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As an electric cooperative, our top priority is always to provide reliable, affordable energy to you, the consumer-members we serve. But our mission extends beyond that. As a co-op, we strive to enrich the lives of our members and serve the long-term interests of our community—a charge that has been more critical in recent months than ever before.
One of the seven principles that guides all co-ops is Concern for Community. To me this principle is central to the DNA of Magic Valley Electric Cooperative, and it sets us apart from other utilities.
October is National Co-op Month, and as part of this year’s celebration, electric cooperatives across the country are highlighting the many ways we “Power On.”
Who could have fathomed at the beginning of the year that COVID-19 would test our community and nation? The rapidly changing circumstances caused by the pandemic have created difficulties and opportunities for your co-op. Over the past several months, we’ve been challenged to operate differently, and Magic Valley has stepped up to help our members and strengthen the safety net for our more vulnerable neighbors.
To ensure the reliability of your power supply, we modified our operations to safeguard business continuity. Our line crews and other employees began working on staggered schedules to maintain physical separation, and some staff worked remotely. We also closed our office lobbies to ensure the health and safety of our employees and valued members. We believe these measures were necessary to protect our community.
For our members who needed help with their electric bills, we provided special payment arrangements, waived late fees, and stopped disconnections. Our employees along with CoBank also steeped up to donate $10,000 to Hidalgo County Community Service Agency and Community Action Corporation of South Texas to help members pay for their electric bill.
I tell you about all of these efforts to explain how much we care about this community—because we live here, too.
While the difficulties caused by COVID-19 have been daunting, I’m heartened to see how our community has pulled together.
More than 80 years ago, Magic Valley was built by the community to serve the community, and that’s what we’ll continue to do—Power On.