For the first time in recent memory, the annual general meeting of Twin Valley Co-op on April 2 in Elkhorn saw over 90 people present, similar to the crowd that turned out last fall to protest the planned closure of the Home Store and Gas Bar.
In an interview General Manager Dwayne Moncur stated, “I don’t know that I’ve ever seen that many at an AGM, since I’ve been here.”
Business included voting on newboard members.
Thinking there were three positions to be filled on the board, Elkhorn members Margaret Walker and Mark Humphries were in the running.
Humphries said later, “We found Margaret and I were against each other. It was the first time for a vote in a number of years,” said Humphries.
Denis Lachapelle sits as the Elkhorn representative and Humphries was elected to an “at large” position. “So if nothing else,” said Humphries, “Elkhorn showed its strength with people wanting to get involved.”
New board member, Kendal Heise from Isabella replaces Trevor Clark for the Miniota area.
Also new is Manley Mackadenski from Rossburn who was sworn in at a later time.
“The fellow he took over for hadn’t sent us his resignation until Friday (following AGM date),” says Moncur, adding that Mackadenski took the oath of office at a planning session on Friday.
“We’re still looking for one board member,” says the manager, indicating an area west of Russell where NH3 bulk fertilizer product is located needs representation.
Last fall, TV management and board decided not to close any retail space in Elkhorn, and Moncur sounds optimistic about Elkhorn’s future.
“The food store looks awesome. The staff have done a good job. We’re getting good feedback.
We’ve seen some increases.”
A cost cutting measure was implemented after last fall’s community meeting. Sunday service at the Home Centre & Gas Bar was closed.
At the AGM, revenue at that location was shown to be down 3.8 per cent.
Humphries said, “We’ve just come through the worst couple of months of weather… people haven’t been able to go out and do those projects, probably, that need hardware, that sort of stuff you would normally buy.”
By April 15, Moncur reported, “We’re seeing some numbers increase at the Home Centre as well.”
He says that a more pro-active approach to marketing in the Elkhorn area, including making contact with customers, is paying off.
The food centre has 56 feet of added shelving to accommodate stock. They now offer some small appliances - product that does become dated easily.
For the home centre, he says they have moved out items that don’t sell and have narrowed their choice of paints to the most popular brand.
In Miniota the grocery store is holding its own. Moncur says the farm and lumber outlet at Miniota “is like a lot of other ones, it’s suffering.”
However, the crop input centre “with the seed plant in there, it’s really doing well.”
Qualified TV members will be receiving their equity checks any day. They’ve been mailed.