La Plata Electric Association is seeking members, or former members, who are due to receive Capital Credits refund monies.
To that end LPEA is publishing in local newspapers, and posting on its website, www.lpea.coop, a public notice naming those individuals or businesses whose Capital Credit money (aka patronage capital) has gone unclaimed because of an invalid address, or whose Capital Credit checks have not been cashed.
The Unclaimed Capital Credits insert will appear in the Pine River Times on Friday, Feb. 9; in the Durango Herald Weekend Edition, Feb. 10-11; and the Pagosa Springs Sun on Thursday, Feb. 15. The notice is also now posted on the LPEA website.
"This is money that belongs to our members," said Dennis Svanes, LPEA chief financial officer, explaining that electricity payments made by members in excess of the cost of providing their electric service (called the "margin") is placed into a patronage capital account in each member's name. "This capital, along with borrowed funds, is used to finance needed improvements to LPEA's system infrastructure. The margins allow LPEA to maintain system reliability at its highest level and help keep rates lower. But when we find we have patronage capital in excess of what we need, we refund it to members."
Annually, the LPEA board of directors determines the amount of patronage capital retired, and most retired capital is typically refunded to members in the November-December billing cycle through billing credits. Checks are issued to those due to receive $100 or more. Since incorporation in 1939, LPEA has retired nearly $65 million.
To claim funds, individuals and businesses noting their names on the public notice are asked to contact LPEA's Durango office, 45 Stewart St., Bodo Industrial Park, or call 247-5786. Identification will be required to claim the available funds.
Should individuals or businesses listed in the public notice not come forward to receive their funds, the unclaimed monies will be used for educational or charitable purposes as determined by the LPEA board of directors, as set forth in the LPEA Bylaws. Unclaimed Capital Credit funds currently support LPEA's annual scholarships, as well as contribute to educational and non-profit community projects in La Plata and Archuleta counties.