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News & Press: Member Co-op News

A “deer” story of member service

Tuesday, November 21, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Shari Wormwood
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Lake Country Power featured A “deer” Story of Member Service in the October Newsline written by Greg Schulzetenberg, Lake Country Power's digital marketing & media coordinator

Imagine losing the lights on opening day of the firearms deer hunting season in a remote northern Minnesota location. Made worse, is that no power means no satellite TV, and no ability to watch the extracurricular sporting events that many enjoy on the much celebrated annual “holiday” weekend. Furthermore, after the power outage is reported, expected restoration to such a distant, water-access-only property is anyone’s guess.


This was the scenario facing the owners of the Mag Seven Lodge, which is located at Crane Lake, Minn. on the winding Rollick Creek. For all practical purposes, these members are at the end of the northern Lake Country Power (LCP) electrical line — one of only a few meters fed by underwater service in that area.


"It was just us; one cabin deep in the woods" — Todd Stanek, Mag Seven Lodge, Crane Lake, MN


“It was a dire situation for us,” said Mag Seven Lodge co-owner Kevin Lantz. He added that the nine-person hunting party had just about given up hope for watching their scheduled TV lineup which included the Minnesota Wild, Golden Gophers hockey, and the Vikings.


“I thought there was just no way we would get service restored,” added co-owner Todd Stanek, of how bleak the situation appeared. “It was just us — one cabin deep in the woods — they wouldn’t come all the way out here on the weekend, during deer hunting, for just one place without power.”


“Wild” afternoon    

Surprised and impressed, Stanek and his hunting party would indeed enjoy their planned festivities; save one period of the afternoon Wild game. They were restored in a most efficient manner, made possible by a high level of service to the Lake Country Power membership.


The outage was called in around 12:30 p.m. As the members saw it appear on the LCP outage map, they knew that assistance would eventually be on the way. But, little did they know how quickly that help would arrive. A boat could be heard approaching camp just a couple hours later. It was a pair of seasoned crew chiefs riding in to save the day. Correction, save the weekend. LCP linemen, Jeff Thiel had made the trip from Mountain Iron, and Bill Koschak came over from the Ely Outpost; both on-call linemen traveled more than an hour to reach the destination.


Hunting for the problem

The pair began running their diagnostics as they went back and forth from meter-to-meter. “I was really impressed with the service on the phone and quick response to such a remote area,” said visiting hunter Steve “Bulldog” Leary. “The two guys were professional, nice and definitely knew what they were doing,” said Leary of Thiel and Koschak.


An hour later, the lights were on and the Lake Country Power lineworkers had determined that there was damage to the underwater line leading to the next meter. They marked the spot with a buoy for future repair, and waved goodbye and wished good hunting to the Mag Seven crew as the duo rode off around the corner. They were headed southeast, so it wasn’t into the sunset, but they were heroes none-the-less to everyone in the camp.


“The co-op went above and beyond,” from the moment the phone call was made, said Stanek about the response to a difficult situation. Lantz chimed in, “great service!”


“I was so impressed with the excellent response time,” said Jim Luke, another co-owner. “This is not a spot you can just drive to and fix the line; there are no roads and you have to come in by boat. They did an awesome job!”

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