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NorthWestern Energy marks new era in Mitchell

NorthWestern Energy President and CEO Bob Rowe speaks to visitors and dignitaries in the lobby of the company's new customer service center Tuesday during a ribbon-cutting event in Mitchell. (Marcus Traxler / Republic)

It’s a new time for NorthWestern Energy in the Mitchell area.

That was celebrated Tuesday at the public utility company’s ribbon-cutting ceremony for its 5,700-square-foot customer service office building and celebrated the 14,000-square-foot expansion of the company’s Mitchell warehouse building, as well. All told, the $3 million in upgrades signify both NorthWestern’s commitment to Mitchell and its customers.

“Really, they’re both important projects for us,” NorthWestern President and CEO Bob Rowe said Tuesday. “With the office, the warehouse and the substation right next door, it all works together very well.”

The offices, which opened to customers in late November 2017, now connect NorthWestern’s Mitchell operations better, said Craig Fergen, NorthWestern’s construction manager for its South Division, which includes the Mitchell and Yankton area. For decades, NorthWestern had operated out of a downtown location at 514 N. Main St. but now the Mitchell warehouse and offices are within about 500 feet of each other at 300 S. Burr St., only separated by the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad line that runs east and west. About 25 employees work out of the Mitchell offices and warehouse daily.

“This facility is so much more customer friendly. Customers can come right in and can explain their projects to our engineers,” Fergen said. “The old location was good to us for a long time but it was getting to the end of its life span and becoming dated.”

For more on the story, see Tuesday's print edition of The Daily Republic.