The smallest of Ohio’s electric cooperatives with just over 4,400 members, Tricounty Rural Electric Cooperative is a nimble, lean machine. Manager Brett Perkins leads a team of 10 employees who are well practiced at wearing multiple hats, filling in wherever needed, and answering the call for all hands on deck. Although the name suggests otherwise, Tricounty serves members in five counties: Henry, Fulton, Wood, Putnam, and Lucas. The cooperative office is located in Malinta in Henry County, which was named for founding father Patrick Henry, often remembered for his passionate declaration, “Give me liberty or give me death!”
Away from the hubbub, but not too far away
The area has a rich agricultural history and enjoys a rural setting while benefiting from close proximity to Toledo and to Lake Erie, making for easy day trips. The Toledo Zoo, the Toledo Museum of Art, and the National Museum of the Great Lakes are popular destinations in this area of the state.
Maumee State Forest, the only state forest in northwest Ohio, is partly located in Tricounty’s territory. The park maintains trails for horseback riding, hiking, snowmobiling, and all-purpose vehicles. A popular pastime in spring is morel mushroom hunting. Careful and methodic hunting in the area can uncover these hidden treasures that are easily identified by their completely hollow body and their honeycomb-textured caps. They have a nutty, meaty flavor and can’t be cultivated — foraging is the only way to snag a bag of the coveted fungi.
Small but mighty
The small size of the cooperative may create challenges, but there are benefits as well, including personalized service and the ability to react quickly to unexpected situations. The small-town, in-person culture shows its worth. Dedication to reliability and affordability has contributed to Tricounty’s excellent customer satisfaction rating — the highest in the state among its peers.
Tricounty celebrates National Family Month in June by holding a prize giveaway drawing for its members. In 2019, the cooperative gave away family four-packs of tickets to nearby attractions, such as the Toledo Zoo and Aquarium, Sauder Village, and a Toledo Mud Hens baseball game. Last year, the cooperative gave away at-home activities for families to do together. Additionally, the cooperative awards scholarships to select high school seniors and sends a deserving student on the electric cooperative Youth Tour to Washington, D.C.