In September, the Basin Electric Power Cooperative board of directors authorized a $500,000 donation to Hurricane Katrina relief in Louisiana and Mississippi. That amount has now grown to more than $1 million.
As part of that effort in September, Basin Electric employees could also donate vacation and sick time that would be converted to a cash equivalent, which would then be added to the donation. Many Basin Electric member systems have also made donations directly to the cooperatives in the affected states. Their contributions have included cash, materials and supplies.
Collectively, the Basin Electric family has contributed in excess of $1 million including member direct contributions, and that of Basin Electric and its employees. Ron Harper, Basin Electric CEO and general manager, said the additional contributions by employees and member systems are astounding. “We are a Touchstone Energy® Cooperative, which makes us part of a nationwide family of electric cooperatives. The generosity of our employees and members is truly remarkable. It makes me proud to be part of this electric cooperative.”
The donations will be split evenly between the two states, with half going to Louisiana and half to Mississippi. The funds will aid cooperative employees and member consumers whose lives and homes have been ravaged by Hurricane Katrina.
Harper said one of the four core values of being a Touchstone Energy Cooperative is commitment to community. “I can’t think of a better way of demonstrating that commitment,” he said. The other core values are: integrity, accountability and innovation.
Basin Electric is a consumer-owned, regional cooperative headquartered in Bismarck.