Tuesday, May 28, 2024

FEC awards grants to educational projects

| November 15, 2023 12:00 AM

As a not-for-profit electric utility, when Flathead Electric Cooperative brings in more revenue than is needed to operate, that money is allocated back to its members as “capital credits.” Some of these capital credits go unclaimed, usually because members move away without updating their mailing addresses. 

When capital credits go unclaimed for five years or more, Montana law allows that money to be used for educational purposes. 

Occasionally, Flathead Electric Cooperative becomes aware of educational projects in the community needing funding. This year, four projects were brought to the co-op's attention. 

After an application, presentation, and interview process, the co-op's board of trustees chose to fund the following community education projects with unclaimed capital credits: Conrad Mansion – $10,000 – Educational History Tours for Area Youth; Evergreen School District – $57,380 – School Resource Officer Program; Glacier National Park Conservancy – $10,000 – Ranger-Led Education Programs in Glacier National Park for Area Youth; and Kalispell Education Foundation – $8,000 – After School Tutoring Program.  

Three of these grants – Conrad Mansion, Evergreen School District, and Kalispell Education Foundation – are renewable for five years. In total, the co-op will offer $386,900 over the next five years in unclaimed capital credits to fund the four projects. 

“One of the Co-op's business principles is its concern for community, and our Board of Trustees is grateful that Montana law allows them to distribute unclaimed capital credit money to fund educational projects in the communities we serve,” said General Manager Mark Johnson. “We are all invested in the education of our area youth — they will be the next ones operating the electric grid and the operating rooms, and everything else.”