We may not all be business, but we are all accomplished.
“We’re not really an electric company anymore,” says Brent Holder, manager of Lincoln Electric’s member services. “We’re an energy company.”
“Eureka is a growing community,” he explains. Every year, there are 5% more new homes in the area and as many as 130 new Lincoln Electric customers. And they all want more than just electric service. They want propane and air conditioning and more efficient economical service.
So, about five years ago, Lincoln Electric bought Rural Propane Services of Eureka, which has its own HVAC subsidiary.
But Rural Propane Services is outgrowing its site just South of Stein’s. So, this summer, Lincoln Electric hired Boondockers Construction and Kootenai Sand & Gravel to help create a substantial new site for the propane business.
Located on 93 north of Eureka, just South of Lindsey Road, the 20 or so acres now owned by Lincoln Electric will have buildings for offices and workshops, as well as propane storage and service stations. Boondockers Construction is finishing the 5,000-square-foot structure housing the propane offices and an HVAC workshop. To the building’s north are four large white tanks, each able to contain 90,000 gallons of propane.
Kootenai Sand & Gravel (KS&G) has been an essential partner in this process. KS&G removed roughly 4,000 cubic yards of topsoil before road preparation or installation. Roads have had to be constructed and graded, and drainage installed. KS&G also installed a 3-phase power system along with all the buried electrical cables for street lighting and more.
“We risked losing customers,” said Mike Cole, looking out over the aging bleachers of the arena at Lincoln County Fairgrounds.
With only 2,200 seats available but almost 5,000 tickets sold each year, folks had to sit on the steep slope behind, crammed into each other while the Rodeo or the Bull Thing played below.
The arena was established in the late 1970s, making modern seating almost 50 years old. Mike, who is president of the Tobacco Valley Rodeo Association (TVRA), came up with the idea of adding more bleachers – but this time they would be concrete.
In August 2019, TVRA awarded Kootenai Sand & Gravel continuation of a contract that will add another almost 1,200 seats to the arena. Kootenai prepares the ground, lays coarse and fine fill, then compacts it before placing each huge precast concrete section into place.
By August, the job has to be finished, which is when this year’s Bull Thing will take place. “Kootenai’s doing a really fine job,” says Mike.