage is the dollar amount you spend on local phone services for the year. Once the year is over, we calculate the amount you spent on these services to figure out what your stake in ownership is for that given year. The more you spend, the more in profits you’ll get allocated back. Around November of each year, the board of directors look at the financial health and future of the company to decide if a payout is feasible. If it is feasible, the board decides an amount to payout and pays these dollars out by paying some of the oldest years outstanding and some of the most current year so we can give back to as many members possible. In 2016, some changes in the payout process of these credits took place. Anyone who receives credits for under $200 will have this amount automatically applied to the members telephone bill since many of these checks weren’t being cashed. If the amount is over $200, you’ll still be mailed a check in December.
Over the last 10 years, Dickey Rural Telephone’s Board of Director’s has paid out over 16 million dollars to their members. I feel thankful to be a part of an organization that can give back to their members like this along with other donations and community events we sponsor. We thank you for your support and look forward to serving your current and future technology needs for many years to come!