Dignitaries and guests gathered last week as FortisAlberta officially opened its new service centre in Claresholm. The electricity company held an official grand opening on Oct. 2 where, instead of a ribbon cutting, officials more fittingly cut a wire.
“Getting out to celebrate this facility is really special,” said Mike Mosher, president of FortisAlberta. Although he works in Calgary, he likes to get out into the smaller communities. “It is really at the heart of our company – what we are and what we do,” Mosher said. FortisAlberta’s mission is to provide safe, reliable service, and Mosher said they do that by having local facilities like the one in Claresholm.
“It’s what we do and how we deliver that,” he said. He turned his attention to the staff at FortisAlberta who work through the snow, rain, sleet and other conditions. “I’d really like to acknowledge the folks who work here and High River and Pincher Creek,” Mosher said. “They really are at the heart and the front line of what we are and what we do.”
Mayor Doug MacPherson brought greetings from the Town of Claresholm. He congratulated FortisAlberta on the new building, and noted the company has a long history in Claresholm. “It adds employment to our town,” he said. “It also adds tax base to our town.” FortisAlberta remodeled an existing building located at 415 – 43rd Avenue East to improve proximity to the area served from this location.
The region had changed to include the area north of Nanton as far west as the B.C. border, east to include Champion, Kirkaldy and Monarch, and south including Fort Macleod, which FortisAlberta acquired to operate and maintain in 2018.
There are four employees based in Claresholm: Myles Fisher, power line technician for 22 years in Claresholm; Brady Egger, lead power line technician who is from Claresholm; and Fabian Berg and Brian Harrison, former Town of Fort Macleod linemen. Egger is one of three brothers who work for FortisAlberta. His older brother Jordy is a safety advisor, while his twin brother Brandon is power line technician in Redcliff.
The service centre serves Claresholm; Champion; Fort Macleod; Granum; Kirkaldy; Monarch; Parkland; Stavely; and Woodhouse. The customer base is largely residential, acreages, farms and commercial customers with 7,243 customer accounts, of which 4,693 are single homes. There are 1,805 commercial businesses and 1,543 farms.
The local service comprises 5,868.22 square kilometres; has 3,569.97 kilometres of power line, 24,665 power poles, including wood poles and street lights, and 1,350 streetlights and yard lights.
The new Claresholm facility is 4,531 square feet, with 2,313 square feet of office and a shop with three bays. It sits on two acres.
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