History

 

1936:   April 25 – Organizational Meeting – Directors elected were H. O. Melby, R. M. Grimsrud of Westby, Melvin E. Olson, C. V. Gorman, Otto G. Henry and Nick Dorschied of Viroqua, Ray Clark of Cashton, A. J. Ristow of Genoa and J. M. Hora of Hillsboro.
1937:   June – Office space rented in Westby-Coon Valley Bank Building (NW corner of Main St. & State St. ) – After first loan application approval by REA construction of lines was begun.

July 6 – N. F. Leifer hired as Project Superintendent and Manager.

1938:   January 21 – Martin Schye, H. R. Vergeroot and Trygve Ostrem farms are the first to be connected to newly built energized power lines southwest of Westby.
1938:   First Home Economist in Wisconsin working for cooperative hired.
1946:   Farm Wiring Advisor hired.
1947:   Two-way base to truck radio communication started.
1957:   December 7 – New Westby Headquarters building dedicated.
1961:   N.F. Leifer and his wife, President H.O. Melby and Treasurer E.T. Smith killed in traffic accident enroute home from the NRECA Annual Meeting in Dallas, TX.
1961:   Earl Jaeger hired as Manager.
1966:   Garage/Warehouse building built for Hillsboro Service Area on the intersection of Hwy 82 & 33.
1969:   First primary high voltage lines placed underground.
1970:   May – Readstown Public Electric Utility purchased.
1987:   July 1 – Merle Holden hired as Manager.
1993:   Major flooding of the Mississippi puts many meters under water.
1998:   July 27 – Worst windstorm in VEC history knocks power out from Stoddard to Cashton.  Linemen work for 4 ½ days to restore everyone’s power.
2001:   Mike McMahon hired as Manager to replace the retiring Merle Holden.
The Mississippi River reaches 16.41 feet at La Crosse causing damage and outages along the river. 
2003:   Installation of automated meter reading (AMR) begins and was completed in 2005.
2007:   August 18-19 & 21-24. Some of the worst flooding ever seen in our service area. New record for August rainfall. Widespread outages, some lasting up to 3 ½ days due to wind, flooding, lightning, down trees, washed out underground lines. Restoration efforts hampered by washed out roads, down trees & flooding. Crews from Riverland Energy, Adams-Columbia, Oakdale, Scenic Rivers and Richland Electric Cooperatives aided in the recovery.
2009:   June 26th Vernon Electric Closes the doors at their Main St. office and out-buildings in Westby and moves to its new headquarters at the intersection of Hwy. 27 and Saugstad Rd.
2010:   Mike McMahon retires as General Manager on May 17th and is replaced by Joe McDonald on June 1st. 
2014:   March 3 - SmartHub application introduced to allow members online access to their account using a computer, mobile tablet or smart phone.
2014:   June 1 - First Community Solar project completed in Wisconsin energized at VEC's headquarters. 1,001 panels owned by 113 members rated at 305 KW output at full capacity.

 

Stats in ten-year increments
Year Miles of Lines # of Members kWh Used/ Member/Mo. kWh Sold Total Assets
1938 423 903 33 360,283 $532,696
1948 1160 3760 192 8,657,965 $1,461,925
1958 1455 4689 593 33,418,107 $2,834,201
1968 1597 5352 917 58,595,407 $8,503,877
1978 1809 7128 1377 116,200,240 $10,440,648
1988 1890 7847 1277 119,455,390 $17,531,493
1998 1943 8931 1157 122,611,558 $26,805,415
2008 2095 10,828 1127 146,168,395 $43,596,804

 

Together We Save