As news about the coronavirus continues to dominate, some may be wondering about MEUW’s plans for upcoming events. At this time, MEUW is planning to hold training programs as scheduled. Those who are registered for training are encouraged to practice common sense – attend only if you are healthy, travel only if you feel safe, and avoid close personal contact, washing your hands thoroughly and frequently. MEUW also will have hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes available at training sessions.
For the short term, MEUW will waive normal cancellation fees for those who would rather not attend due to health concerns (fees already paid for registration will be applied to future events).
Preparation is best remedy for coronavirus risk: Like everyone, MEUW is closely monitoring developments with the Novel Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19. While the short-term threat remains minimal, there is certainly the potential for the health threat to escalate quickly. Being prepared is what will set you apart and limit the impact to continuity of services to your community and customers. At this time, there are no specific federal or state directives impacting the utility industry.
First and foremost, all municipal utility employees are encouraged to practice the same common-sense control measures as the public: Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, wash your hands frequently and thoroughly; avoid touching your face; and stay home when you’re sick. Please consult your local or county health departments for guidance that may be specific to your area.
MEUW members utilities also are encouraged to evaluate their continuity of operations plans (COOP), and to develop one if it doesn’t already exist. A COOP addresses all the necessary tasks to run your utility’s business in the event of an emergency situation, such as high absenteeism due to a communicable disease.
The most significant threat thus far relates to supply chain management. It is wise to develop contingency plans for critical supplies, components and infrastructure, especially because larger investor-owned entities that may require many of the same items have already begun working with distributors and manufacturers for large bulk orders.
MEUW is providing links for pandemic training, planning templates, and COVID-19 information and resources on our Website. This is a rapidly changing situation, and what is true today may be completely different tomorrow. We will continue to update the information as warranted.
One final chance to sign up for communications workshop: On Thursday, March 12, MEUW is holding a one-day training session about interpersonal communications and the impact verbal and non-verbal cues have on everyday conversations. “That’s Not What I Said … or Was It?” is taking place in Wisconsin Dells and there are still seats available. To learn more about the program, click here.
The March edition of Live Lines was distributed last week. In case you missed it, you can find it online here.
Watt-Hour Metering Workshop is next week: MEUW’s annual Watt-Hour Metering Workshop will be held at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College (NWTC) in Green Bay over several days next week. The Workshop will take place on March 17, 18 and 19, and combines classroom education with practical, hands-on experiences, and is a “must-attend” for meter technicians who want to stay up to date on new technologies, approved work practices, and proper procedures.
A half-day pre-workshop session on Monday, March 16, covers metering basics for those who may be new to metering or would like a refresher. The agenda also include techniques for verifying and identifying metering inaccuracies, and instruction on choosing the correct metering equipment. Suppliers will also be on hand to showcase the latest in metering technology and equipment at the Tuesday evening Vendor Show. Registration and a complete agenda are available here. The sign-up deadline is Wednesday, March 11.
Consider joining MEUW’s S&E Committee: We are now looking to fill two anticipated vacancies on MEUW’s Safety and Education Committee. If you are interested in joining the committee or have questions regarding the role, please contact MEUW’s Manager of Safety Services Mike Czuprynko or any of the current committee members. Those individuals who may be interested are asked to submit a brief email that explains their background and the reason(s) they would like to be considered for a seat on the committee. The deadline is 5 p.m. on April 1.
Registration now open for spring safety workshops: MEUW will hold three workshops next month, including:
- One-day Underground Facility Locating Workshop (April 14 in Eau Claire)
- One-day Excavation Competent Person Workshop (April 16 in Waupun)
- Two-day Underground Distribution School (April 28-29 in Green Bay)
Full details about each of the workshops and a link to register are available on the “Event Calendar” of MEUW’s Website.
MEUW offering flagger training to meet new state requirement: As of Jan. 1, 2020, all flaggers working on Wisconsin state highways are required to be trained and certified in a state-specific flagger training curriculum, and MEUW is offering a half-day training course that meets the need.
Training sessions are now planned for Waunakee (April 13), Richland Center (April 14) and Medford (May 5), and additional dates and locations are expected to be added soon. Registration information is available on the “Event Calendar” of MEUW’s Website.
Join us for dinner in Black River Falls on April 14: We’ll be having a MEUW “Meet & Eat” at the Skyline Golf Course in Black River Falls on Tuesday, April 14. All MEUW members are welcome to attend. You can sign up to attend here. The evening begins with a cash bar at 6 p.m., with dinner at 6:30 p.m. and a short group discussion to follow. The cost of the meal is billed to each utility’s attendees after the event. We hope you can join us!
Registration now open for MEUW 91st Annual Conference: Manitowoc is the site of the 91st gathering of MEUW members this spring. The Annual Conference will take place Wednesday, May 13 through Friday, May 15. You won’t want to miss the chance to connect with municipal utility leaders from across the state and hear from speakers on a wide array of important and timely topics. To learn more, visit www.meuw.org/91st.
MEUW members can take advantage of group discount for safety supplies: Wisconsin-based Conney Safety offers a wide assortment of products and equipment designed to help keep people safe in the workplace. Conney is offering discounted pricing to all MEUW members on a variety of supplies. To take advantage of the reduced prices and online ordering, start by contacting David Vincent, Conney Safety Account Manager, at (608) 288-5871 and reference Municipal Electric Utilities and account number 100343434.
Several new positions have recently been added to the “Jobs in Municipal Utilities” page on MEUW’s Website – check them out here.