Member co-op’s community focus keeps members cool


Several new air-conditioning units kept people cool at Goldenwest Electric Cooperative’s annual meeting in July.

Every other July, Goldenwest Electric Cooperative, a Basin Electric Class C member headquartered in Wibaux, MT, holds its annual meeting at St. Mary’s Church in Golva, ND.

And two years ago, it was hot.

“It was cooking,” Goldenwest Electric Manager John Sokoloski says. “It was probably 90-95 degrees outside and felt just as bad inside.”

Sokoloski spoke with a few Golva residents, and a plan was set in motion to install air conditioning in the church’s reception hall.

Goldenwest Electric board director Ray Clouse collected a project estimate of about $15,000 and brought it before the board for consideration. The board voted to contribute $5,000 toward the project, then submitted grant applications to Basin Electric’s member matching program and CoBank’s Sharing Success program.

Each year, Basin Electric sets aside one-third of its charitable giving budget for member matching donations.

Basin Electric and CoBank each contributed $5,000, and the project was completed in June – just in time for Goldenwest Electric’s 2016 annual meeting July 14 in Golva, and any other summer events planned at the church.

“We’re happy to help out,” Sokoloski said. “It’s a great benefit to the community of Golva. We’re a small co-op so we don’t have too many dollars laying around, but we are committed to the communities around here.”

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