REC announces move to Ahoskie

Published 12:00 am Monday, August 27, 2007

RICH SQUARE – It’s official.

After months of speculation, Roanoke Electric Cooperative (REC) will be moving from its longtime home located at 409 N. Main Street in Rich Square to a more modern facility that will be constructed near Ahoskie.

At its July meeting, members of the Ahoskie Town Council approved moving forward with a request for a voluntary satellite annexation of a 32.5 acre parcel located off NC 561 west of town. It was noted at that meeting if the sufficiency of that request is substantiated by the town clerk, it will open the door for REC to locate a portion of its business on a portion of that property.

The property is currently owned by Stuart Pierce Farms, Inc. of Ahoskie. Mr. Pierce made the formal request to the town for annexation. The 32.5 acres, currently being used as farmland, is situated between two adjacent businesses (Hog Slat and G&S Sales) located on NC 561. According to Ahoskie Town Clerk Evelyn Howard, neither of those businesses will be incorporated into the satellite annexation.

On Monday, two days following their annual Co-op meeting, REC officials issued a press release concerning the move from Rich Square to Ahoskie.

The press release said the age of the existing facility, occupied by the cooperative since 1951, and the demands to provide superior service are the drivers for this new endeavor.

“The Co-op needs to upgrade to a more state-of-the-art facility in order to adequately serve its members,” says Curtis Wynn, REC’s Executive Vice President & CEO.

Roanoke Electric has purchased over 17 acres of land less than a mile west of the intersection of NC 11 and 561 highways. Oakley Collier Architects, P.A. has been hired to design the building.

REC wants to upgrade to a new facility, but keeping cost as low as possible is top priority.

The new site was chosen after an extensive analysis to find a location that met REC’s requirement of 15 to 20 acres of reasonably priced land, free of the threat of flooding and draining issues, had water and sewer access and provided access to a major highway for accessibility to the cooperative’s members, suppliers and employees.

The new site is centrally located in the cooperative’s service area which provides significant operational efficiencies for serving the entire membership.

Roanoke is the electric service provider for the site and nearby commercial properties.

As economic development is a major concern, Roanoke’s presence at the location may enhance the recruitment of additional commercial clients, which provides additional growth for the cooperative’s system.

After the move to Ahoskie, the existing headquarters will not go unused.

The Cooperative’s two subsidiary companies, The Roanoke Center and Roanoke Energy Resources Inc, will remain in Rich Square. This building will continue to operate as a payment collection center for those members who wish to continue to make payments in Rich Square. The additional space at the Roanoke Center and Roanoke Energy Resources, Inc. will provide significant opportunities and room for growth, which will expand REC’s outreach into the community.

Roanoke Electric should be securing a contractor for this project in the fall and construction should begin the first part of 2008.

The plan is to be in the new facility during the latter part of 2008 or first part of 2009.

Roanoke Electric’s Board of Directors and staff look forward to serving the members in the new facility and will work to make the transition from Rich Square to Ahoskie as seamless as possible.