HEMC series intended to answer public’s questions
Wed, 07/12/2017 - 12:05am NortheastG1
As we’ve stated before, Habersham Electric Membership Corp. (HEMC) has long been a part of the Habersham County community – 79 years exactly – since July 25, 1938.
In the years since HEMC started stringing wire and bringing electrical power to homes and farms, HEMC’s importance has solidified. But in the intervening years, while HEMC remains a strong community partner, how its business is conducted has become veiled, prompting membership and regional questions, most unanswered. Some of the questions have been brought before The Northeast Georgian to be answered.
As the county’s legal organ, it’s our job to take into consideration readers’ and community concerns, and to answer questions to which they alone can’t obtain responsive answers.
The mission of Community Newspapers Inc., as sister newspapers in the region have helped contribute to the series, is not to attack HEMC, but bring to light information members of the organization are rightfully owed. As HEMC serves six Northeast Georgia counties, the number of members – and questions – is only magnified.
Please remember this is an informative series, meant in no way to reflect poorly on HEMC employees, especially the remarkably dedicated linemen crews. When the weather’s bad, the road frozen and lightning storms are popping, we greatly appreciate our linemen leaving the safety of their own home to provide us the security of having electricity.
But again, we must be mindful that this local utility is a membership organization and a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. HEMC is important to Northeast Georgia.
As such, your local newspapers are exploring what the membership utility does, how it compares to some sister EMCs and to private utilities. We’re also examining HEMC is moving into the fiber optic broadband business, an area not within its mission statement, but nonetheless a service needed by local residents and businesses, just as electricity was needed for economic development 79 years ago.
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