Capital Electric Cooperative’s future headquarters property

Capital Electric Cooperative (CEC) will soon have a new headquarters facility. In February, the co-op acquired the building and land located at 7401
Yukon Drive in Bismarck. Positioned along the two highways most traveled by the co-op’s lineworkers — Highway 1804 and Highway 83 — the new location is situated away from areas of congested urban traffic, making it more accessible to members, contractors and employees.

CEC plans to relocate to the new facility in 2022. “Our current location has served us well for the past 50 years. But, as we look ahead, we need to consider
access, security and future growth,”says CEC General Manager Paul Fitterer. “Since 1970, we’ve increased services from 2,655 meters to 21,332 meters and added 19 job positions. As Bismarck continues to expand into CEC’s service territory, we anticipate continued growth trends.

The new facility has enough space to accommodate our current employees and meet member needs, while allowing for growth in the years ahead.”

The 12-acre property, located less than 3 miles north of CEC’s current location, includes a 48,000-squarefoot  facility and a 6-acre fenced pole yard.
“The property features a fully secured building and material yard, which will help ensure the safety of the co-op’s members and employees.

In addition, it will provide improved access for both members and lineworkers. This will result in faster response times and allow us to host more member functions at our headquarters facility,” says Fitterer.

All member areas are at ground level, with no slope, providing better accessibility, especially for those with mobility issues. In addition, the parking lot offers 110 parking spaces.

CEC’s current property only has 48 parking spaces. Fitterer says the acquisition of the new location is not expected to result in significant pressure on
rates. Using a middle-of-the-road estimate on sales values received on CEC-owned property, the co-op has  identified the possible impact the purchase could have on members.

In a best-case scenario, member bills would increase by 10 cents per month. In a worst-case scenario, member bills would increase by 60 cents per month.

“We expect that with the sale of our current campus and tower property, coupled with rent income, the cash flows will be enough so that purchasing the building will not, in itself, require the need for a rate increase,” says Fitterer. “However, it is important to note that while this property transaction is playing out,
there will be normal rate pressure from increased expenditures, such as cost of labor and materials.”

CEC is owned by its members, and democratic member control is one of the seven principles that guides the cooperative. Elected by the membership, CEC’s  Board of Directors was instrumental in the decision to move forward with the purchase of the new facility.

“After identifying the need for a new location in March 2019, the Board of Directors reviewed the various options available,” says CEC Board President Richard Koski. “In making our decision, we considered the location and functionality of available properties in our service area, as well as the financial feasibility. After reviewing the options available, the Board agreed this property was the most cost effective of the options presented and the best suited for our future growth. It will serve our members well into the future.”

It will be a couple of years before  CEC relocates to the new facility.  Bilfinger Westcon, Inc., which currently occupies the property, will continue to lease the office space and pole yard through July 2022. The company has been a part of the Bismarck community for nearly 40 years and will remain in the area after
CEC transitions to the new facility.

“As a proud member of the Bismarck community, Bilfinger Westcon is pleased to see CEC’s growth and prosperity,” says Bilfinger Westcon CEO Mark Parsons. “We are committed to the Bismarck area, and we look forward to growing into a new office space.”

For more information on the new location, visit capitalelec.com/ headquarters-FAQs.

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