REGARDING COVID-19 PROCEDURES**
WCE CLOSES LOBBIES TO PUBLIC,
OTHERWISE BUSINESS AS USUAL
Because of the recent precautions recommended by the CDC, West Central Electric Cooperative has closed both of its lobbies at the Higginsville and Oak Grove locations to the public beginning March 17, according to General Manager Mike Gray. Gray said tentative plans are for the lobbies to remain closed until April 1.
“Other than closing the lobby doors, it will be business as usual,“ Gray said. “WCE employees are still on the job taking care of our members 24/7.”
WCE members are reminded there are several ways they can still take care of business and pay their bills. WCE can be contacted by phone at 800-491-3803 or 816-565-4942. Members may pay their bills via the SmartHub app or on the website at www.westcentralelectric.coop, or they may call the pay-by-phone number at 855-874-5349.
“We know this is inconvenient, but we appreciate our members’ patience as we all navigate these unfamiliar waters in an effort to keep our members, our employees and the public safe,” Gray said.
**IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM MANAGER MIKE GRAY**
As we all deal with the new realities brought on by the COVID-19 virus, I want to assure you that your electric cooperative is here to help you. We have always had an Emergency Plan that has served us well in a variety of circumstances, from ice storms to tornadoes to flash floods. Early in this crisis, our staff updated that plan with a special emphasis on ensuring we can continue to provide the reliable electric service you have come to expect from your electric cooperative.
So far that is exactly what has happened. We know that after a sufficient supply of food and water, electricity is the No. 1 thing you need to maintain some sense of normalcy as we hunker down in our homes. With that in mind, keeping the power flowing is Job 1 for everyone involved in maintaining the electric cooperative system.
That starts with our generation cooperative, Associated Electric Cooperative, which has taken extreme measures to ensure its workforce is healthy and its power plants functioning as needed. It extends to the six transmission cooperatives that wheel that electricity across Missouri and parts of Iowa and Oklahoma. And it includes your local electric cooperative, West Central Electric, where business may be a bit unusual, but the service remains the same.
We thought you might want to know some of the steps we have taken in order to keep your power flowing. We’ve closed our lobbies to prevent the spread of germs. Instead, we are encouraging members to use our drop box, online payment options, our pay-by-phone number at 855-874-5349 and the “good old” U.S. Postal Service to pay bills.
Many of our employees are working from home. We’ve divided departments into shifts so that they can practice social distancing even when in the office. If you call, the phones will be answered as always.
We have separated linemen from other employees and even from each other to limit possible spread of the virus. Trucks are being relocated so that linemen can head to the job site without coming to the office. New routines are in place for contractors working on our system in order to keep them away from employees. Deliveries are being quarantined.
Our management team and board are meeting constantly to fine tune this plan. We are in constant contact with the other electric cooperatives in Missouri and with the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives, which in turn is working closely with our national association, the state legislature, Gov. Parson, the State Emergency Management Agency and other state electric cooperative associations.
So far, it is working well and everyone has adapted to the new norm. That’s because we’ve done this before. Nothing brings out the best in our employees better than a crisis situation. It’s kind of like gold that has been tested in fire…stronger and more beautiful!
Our focus here is on doing our part to keep your life as normal as possible through this situation and beyond. The cooperative way of doing business has brought us this far, and the cooperative way will help us through this crisis.
All the best to everyone. Stay healthy, stay home and we will get through this together the cooperative way!
WELCOME TO WEST CENTRAL ELECTRIC
Welcome to the West Central Electric Cooperative website. West Central Electric is a member-owned, not-for-profit electric cooperative formed in 1939 to bring electricity to the rural areas of Lafayette, Johnson, eastern Jackson and a small portion of Cass and Pettis counties in west central Missouri.
Our catch-phrase, “Serving our members since 1939,” is not just a slogan that appears along with our logo and contact information. It is a daily way of life. West Central Electric exists to serve its members by providing the safest, most reliable electricity at the lowest possible cost. But we do more than that. We serve our local members by:
·supporting our local communities
·providing opportunities for our area youth
·educating our members on ways to save money on their energy bills
·providing safety and energy-efficiency programs to members and the general public, young and old.
We also look out for the best interests of our members by keeping up with current issues that affect electric consumers and joining our fellow cooperatives through Grassroots efforts to make sure our members have a voice.
So you see, being an electric cooperative means much more than just providing electricity. It means striving every day to make life for our members better, and to make a difference in the world in which they live.
Please look through our website for all the things West Central has to offer and the value of your cooperative membership. Can’t find what you are looking for? Contact us!