Section 1. Requirements for Membership
Any person, firm, association, corporation, limited liability company, partnership, business trust, body politic, or subdivision thereof will become a member of the Corporation (hereinafter called the “Cooperative”) upon receipt of services from the Cooperative, if he, she, or it has first:
- Made application for membership therein; (b) Agreed to purchase from the Cooperative services as hereinafter specified; (c) Agreed to comply with and be bound by the Articles of Incorporation and bylaws of the Cooperative, the membership agreement and all rules, regulations, or policies adopted by the Board of Directors.
Section 2. Joint Memberships
Unless specified as an individual membership by the person applying for membership, all membership applications shall be construed, if signed by the husband, as a Joint membership application with the wife, and if signed by the wife, shall be construed to be a joint membership application with the husband. Upon acceptance of such application by the Cooperative, either the husband or wife, but not both, shall be entitled to all privileges of such membership. A married person may apply for an individual membership only for a single meter or, if more than one meter is involved, the married person’s spouse may apply for an individual membership for any additional meter, but there may not be two memberships for one meter.
Section 3. Death or Divorce of Spouses
Upon the death of either spouse, who is a party to such joint membership, the membership shall be held solely by the survivor. Where there is a joint membership, upon the dissolution of the marriage by divorce, the membership shall be held by the party continuing to use the electric service at the applicable meter.
Section 4. Notice to Joint Members
When a joint membership exists, notice given to either spouse, pursuant to these bylaws, shall constitute notice to both spouses; however, if each spouse is a member by having an individual membership, each spouse shall receive all notices required by these bylaws. Nothing in this section is meant to remove or reduce any individual’s rights under the Red Flag Privacy Regulations of the United States Government.
Section 5. Transfer of Membership
A membership in the Cooperative cannot be transferred by a member to any other person, firm, association, corporation, body politic, or subdivision thereof, except an individual membership shall be transferred to a joint membership if the individual marries after applying for membership.
Section 6. Membership Fees
- The membership fee shall accompany the first application for service connection, but each member shall have only one membership and no additional membership fee shall be required for subsequent service connections. This membership fee shall be reasonable, within the limits of good business application, and shall be in such amount as shall be determined by resolution of the directors from time to time.
- In case of withdrawal or termination of membership in any manner, the Cooperative shall repay to the member the amount of the membership paid by him, provided, however, that the Cooperative shall deduct from the amount of the membership fee the amount of any debts or obligations owed by the member to the Cooperative.
Section 7. Purchase of Services
Amounts paid, for electric, communications, or other utility-like service supplied directly by the Cooperative to members of the Cooperative (sometimes referred to herein jointly or separately as “Service” or “Services”) in excess of the cost of such Service, excluding amounts paid for products or services supplied by subsidiaries, joint ventures, or affiliates of the Cooperative, are furnished by members as patronage capital, and each member shall be credited with the patronage capital, so furnished, as provided in these bylaws. Each member shall pay to the Cooperative such minimum amount per month for Service as shall be fixed by the Board from time to time. Each member shall also pay all amounts owed by him to the Cooperative as and when the same shall become due and payable.
Except for electric energy generated by a member-owned generation unit, pursuant to the rules or policies adopted from time to time by the board, every member that resides or is located in the electric service territory of the Cooperative shall purchase from the Cooperative all the electric energy used at the premises specified in the membership application.
When the member is provided more than one service from the Cooperative, any payment, to the Cooperative of an amount less than the outstanding charges for the Services, shall be credited to the member’s outstanding accounts pursuant to policies and practices to be established by the Board.
Section 8. Cooperation of the Members
The cooperation of members of the Cooperative is imperative for the safe, successful, efficient, and economical operation of the Cooperative. Applicable state and federal codes and standards may require the Cooperative, from time to time, to repair, replace, or relocate its service lines. This may require a different or larger footprint than what was originally required.
Members, who are receiving or who request to receive Services, shall be deemed to have consented to the rate classifications, as determined by the Cooperative, and to the reasonable use of their real property to construct, reconstruct, operate, maintain, repair, replace, relocate, or change the way the Cooperative’s Services are delivered to a member. This may require the relocation or enlargement of the existing footprint for the electric and communications lines, overhead or underground, including all conduit, cables, wires, surface testing terminals, markers, and other appurtenances under, through, across, and upon any real property or interest therein owned or leased or controlled by said member for the furnishing of such Service to the member or any other member at no cost to the Cooperative.
When requested by the Cooperative, the member shall be required, as a condition of Service, to execute any consent, easement, right-of-way contract, or other instrument necessary, so the Services can continue to be furnished at the present or future time by the Cooperative to the member.
Further, the member shall be deemed to have consented to allow vegetation management and tree trimming service, required for the provision of reliable and safe communications and electric service, and the member shall be deemed to have consented to permit the Cooperative to enter onto the member’s property and perform reasonable vegetation management and tree trimming work.
If a member’s agent or representative provides any written or oral authorization, consent, or direction to the Cooperative, with regard to any manner, method, means, or location of the Cooperative’s equipment for the purposes of providing present or future Services to the member, the Cooperative may rely on such written or oral authorization, consent, or direction, the same as if it had been provided by the member.
Section 9. Property Interest of Members
Upon an involuntary dissolution or a voluntary dissolution, after an affirmative vote of dissolution by ⅔ of the members and after:
- All debts and liabilities of the Cooperative shall have been paid, and
- All capital furnished, through members, shall have been retired as provided in these Bylaws
The remaining property and assets of the Cooperative shall be distributed amongst the members and former members in the proportion to which the aggregate remaining property of each bears to the total remaining property of all members during the 10 years next preceding the date of the filing of the certificate of dissolution.
Section 10. Non-Liability for Debts of the Cooperative
The private property of the members of the Cooperative shall be exempt from execution for the debts of the Cooperative, and no member shall be individually liable or responsible for any debts or liabilities of the Cooperative.
Section 11. Expulsion of Members
The directors of the Cooperative may, by the affirmation vote of not less than ⅔ of the members thereof, expel any member, who shall have violated or refused to comply with any of the provisions of the Articles of Incorporation of the Cooperative, the bylaws, membership agreement, or other rules, regulations, or policies adopted from time to time by the Cooperative. Any member, so expelled, may be reinstated as a member by a vote of the members at any annual or special meeting of the members. The action of the members with respect to any such reinstatement shall be final.
Section 12. Withdrawal of Membership
Any member may withdraw from membership upon payment in full of all debts and liabilities of such member to the Cooperative and upon compliance with such terms and conditions as the directors may prescribe.
Section 13. Transfer & Termination of Membership
- Membership in the Cooperative and a certificate representing the same shall not be transferable, except as hereinafter otherwise provided, and upon the death, cessation of existence, or expulsion or withdrawal of a member, the membership of such member shall thereupon terminate, and the certificate of membership of such member shall be surrendered forthwith to the Cooperative. Termination of membership, in any manner, shall not release the member or his estate from any debts or liabilities of such member to the Cooperative.
- A membership may be transferred by a member to himself or herself and his or her spouse, as the case may be, jointly, upon the written request of such member and compliance by such husband and wife, jointly, with the provisions of subdivisions (b) and (c) of Section 1 of this Article. Such transfer shall be made and recorded on the books of the Cooperative, and such joint membership noted on the original certificate representing the membership so transferred.