Whew, what a year! Normally, I am sad to see a year pass by so fast, but this year seems to have been long and full of unexpected historical events. Hopefully, going into the holiday season, we can all take a break from the “new normal” and get back to enjoying family and friends like the “old normal,” just in a safer way. Thanksgiving, Christmas and the new year are just around the corner even though it seems we just packed away the decorations. Time has gone by quickly this year even with all that has transpired. COVID-19 has wreaked havoc around the world. So much death and sickness from one virus. My thoughts and prayers go out to all of you that have lost loved ones or have been affected by the virus.
I am very thankful, as of today, that none of our employees have contracted this awful virus. Our daily operations have been affected slightly. Our office remains closed to members, out of safety for you and our staff. We have a small lobby that would only allow for two people to be at a safe distance for social distancing. Our drive-thru is open for payments and service. We are still fully staffed and waiting to serve you, at a safe distance. Your willingness to adapt to these changes is much appreciated.
Maintaining our system
Despite the pandemic, Little River has accomplished everything we would normally set out to do in a normal year. Our right-of-way crews finished trimming in Due West and Donalds. They should be finishing up Crescent by the end of the year and have already started on our Penny Creek substation. We have changed nearly 100 poles on our maintenance program and are currently changing out around Lake Secession. Our new North Plum Branch substation was energized in January after several years in the making. After three years, we have, but for a few, successfully changed out the meters on our entire system. Our new construction has nearly doubled since the spring as many new members are taking advantage of low interest rates and are building new homes. Again, I am thankful that we have been able to continue to keep up with our workload through it all.
Our staff has had to become accustomed to many changes. As each new challenge arose, they met it with the willingness to adapt and go above and beyond to keep members and fellow co-workers safe. We work as a unit and act as a family. They are my family away from home. Their safety and well-being are my number one priority as their manager. Safety for our members and the public is our goal as a family.
I want to wish all our membership and my family at Little River a Happy Thanksgiving and a Merry Christmas. My hope is that 2021 will be pandemic free at some point and we can get back to the old normal. In observance of the holidays, our office will be closed Thursday and Friday, Nov. 26-27, as well as Christmas Eve and Day, plus New Year’s Day. As always, crews will be on standby.