North to Alaska

As you read this, I will have relocated to Homer, Alaska. I would like to thank the Arrowhead members and board of directors for the previous 5+ years of employment. During that time we weathered the ice storm in March 2009 and most recently the wind storm last fall. Together, we watched as the Ham Lake fire raged through the Gunflint Trail area in 2007 and have worked to help “green up the Gunflint” again.

Together, we have accomplished many things, the remodeling and the addition to the Lutsen headquarters and earning a Gold LEED Certification for environmental and energy efficient building standards, built a new substation on County Rd 7, integrated the mapping system to include the construction design, member communication, internet improvements to include the AECI web page and AECI blog, and saw a generating station built to better serve our members during transmission outages.

Arrowhead will be completing the second substation rebuild in Lutsen. The substation is scheduled to be completed by the end of November 2010. This necessary rebuild will ensure adequate supply and provide increased reliability.

Most recently, On September 13, 2010, The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) awarded Arrowhead Electric Cooperative a total of $16,137,484 in grants and low interest loans to help provide fiber to the home broadband service to residential and commercial members of Arrowhead Electric Cooperative. This USDA funding is provided by the Recovery Act Broadband Infrastructure Program (BIP) through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and will bring fiber to the home for internet and phone services.

From this project, it is my hope that Arrowhead Electric Cooperative may provide a service that will promote opportunity for the community.  The project is the single largest project undertaken by Arrowhead Electric Cooperative since first building the power lines which come into your home and business.  I encourage you to remain patient with staff as they work through the myriad of details which must be dealt with to ensure they do their very best as a cooperative to again, provide you – our member owners a service which has become so paramount in our lives.  Information about the fiber project will be forthcoming as details are known.  Please watch for this information in our newsletter and on our website (www.aecimn.com).

Arrowhead Electric will continue to be a strong and viable cooperative. Training and safety have been greatly stressed and the staff is extremely capable of carrying Arrowhead into the future. The employees and the board of directors have your best interests in mind and will continue to look to the future of Arrowhead Electric.

Best Wishes for the future. “The things that got us here will not get us there.” Peter Drucker

Don Stead

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