Cooperatives donate $30,000 to fire department destroyed by fire

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Glenburn Fire Chief Michael Overton (holding the check at right), accepts a check for $30,000 from Wayne Martian, manager of North Central Electric Cooperative (holding check at left). The money was donated by North Central Electric, Verendrye Electric Cooperative, and Central Power Electric Cooperative with matching funds provided by Basin Electric, CoBank, and Cooperative Finance Corporation. Others pictured include Erin Laverdure (behind check), Basin Electric project coordinations representative, cooperative managers, and volunteer firefighters.

Basin Electric and five other cooperatives joined forces to donate $30,000 to help the Glenburn, North Dakota, fire department rebuild after a fire destroyed its station.

“I am absolutely impressed with how the electric cooperatives are doing this,” said Glenburn Fire Chief Michael Overton. “I don’t know that I can express how appreciative we are. Everyone on the fire department is appreciative.”

Overton, a member of Verendrye Electric Cooperative, who lives north of Minot, commands a department with 20 volunteers that covers 165 square miles in parts of four counties. Verendrye Electric is a class C member of Basin Electric based in Velva, North Dakota.

The fire district protects rural members of Verendrye Electric and Class C member North Central Electric Cooperative in Bottineau, North Dakota. There are also six substations within a 10-mile radius of Glenburn owned by Basin Electric Class A member Central Power Electric Cooperative in Minot, North Dakota, and several miles of power lines.

On March 6 a fire destroyed Glenburn Fire Department’s building and most of their vehicles and equipment. Since then they have been using a building owned by a construction company rent free and have received donated vehicles and equipment.

“Our job is public safety and with losing everything in a fire it’s a real kick in the gut if we can’t provide the services we need to keep our communities safe,” Overton said.

North Central Electric, Verendrye Electric, and Central Power provided donations that were matched by Basin Electric and CoBank. Cooperative Finance Corporation also matched the donation made by Central Power.

“We’re here in farm country, conditions are dry, fires can get out of control quickly, and we need to have those fire departments,” said Wayne Martian, manager of North Central Electric.

Erin Laverdure, Basin Electric project coordinations representative, said the cooperative was happy to help with matching funds.

“Basin Electric is a cooperative formed by cooperatives and we are here to support them. When they thrive, we thrive so it’s a real natural connection,” she said.

Randy Hauck, manager of Verendrye Electric, said this donation demonstrated two of the seven cooperative principles – cooperation among cooperatives and concern for community.

“It makes me feel great how we were able to come together and provide the Glenburn Fire Department with $30,000 and do our part to help the community,” Hauck said. “We all understand how necessary those services are to rural communities.”

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Electric co-ops donate $30,000 to fire department destroyed by fire