Prairie Sky, Milestone Co-ops approve merger

The members of the Prairie Sky Co-operative Association and the Milestone Co-operative Association have voted in favour of amalgamation, after two meetings were held for voting on the proposal.
The first meeting was held on Wednesday evening in Milestone, attended by 65 members, and a second meeting was held in Weyburn on Thursday evening with 30 members, said general manager Don Kraft.
The vote from the Milestone meeting approved amalgamation by 87 per cent, while at the Weyburn meeting, 100 per cent of those present voted in favour.
The amalgamation will take effect on Jan. 29, 2017, the start of the Co-op’s fiscal year, and Milestone will continue to operate as they are until that time.
For members of the Prairie Sky Co-op, their numbers will be able to be use in Milestone once the amalgamation takes effect.
For the Milestone members, their numbers will be changed with a “6” numeral added to the start of the member number so there will be no conflicts with members already in Prairie Sky Co-op.
At the meetings, Kraft and board members went through information, such as changes in the industry that made amalgamations like this one and with Beaubier necessary.
“Smaller Co-ops are facing competition from multi-national companies, and the benefits in consolidating our operations will allow us to continue competitively,” said Kraft, noting the co-operatives are able to realize savings with one administration office for the Co-op locations, and there will be no reduction in staff members in Milestone.
Asked if any Co-ops in other area towns might be considered for amalgamation in the future, Kraft said there are currently no negotiations underway with any other co-operative association, but the board is receptive to discussing any requests that might be made.

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