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Posted: July 23, 2013 9:51 p.m.

Snapping Shoals celebrates 75

Snapping Shoals EMC will celebrate 75 years of bringing power and electricity to homes and businesses in Newton, Rockdale and beyond at the annual shareholders’ meeting on Thursday at the Georgia International Horse Park in Conyers.

Registration opens at 8:30 a.m. and closes at 11:30 a.m. The business portion of the meeting gets underway at 11:30 a.m. The first 2,000 members to register will receive a commemorative galvanized bucket with a special 75th anniversary logo. The shareholders will also vote on the board of directors. This year, there are no opposition candidates.

SSEMC began with the creation of Snapping Shoals Power and Light Company on June 29, 1936. President Franklin Roosevelt had just signed an executive order the year before creating the Rural Electrification Administration, which provided low-interest loans to bring electricity to rural areas that were not profitable for existing power companies to serve.

Five local men received a loan of $90,000 to construct 90 miles of line for serving 270 consumers in Rockdale, Newton and Henry counties. The original headquarters was located at Snapping Shoals, an area on the South River between Newton and Henry counties, where a small electric generating facility was located. The first power lines were energized in November 1937.

The very first shareholders’ meeting was held July 27, 1938 at the Newton County Courthouse in Covington. In 1938 Snapping Shoals Power and Light became Snapping Shoals Electric Membership Corporation, a consumer-owned, non-profit cooperative, and the headquarters moved to Covington. Snapping Shoals grew rapidly as a cooperative, slowing only during World War II.

Today, the co-op serves about 95,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in an eight-county area southeast of Atlanta, including Rockdale, Henry, Newton, DeKalb, Butts, Walton, Jasper and Morgan counties. Its headquarters is now at 14750 Brown Bridge Road in Newton County, with a branch office on Fairview Road in Henry County.

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