This is the first column I have written where I hope by the time you read it, you will say “Well, that is old news.”
For more than 80 years, REC has worked diligently to provide electricity to much of the San Luis Valley and in the past five years through Ciello, broadband Internet and phone services. It is March 19, 2020 as I write this column and the COVID-19 crisis is consuming life everywhere— the Valley, the state of Colorado, the United States and the world. Many are afraid to go about their usual activities and many are being forced to stop their daily routines. Schools are shut down; businesses are closed; meetings are being limited and the list goes on.
More than ever the services REC and Ciello provide to its members and customers are crucial to surviving in a very restricted world. The loss of either electricity or information connectivity would add extreme challenges to the already difficult conditions.
Everyone at REC and Ciello is working diligently and proactively making every effort to ensure the electricity stays on and phone and Internet access stay up. Operating systems are being inspected; materials are being inventoried, and employees are being cautious and working safely as always as the focus of business and service continuity is even more important than ever.
REC and Ciello have always worked with members and customers who have difficulty paying their monthly bills. The effort to help everyone through this difficult time is being expanded even as state and federal orders for utility continuity are being considered. Customer service for both REC and Ciello can provide bill assistance for those impacted by the loss of employment or business shutdown as a result of local, state and federal work, travel and gathering restrictions and shutdowns.
I truly hope when you read this you can say, “well, that is the past,” but however long it takes and whatever it takes for REC and Ciello to do its part to get Valley residents through this crisis will be done.