Three incumbent members of the Beartooth Electric Cooperative, a member of the umbrella Southern Electric Generation and Transmission Cooperative, were unseated by three challengers during an annual meeting attended by 460 members in Roberts on Saturday.
In a reorganization meeting that followed the vote, the board members who opposed the previous majority swept most of the board’s key offices, according to holdover board member Arleen Boyd. She said prior to the election, she typically lost on 4-2 votes, with only Roxie Milton joining her.
The changed makeup of the board could alter the co-op’s support for the proposed Phase 2 of the Highwood Generating Station natural-gas-fired power plant east of Great Falls, since the challengers previously questioned the need for a second phase at this time.
The change in the Beartooth board majority could lead to a 3-to-3 split among members of SME, which is developing the power plant. Great Falls’ Electric City Power also is a member of SME, though it has sued to leave the umbrella co-op.