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Proud to serve our members

Thank you for supporting your local electric co-ops 

LIVING IN A SMALL TOWN is wonderful. There are things about a small town that are both comforting and sometimes frustrating. 

When I lived in a small town, I would seldom lock my front door. At the grocery store, I would spend a couple of hours catching up with friends. At the feed mill, I would learn everything about growing grass, the price of cattle and who was leasing the farm down the road. 

However, living in a small town can also present a few challenges. People are often into your business more than you may like. It doesn’t take long for news to spread about somebody who got in trouble. When the football team isn’t doing well, the only conversation around town is about the quarterback or the coach. 

Another aspect of living in a small town is that you and everyone in that county often are in it together. Many times, you can’t just run down the street and have access to anything you want. Everyone is independent, yet they are also quick to help their neighbor. That is true for any business, including your local electric cooperative. 

Your cooperative exists to deliver electricity, which is reliable, safe and affordable, to your home, your school and your local factory. But there are times when it gets tough for our industry as well. 

I will never forget the 2009 ice storm that caused significant damage for Fleming-Mason Energy, while serving as its CEO. There were hundreds of broken poles, miles of lines down and a daunting restoration effort in front of us. 

It was the biggest ice storm in Kentucky history, claiming 36 lives and triggering power outages to 770,000 electric customers, totaling nearly $1 billion in damages. Our co-op’s emergency plan was implemented, requesting assistance from sister cooperatives across the nation to help us reduce the time to restore service. 

But what I remember most is the help from the local community. Farmers helped us pull equipment with their tractors. Local churches delivered food and snacks to help lineworkers continue to do their work. County officials cleared the roads and the police helped direct traffic. When restoring power in remote areas, people brought coffee, doughnuts, cookies and cakes. 

And it continues. The photo above shows a consumer-member bringing coffee to Blue Grass Energy lineworkers during this February’s ice storm. 

I want to thank you, the members. We are proud to serve our communities and we are proud to serve you. We are always in this together.

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