When the latest issue of The Nodak Neighbor lands in your mailbox, I hope it finds you and your family safe and healthy. Since the last issue, we’ve been busy responding to the pandemic and issues related to COVID-19. The pandemic has changed how we interact with each other and how we conduct business but, rest assured, we are here to meet your needs.
Electric power providers are for obvious reasons considered critical infrastructure and, as such, our employees are essential workers. So, in some ways it’s been business as usual for us but in a not-so-usual kind of way. We have taken numerous steps to protect our employees and our members while doing what we need to do to keep your lights on.
In March, we closed the doors to the cooperative but kept the cooperative open for business. Almost any business our members need to do with us can be accomplished at www.nodakelectric.com, through SmartHub, or by calling our office at 701-746-4461 or 1-800-732-4373. We are here to help you transact your business electronically or over the phone and, if needed, we’ll schedule an in-person appointment when it’s safe to do so.
Throughout this crisis, we have found a way to keep all our full-time employees productive and working for you, while doing what we can to minimize any potential exposure to the COVID-19 virus. Some employees have been working remotely, some have been physically separated, while others have essentially been isolating in their offices. Our line crews have been separated into nine functional but physically separated groups to maximize our ability to accomplish our main priority: to safely keep the lights on for our member-owners. We encourage you to call us with questions or visit our website to conduct your business electronically. While the doors to the cooperative are temporarily closed, we are very much open for business and stand ready to provide the service you need.
As you already know, we made the decision early on to postpone our annual meeting. At the time, there weren’t any prohibitions on large gatherings, but we felt it wasn’t prudent to put that many of you all in one room. We are closely monitoring the current situation and have been working toward having an annual meeting sometime later this year. We will let you know when we feel the time is right. Until then, stay safe and healthy. I really look forward to the day when we can come together for a cup of coffee and a friendly handshake.