Public power utility workers are unsung heroes of coronavirus crisis

To the editor:

During this coronavirus pandemic, there is a new sense of appreciation for the men and women who keep our critical infrastructure running smoothly. From doctors and nurses to grocery-shelf stockers to parcel delivery personnel, the importance of these essential workers to our society and our economy cannot be overstated.

The men and women who work for our public power utilities, including the one operated by New Ulm Public Utilities, are no exception. They are quite literally powering America through this crisis.

New Ulm operates under a public power model, a choice made so the utility would be responsive and accountable to the community first. Heartland Consumers Power District supplies electricity to New Ulm Public Utilities and we know the COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t stopped their workers from providing reliable power as well as performing essential services throughout the city. During challenging times like these, the last thing they want anyone concerned about is the reliability of their electric system or the safety of infrastructure within their community.

The simple act of turning on a light switch or charging a smartphone is made possible by America’s public power workforce. They do their jobs with care and professionalism, often at great personal sacrifice and risk. They are a perfect example of ordinary people doing extraordinary things to help their communities and their country in times of need. The employees of New Ulm Public Utilities are no exception.

They deserve all the protections, privileges, and praise afforded to the essential workforce. They also deserve all the respect and appreciation we can offer.

Russell Olson, CEO

Heartland Consumers Power District


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