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PIE&G Board Meeting Rescheduled to Feb. 21

The February PIE&G board meeting will take place on Wednesday, February 21. The meeting will start at 9:30 a.m.

Communities First Fund Board Awards $12K in Grants

Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op members continue to generously assist area community organizations and individuals through the voluntary round up of their electric and natural gas billings.  Member contributions to the Communities First Fund provide funds for grants and scholarships in their local communities within the PIE&G service area.  At their December meeting, the PIE&G Communities First Fund board of directors awarded $12,000 in grants to the recipients below.

Cheboygan County

Straits Area Service Inc. ($2,000) - Straits Area Service, Inc. (SAS) is a non-profit organization serving individuals with disabilities since 1976. SAS was awarded funds for their Community Integration Project, and plans to purchase a 12-14 passenger bus to transport clients so they may participate in local programs related to the arts, culinary, adult enrichment, and for work and volunteering opportunities.

Montmorency County

Montmorency County Commission on Aging ($5,000) – the Montmorency County Commission on Aging (MCCOA) was awarded funds to assist in kitchen upgrades at the Senior Centers in Atlanta and Hillman.  At the Atlanta Senior Center, funds will be used to purchase a natural gas range and oven with 10 burners.  A dishwasher will be purchased at the Hillman Senior Center. These Centers offer congregate dine-in nutrition services four days per week and home delivered meals seven days a week.  A total of 36,882 meals were prepared in 2017.

Presque Isle County

Great Lakes Lore Maritime Museum, Inc.  ($1,000) -  Funds were awarded toward the purchase of a suitable trailer to haul the historical, one-of-a-kind “Steam Launch” steam engine. The twenty-four foot long Steam Launch dates back to the early 1900’s and is one of only three known to have been built. The GLL Maritime Museum transports the Steam Launch to local parades, shows, and festivals. The new trailer will ensure that the Steam Launch can be towed safely for display at these events. The trailer will also allow the engine to be launched into the water for demonstrations.

Peace Lutheran Church (1,000) - The Peace Lutheran Church (PLC) received funds for their Peace Hygiene Project, which serves about 42 individuals each month. The Peace Hygiene Project stocks personal hygiene items for those in need in the community. Funds will be used to purchase shampoo, bar soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, toilet paper, laundry soap, and dish soap.

 Rogers City Community Theatre, Inc. ($3,000) - The Roger City Community Theatre (RCCT) is a non-profit, volunteer run organization committed to enriching the lives of northeast Michigan residents and its visitors through entertainment. The RCCT grant will support the production of ‘Shrek - The Musical’.  The Shrek script allows for casting of actors from 14 to 99 years of age, and was chosen to help renew the RCCT’s commitment to reaching people of all ages. 

Three Northeast MI Charities Receive $10K in Grants from PIE&G and CoBank

The Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op Board of Directors recently approved $5,000 in grants as part of its annual participation in Co-Bank’s matching grant program, “Sharing Success”.  PIE&G’s board selected three recipients to share in the $10,000 grant.  According to Tom Sobeck, President and CEO of PIE&G, “This partnership has allowed us to bring much needed funds into our local communities to organizations that are best suited to identify members who are desperately in need.” The three organizations receiving funds are:

 Cheboygan County $5,000

Together Lifting Children (TLC) is a ministry of St. Thomas Evangelical Lutheran Church in Cheboygan. The mission of TLC is to insure that every Cheboygan Area Schools student has their basic physical needs met for clothing and personal hygiene to enable them to interact in comfort and with dignity so they can focus on studies and develop more positively with their peers. The budget is $100 per student.

Montmorency County $2,500

The Full Gospel Assembly of God (Atlanta) for the Family Ministry Food Pantry in Lewiston which supplies food for those in need.  Although the pantry has been open for over twenty years, the number of households served doubled in 2017.  Funds will be used to purchase shelf stable canned goods and frozen fruits and meats.

Presque Isle County $2,500

The Rogers City Lions Club (RCLC) partnered with the Lions of Michigan Foundation and other local organizations and individuals to establish a weekend food backpack program for needy children in the Rogers City Elementary School.  Working through the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan to ensure consistency and balanced nutrition, the program feeds 24 children every weekend of the school year at a cost of $100 per child.

CoBank, a non-profit, cooperative bank that PIE&G uses and is a member of, matches contributions by its cooperative members to charitable organizations of their choice on a dollar-for-dollar basis up to $5,000.  CoBank requires that the charitable organization is established as a non-profit under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Service code, the donation serves a public purpose and is consistent with the program’s purpose and guidelines.  For more information about CoBank, visit the bank's web site at

Cleaner Energy for Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op Members

PIE&G members will have cleaner energy in 2018 as Wolverine Power Cooperative in Cadillac, announced that 56 percent of the power it provides is now carbon free.  Wolverine, PIE&G’s power supplier, entered into a new long-term contract for zero-emission energy that significantly reduces emissions from carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides, and also helps ensure that power remains cost-competitive and reliable for years to come.

