When residents of Bison, SD, gaze at the lighted snowflakes, stars and candy canes atop the light poles on Main Street, they can thank the linemen of Basin Electric’s Class A member, Grand Electric, for this added holiday cheer. Watch the video.
For more than 50 years, the lineman have been climbing the poles or riding up the buckets of their trucks to hang Christmas lights to brighten the spirits of the more than 300 residents. This tradition started when the town’s commercial club asked the co-op if its linemen would provide the service. For the first few years there were only four or five strings of lights and six or eight Christmas trees on the poles, which residents hung using ladders and loaders. After the linemen stepped in, the amount of decorations multiplied, first extending just a few blocks, and today stretching north all the way to Grand Electric’s office building.
“The linemen enjoy spending time doing this,” says Randy Kopren, Grand Electric’s area supervisor. “It’s a day of hanging up lights and being around the community.”
Grand Electric General Manager Colle Nash says the co-op provides this outreach service to the community because it is member-owned. “The more we can do to serve the community, the better we are,” he says.
This is the true cooperative – and holiday – spirit.