Harlan Municipal Utilities Harlan Municipal Utilities was founded in as a public water and electric utility and has over years of experience providing Harlan critical utility service. They serve approximately members, in 10 communities, across four rural counties in west central Iowa. The combined effort helped local farmers install fencing and animal crossings over the streambed to prevent contamination and adopt nutrient management practices that facilitated controlled and timely application of fertilizers. Simonsen added that internal training, leadership development and corporate communications also benefit from the economies of scale inherent in offering multiple services to the community. As early Internet users languished with dial up service, HMU customers were some of the first in the nation to experience the blazing speed of 1.
One is the complexity of training for customer service representatives. In , HMU began installing fiber to the premise to residential and commercial customers. Meanwhile, Harlan sometimes finds itself with an interesting problem: HMU quickly became, and remains, the dominant video provider in Harlan through cost effective pricing, responsive in-town local service and a variety of service offerings. HMU made a donation to help college officials get that center built, and now HMU is the provider of choice for the facility. Challenges to consolidation While there are many advantages to being a multiservice utility, there can be some challenges, too. The many services these organizations offer provide plenty of opportunities for positive impact. HMU serves about 2, electric, gas and water customers. HMU strives to bring our customers the latest in service. Coordination impacts field operations, too, said Gabriel Khalife, borough manager for Kutztown, Pennsylvania, a municipality about the same size as Harlan that also offers a gamut of services: For these utilities, being a multiservice provider brings opportunities in streamlining how work gets done, organizing the workforce, and giving back to the communities they serve. The borough, Khalife said, supported their training, certifications, and transition. In addition to providing opportunities for savings, delivering several services also boosts employee retention. Easton Utilities provides electric, water, wastewater, natural gas, cable television, and internet utility services for nearly 17, people in the Town of Easton and its surrounding area. With ongoing investments in safety equipment and instruction, the utility has recently experienced two accident-free years. Simonsen added that internal training, leadership development and corporate communications also benefit from the economies of scale inherent in offering multiple services to the community. HMU received national attention for installing a state of the art, and one of the first in the US, Metropolitan Area Network MAN connecting schools, government and the hospital within a fiber loop. Both efforts limited pathogens from entering the water. Still, there are times when the cost of supplying such service is financially unattractive. Harlan Municipal Utilities Harlan Municipal Utilities was founded in as a public water and electric utility and has over years of experience providing Harlan critical utility service. In , HMU was tasked to build and offer telecommunication services to improve local service and lower costs. HMU customers receive minutes per month in free long distance service plus numerous free calling features. In Harlan, utility managers chose to invest in a new building associated with the local community college. They can better communicate with the customer when they understand a bit more what linework entails. For instance, in a recently implemented leadership program, the utility was able to bring in high-caliber training resources.
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