The Milbank Community Transit will soon be driving a new van. The purchase is being made possible by a $25,000 collaborative donation from Whetstone Valley Electric Cooperative, East River Electric Power Cooperative, CoBank, and Basin Electric Power Cooperative. The new van will replace the 2002 van that has racked up over 190,000 miles in Milbank and around Grant County.
In order to purchase a van with wheelchair accessibility, Whetstone Valley Electric donated $5,000. East River Electric, the wholesale power supplier to Whetstone, awarded a matching grant of $5,000. CoBank, a national cooperative lending bank, also made a matching grant of $5,000. Basin Electric, a regional generation and transmission cooperative, donated $10,000.
“In addition to providing a valuable service to our community, this donation clearly demonstrates the electric cooperatives’ core value of commitment to community,” stated WVEC general manager Dave Page. “While focusing on member needs, cooperatives continually work for the sustainable development of their communities.”
Milbank Community Transit is a non-profit organization which owns and operates vehicles and two buses to transport the elderly, the handicapped, veterans, and low income residents and children in Grant County. The organization has been recognized by the American Legion for its service to the elderly and veterans. Nominal fees are charged to most riders to cover operational expenses, but the transit service relies on community support to keep it running.
The organization is also seeking donations to help with maintenance and fuel costs. Bill Tostenson, president of the WVEC board of directors and a driver for the transit, said, “Keeping these vehicles running is a community effort. Every dollar makes a difference. All donations are welcomed.”
Drivers for Milbank Community Transit include: Tostenson, Charles Layher, Jerry Poppen, Mike Copeland, Mike Hofman, Doug Fraasch, and Mark Frickson. Leona Poel is the office manager.
Photo id – Present for the check presentation were (left to right): Mike Copeland, Charles Layher, Bill Tostenson, Leona Poel, Jerry Poppen and Dave Page, WVEC general manager.