The new carbon-free energy comes in addition to Wolverine’s current solar, wind, and hydro energy assets, which provide 20% of members’ power. Wolverine and its member co-ops lead Michigan utilities with the highest percentage of new renewable energy, exceeding both present and anticipated state portfolio requirements. Among these renewable assets is more than 150 megawatts of recently added wind and solar energy, including the construction of SpartanSolar—Northern Michigan’s largest solar array.

“Our members choose to live and vacation in northern Michigan in part, because of its beauty and natural resources. They care deeply about cutting their carbon footprint,” said Tom Sobeck, PIE&G President & CEO. “We’re proud to be a leader in our state towards a more sustainable future.”

About Wolverine Power Cooperative:

Wolverine is a generation and transmission cooperative serving the wholesale power supply and transmission needs of seven member-owners: Cherryland Electric Cooperative (Grawn); Great Lakes Energy (Boyne City); HomeWorks Tri-County Electric Cooperative (Portland); Midwest Energy Cooperative (Cassopolis); Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op (Onaway); Spartan Renewable Energy (Cadillac); and Wolverine Power Marketing Cooperative (Cadillac). Learn more by visiting

Now Accepting Youth Tour Applications

Youth Tour teaches students of Michigan about their past—and helps equip them with the skills they need to be Michigan’s next generation of energy-minded leaders. This is a once-in-a-lifetime, all-expenses-paid leadership travel opportunity for high school sophomores and juniors (going into their junior or senior year this summer) and is sponsored by Michigan’s electric cooperatives. From the battlefields of Gettysburg to the halls of Congress in Washington, D.C., the program explores the leadership lessons of our nation’s history and will immerse students in the cooperative spirit. 

Youth Tour offers a unique opportunity to build leadership and public speaking skills, enhance students? knowledge of the cooperative form of business, and build life-long friendships with other student-leaders from across the country.

Youth Tour applications accepted between now and Feb. 28. The trip will take place June 10-15, 2018.

Trip Highlights Include:

  • Visit the Gettysburg Civil War battlefields
  • See Fort McHenry, birthplace of “The Star Spangled Banner”
  • Explore the Washington, D.C. monuments and memorials
  • Attend a world-class theater performance
  • Explore the museums of the Smithsonian Institution
  • Pay respects at Arlington National Cemetery
  • Meet with Michigan Senators and Congressmen
  • And much, much more

Visit to learn more and for an online application.

Youth tour participants on a cruise

Adventures For Rural Veterans- Apply By Feb. 28

As far as Michigan's electric Cooperatives are concerned, there should be “No Barriers” to veterans with disabilities. That’s the name—and the idea—behind Co-Bank’s No Barriers initiative. Designed to help veterans with disabilities transform their lives through curriculum-based experience in challenging environments (think: climbing, rafting and hiking), the program takes place over a five-day expedition in Colorado. As the program sponsor, CoBank will cover the full cost, including travel expenses, for each veteran.

Michigan's cooperatives, along with other eligible CoBank borrowers, are invited to nominate veterans from our local community to participate in the No Barriers program. So we are reaching out to you!

If you are a veteran, or you know of a veteran in our community who would like to participate in the No Barriers program, please complete this form to express interest by Feb. 28.


Approximately 400 people attended Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op’s 80ᵗʰ Annual Membership Meeting at the Posen High School today. According to Board Chairman John Brown, "The annual meeting is a perfect example of our cooperative principles in action. Cooperatives are democratic organizations controlled by their members. Members have equal voting rights – one member, one vote."

Each year elections are held by PIE&G for three (3) positions on the Board of Directors. After all votes were counted, the successful candidates winning election to three-year terms are: John F. Brown (Cheboygan District), Charles Arbour (Montmorency District), and Allan Berg (Presque Isle District). Below is the list of candidates and the number of votes each candidate received.

Cheboygan District: John F. Brown 993*
Jack Douglas 303
Dawn Drolshagen 266
Montmorency District: Charles Arbour 492*
Donald Edwards 483
David Guest 268
Dennis Smith 331
Presque Isle District: Allan Berg 1,120*
Greg Diller 467

Immediately following the meeting, the board of directors held their election of officers and the results are as follows: Chairman – John F. Brown; Vice-Chairman – Allan Berg; Secretary – Sandy Borowicz, and Treasurer – Daryl Peterson. In other business, members heard reports from the cooperative’s auditor and Chief Executive Officer. The winner of the prize raffle for voting by mail was Mr. Jeff Whitsitt of Millersburg.

Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op provides electricity and natural gas service to approximately 42,500 members across nine counties in northeast Michigan. PIE&G’s headquarters is in Onaway.

VFW men with flags

PIE&G Communities First Fund Awards $7,450 in Grants

Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op members continue to generously assist area community organizations and individuals through the voluntary round up of their electric and natural gas billings.  Member contributions to the Communities First Fund provide funds for grants and scholarships in their local communities within the PIE&G service area. 

At their June meeting, the PIE&G Communities First Fund board of directors finalized awards of $7,450 in grants to the recipients listed below.

Cheboygan County

Cheboygan Area High School ($2,000.00):  to purchase new equipment for the Wood Working Technology classroom to help to provide a safe working environment for students. The program is intended to develop and enhance student skills, as well as build lifelong confidence from individual accomplishments. The trade skills and knowledge gained may lead to valuable future employment opportunities.

Cheboygan Hockey Association ($1,200.00):  to establish an ongoing need based scholarship program. The program will help reduce the financial strain associated with the costs of participation in the sport for those who demonstrate financial need. The need-based scholarship will help hockey athletes by providing an opportunity to build confidence, pride, focus, and personal responsibility through participation in the sport.

Presque Isle County

Onaway United Methodist Church ($1,500.00):  to purchase items to restock the Caring Closet. The Caring Closet exists to help people in the community who are in need of items that cannot be purchased by food stamps (laundry detergent, hygiene items, toiletries, etc.). These items are not food, can be expensive, and there is often a shortage of money within the household.

Rogers City Area Schools ($1,250.00):  to purchase technology (twenty-five 7 inch “Fire” computer tablets) for the second grade students. The tablets will allow students to use current technology to help broaden their learning abilities in reading, writing, math, and science.  

United Way of Northeast Michigan ($1,500.00): to purchase supplies for the “Presque Isle County Project Connect” event in October. The grant will be used to purchase food and personal hygiene products that are provided to attendees. Approximately two-hundred to three-hundred people are expected to receive services and donated items at the event.

Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op provides electric and natural gas service to more than 42,000 member-owners, and serves a nine county area across northeast Michigan. PIE&G headquarters is located in Onaway. 

Line Workers Across the Nation Assisting With Hurricane Restoration Efforts

Shortly after Hurricane Harvey flooded Houston and surrounding areas in Texas, within a week, Hurricane Irma struck, leaving millions without power in Florida and Georgia. Electric cooperatives from across the nation answered the call to action. Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op linemen joined a group of 30 other co-op linemen from Michigan who packed up and headed south on Tuesday to meet up with other co-op relief personnel. 

The Michigan team included PIE&G, Cherryland, Midwest, Ontonagon, Thumb, Alger Delta, Great Lakes Energy and HomeWorks. The initial plan was for them to assist two cooperatives in South-central Georgia - Irwin EMC and Middle Georgia EMC. However, mutual aid crews from Michigan, Tennessee, Missouri and Kansas are now returning home after word came late on Wednesday from Georgia’s statewide electric cooperative association that they were not needed. The crews from Michigan were headed back home Wednesday after lodging overnight in Tennessee. 

Our thoughts remain with all those affected by these recent historic hurricanes.

Restoring The Great Lakes Lighthouses

Scattered along Michigan’s shoreline and numbering over 200 at their peak, the Great Lakes lighthouses once served as a beacon of hope to the weary seafarer. Today only 124 lights still stand, many in desperate need of repair. Enter the Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association (GLLKA).

Founded in 1983, the GLLKA’s mission of preserving lighthouses and the stories of those who kept them while fostering a new generation of preservationists came to life when given license to restore St. Helena Island Light Station in 1986.

Built in 1873 off the coast of St. Ignace, constant exposure to the elements left St. Helena vulnerable. Abandoned, she endured years of vandalism and theft requiring the removal of several outbuildings. What remained of the station continued deteriorating.

Before arrangements were made for the complete demolition of the structure, members from GLLKA requested permission to restore St. Helena. With the help of countless volunteers including Boy Scout Troop 4 from Ann Arbor, St. Helena slowly came back to life.

Inspiring awe and admiration from thousands of guests each year, the original restoration project began nearly three decades ago. While the threat of theft and vandalism have declined, the elements continue taking a toll. Fortunately, GLLKA volunteers are committed for the long haul, tirelessly maintaining the facility for another generation to enjoy.

In the meantime, GLLKA President Rick Mixter offers guidance and support to groups wanting to preserve lights in their region. In some cases he can even find old blueprints, making the renovation a true labor of love for those involved in restoring these facilities to their original glory.

Today Great Lakes lighthouses are towering symbols of strength and resilience, often shouldering a much deeper meaning to guests who visit each year. “They brought lost mariners home,” explained Mixter. “They represent hope, and we all need a little of that.”

St Helena Lighthouse


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