Weather Forecast


Co-op employees help clean up cemetery

Six Dakota Valley Electric employees helped clean the Monango City Cemetery as part of Co-op Community Day May 22 in Monango, N.D. Pictured, from left, are Justin Rott, Kyle Lloyd, Wendy Boom, Darwin "Rabbit" Hehr, Pat Schaffer and Brandon Ascheman.

Inspired by the founding principles of cooperatives, Dakota Valley and Northern Plains held its first Community Day May 22, lending a hand to the city cemetery in Monango, N.D.

“I’m proud to work for an organization that’s willing to let us spend the day giving back to our communities,” said Brandon Ascheman, an electrician for the Dakota Valley Service Corp.

Monango, located 14 miles south of Edgeley on U.S. Highway 281, suffered damage due to high winds in the summer of 2011. The city of 36 people has mostly rebuilt and moved on, but its cemetery needed a little help, said Pat Schaffer, manager of the Dakota Valley Service Corp. and lifelong resident of Monango.

The cemetery holds a special place in Schaffer’s heart, as that’s where her parents, Joyce Dow-Zinter and Ernest Zinter, and baby brother, Steven David Zinter, are laid to rest.

“We’re really grateful to Dakota Valley for their help,” said Sue Kinzler, Monango city auditor. She said the timing was perfect because it was ready for Memorial Day visitors.

Dakota Valley employees including Wendy Boom, Darwin “Rabbit” Hehr, Kyle Lloyd and Justin Rott removed dead trees, debris and old fencing. They also trimmed and planted trees as well as trimmed and mowed around the edges of headstones.

As opportunities arise, Dakota Valley and Northern Plains will schedule additional Community Day events throughout the service area.

“Cooperative principles guide NP/DV in its business decisions, as well as what sets them apart from other businesses in similar industries,” said Jay Jacobson, general manger. “The goal of Co-op Community Day is not to change the world, but to improve it if only a little.”

Dakota Valley and Northern Plains Electric Cooperatives collectively serve about 17,000 accounts on 11,500 miles of line from South Dakota to the Canadian border.