Dear Barton County Electric Members, 3/21/20
As we all deal with the new realities brought on by the coronavirus, I want to assure you that your electric cooperative is here to help you. We have always had an Emergency Plan that has served us well in a variety of circumstances, from ice storms to tornadoes to flash floods. Early in this crisis our staff updated that plan with a special emphasis on ensuring we can continue to provide the reliable electric service you expect from Barton County Electric.
So far that is exactly what has happened. We know that after a sufficient supply of food and water, electricity is the No. 1 thing you need to maintain some sense of normalcy as we hunker down in our homes. With that in mind, keeping the power flowing is Job 1 for everyone involved in maintaining the electric cooperative system.
That starts with our generation cooperative, Associated Electric Cooperative, which has taken extreme measures to ensure its workforce is healthy and its power plants functioning as needed. It extends to the six transmission cooperatives that wheel that electricity across Missouri and parts of Iowa and Oklahoma. And it includes Barton County Electric Cooperative where business may be a bit unusual, but the focus on service remains the same.
We thought you might want to know some of the steps we have taken in order to keep your power flowing. We’ve closed access to our front counter to prevent the spread of germs, however we have set up a temporary solution for walk in traffic just inside our front lobby door. We encourage members to use our drop box, online payment options, SmartHub and the “good old” U.S. Postal Service to pay bills.
Our employees are still reporting to the office, but preparations are in place to start working from home, if the need arises. We have started practicing social distancing even when in the office. If you call, the phones will be answered as always.
Our management team are meeting constantly to fine tune this plan. We are in constant contact with the other electric cooperatives in Missouri and with the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives, which in turn is working closely with our national association, the state legislature, Gov. Parson, the State Emergency Management Agency and other state electric cooperative associations.
So far, it is working well, and everyone has adapted to the new norm. That’s because we’ve done this before. Nothing brings out the best in our employees better than a crisis situation. It’s kind of like gold that has been tested in fire…stronger and more beautiful!
Our focus here is on doing our part to keep your life as normal as possible through this situation and beyond. The cooperative way of doing business has brought us this far, and the cooperative way will help us through this crisis.
All the best to everyone. Stay healthy, stay home and we will get through this together the cooperative way!
Barton County Electric Cooperative