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Wisconsin Rural Electric Cooperative Association / First yearbook, 1938

Murray, V. M.
Our engineering department,   pp. 25-30 PDF (1.7 MB)

Page 27

tractor-Honold & LaPage, Inc., Sheboygan, Wis, $47,382.70)
    OCTOBER 26, 1937-Bids opened No. 45G3 Chippewa-70.05 miles.
(Contractor-Holtz Brothers Electric Company, Chippewa Falls, Wis.,
    NOVEMBER 4, 1937-No. 38 Rock completed.
    NOVEMBER 4, 1937-No. 27 Buffalo completed.
    NOVEMBER 8, 1937-Bids opened No. 8043A Grant- 180.0 miles.
(Contractor-L. C. Arnold, Inc., Eau. Claire, Wis., $164,415.60)
    NOVEMBER 10, 1937-Bids opened No. 8046 Lafayette-147.0 miles.
(Contractor-C. A. Hooper Company, Madison, Wis., $119,170.58)
    NOVEMBER 16, 1937-No. 37 Trempealeau completed.
    NOVEMBER 16, 1937-Bids opened No. 8025B Monroe-71.05 miles.
(Contractor-Honold & LaPage, Inc., Sheboygan, Wis., $60,287.42)
    DECEMBER 20, 1937-No. 14 Oconto completed.
    DECEMBER 21, 1937-Bids opened No. 8016B Douglas-30.0 miles.
(Low bid not finally approved)
    DECEMBER 24, 1937-No. 31B Columbia completed.
    DECEMBER 30, 1937-No. 40 Barron completed.
    DECEMBER 30, 1937-No. 29A Clark completed.
    An analysis of the above will show 2,982.05 contract miles of line
completed and 1,915.35 contract miles of line still under construction. In
addition to this, of the 1,915.35 contract miles under construction, 1,020
miles of this amount is actually constructed but will not be reported as
"completed" until the projects as whole units are finished.
    It is interesting to sit back and review this past year's experience
an attempt to discover just what has been learned regarding engineering
for cooperatives-what conclusions can be drawn.
    Before attempting to draw any conclusions, it may be well to direct
attention to the fact that "STATEWIDE" was not formed without opposition.
Many objections were raised on the soundness of Cooperatives doing their
own engineering through a statewide organization. Some of our engineer
friendstook us aside and issued sincere friendly warnings as to just what
we were up against,-and some of them took us to task publicly. For
instance, here are some of the warnings we received:
    1. A cooperative is a loosely bound organization and since every
member is an owner you, as engineer, will have thousands of bosses, none
of which will know anything about building lines, but all of which will
try to tell you how to do it.
    2. The average farmer is a penurious gentleman and you "STATE-
wIDE" engineers will have to sacrifice good engineering in order to
results as cheaply as possible.
    3. You are using federal money and it will be so wrapped up in red
tape you will spend most of your time trying to pry it loose.
    Well, we have not as yet learned all the answers, but we have, at
least, learned the answers to these three -objections.
     (1) As regards the first one: It is correct in one respect, the average
farmer Co-op member knows nothing about building lines, but he realizes
he knows nothing about it. The details are left entirely in the hands of
the engineer,-embarrassingly so in some cases. For instance, the repre-
sentatives of equipment manufacturers claim it is a waste of time for them
to contact the individual members of our Boards of Directors in an attempt
to sell their materials and equipment such as conductor, transformers, etc.

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