Tribune staff reports

Thirty electric cooperatives from around the state teamed up Oct. 9 on efforts to improve the quality of life in Hoosier communities.

As part of Indiana’s Electric Cooperative Community Day, eight employees with Jackson County REMC traveled to Beck’s Mill near Salem and helped paint a new blacksmith building. The co-op also donated more than $400 in supplies needed to paint the building.

Jackson County REMC employees volunteering for the project were Betty Baute, Jeff Kriete, Heather Stevens, Chuck Conrad, Nicole Ault, Jill Albertson, Barb Garland and Tim Warren.

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The Brownstown-based co-op serves about 20,000 customers in 10 counties, including Bartholomew, Jefferson, Jennings, Lawrence, Monroe, Scott and Washington.

“We were all excited to go and help out at Beck’s Mill,” said Ault, communications and public relations specialist for Jackson County REMC. “Beck’s Mill is a local landmark that the community is preserving.”

The mill was constructed in 1808 by George Beck. It was reconstructed in 1825 and then rebuilt into a two-story structure during the Civil War. The mill continued to operate until about 1950.

An effort to restore the mill began in 2006 and was completed in 2008 and turned over to the Friends of Beck’s Mill.

The mill also is open for tours. For information, visit

Indiana’s Electric Cooperative Community Day involved 30 electric cooperatives around the state completing a service project. This was the second year for the event.

During the first event a year ago, employees with Jackson County REMC helped out at Red Sky Rescue, a dog shelter near Medora.

Ault said the company chooses a member or a place that relies on REMC for electricity and offers its time, skills and expertise to create a positive impact.

The state’s other electric cooperatives also strive to make an impact in the areas they help, said Rick Coons, chief executive officer of Indiana Electric Cooperatives.

“Investing in the communities we serve is at the forefront of everything we do,” Coons said. “Indiana’s Electric Cooperative Community Day provides us with the opportunity to work in tandem toward a single goal of making an impact on our state.”

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