Rochester Public Utilities | Blog

2020 Arbor Day Tree Giveaway

Rochester Public Utilities (RPU), along with partners Rochester Parks & Recreation, Sargent’s Gardens, Maier Tree & Lawn, and Jim Whiting Nursery & Garden Center will hold a free tree giveaway on Thursday, May 21 from 11am-2pm at Hy-Vee on 37th Street NW.

RPU’s Annual Arbor Day Celebration, scheduled for the end of April, was cancelled due to safety concerns for RPU employees, event partners and sponsors, and the public. In preparation for the event, 1,700 Serviceberry trees were already on order and will require planting in the near future. RPU, along with partners Rochester Parks & Recreation, Sargent’s Gardens, Maier Tree & Lawn, and Jim Whiting Nursery & Garden Center are planning to give away all 1,700 Serviceberry trees at a drive through giveaway event.

The Rochester community is invited to come to the drive through tree giveaway to get a free tree to plant, while supplies last. The Serviceberry trees are small and will fit through a car window. One tree will be given away per vehicle.

RPU reminds customers to contact Gopher State One Call to do underground locates before starting any digging in their yard or property. Gopher State One Call can be contacted by visiting gopherstateonecall.org or by calling 811.

For more information regarding the tree giveaway and safe digging practices, visit www.rpu.org.

About Rochester Public Utilities

As the municipal utility of Rochester, Minn., for more than 110 years, RPU provides high-quality and reliable electricity to over 50,000 customers. Water customers number more than 40,000. RPU continually investigates innovative technologies to help customers realize the best value from the services they receive. Current initiatives include fuel cell research, wind power, and photovoltaic offerings.

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Posted: May 20, 2020 by Tony B | Comments (0)

Resources available to Residential customers

Households with any unpaid past due balances are eligible to request Crisis funds to pay their past due and current balances. Application requests and requirements can be found through eHEAT and on the Three Rivers website: https://www.threeriverscap.org/energy/energy-assistance.

Olmsted County HUD has been issued a $1,000,000.00 grant that can assist with rent payments.

Email request to: covidrenthelp@co.olmsted.mn.us

Olmsted County Human Services has additional cash, food, health, emergency grants available.  A second round of funds have been granted to assist with emergency needs.  Note: Even if you’ve utilized an emergency grant in the past 12 months, you may qualify for emergency funding again prior to the 12 month anniversary of the previous grant. Call:  507.328.6500

https://www.threeriverscap.org/energy/energy-assistance

Crisis maximum increased!

Starting April 7, 2020, Three Rivers is increasing the Crisis maximum to $1,200. This means, if a household was already notified that they reached the $600 Crisis maximum, they are now eligible to get an additional $600 to help with their past due utility bills.

The household MUST contact Three Rivers to request additional funds and verify your account status.

Seniors may request Crisis with a current bill.

Resources available to Commercial customers

1. To determine if business is Critical on by searching by their 4-digit NAICS industry code https://mn.gov/deed/assets/naics-critical-list_tcm1045-424829.pdf

a. find North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) on business tax filings paperwork OR https://www.naics.com/search/

2. The Rochester Area Chamber https://www.rochestermnchamber.com/ Ph# 507.288.1122 Email: chamber@rochestermnchamber.com

3. Rochester Area Economic Development (RAEDI) http://www.raedi.com/doing-business-here/covid-19-resources.php Ph# 507.288.0208, email info@raedi.com

4. City of Rochester / Rochester Area Economic Development, Inc. (RAEDI) COVID-19 Emergency Economic Development loans https://www.rochestermn.gov/departments/emergency-management/covid-19-emergency-economic-development-and-stability-information

5. SBA Olm County – Southeast Minnesota Small Business Development Center Check eligibility and loan application https://covid19relief.sba.gov/#/ OR https://www.sba.gov/size-standards/

SBA Emergency Injury Disaster Loan video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vr9e4O15wYk&t=50s

U.S. Small Business Administration Coronavirus (COVID-19): Small Business Guidance & Loan Resource https://www.sba.gov/page/coronavirus-covid-19-small-business-guidance-loan-resources

SBA Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 or (TTY: 1-800-877-8339) Ph# 507-285-7436 email: DisasterCustomerService@sba.gov

6. DEED: Minnesota small businesses should send questions about this emergency loan program to ELP@state.mn.us a. More info: https://mn.gov/deed/newscenter/covid/business-exemptions/ b. More info: https://mn.gov/deed/business/financing-business/deed-programs/peacetime/

c. Businesses should apply directly through a certified lender

7. SMIF – Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation https://smifoundation.org/covid-19/

Diane Lewis, Lending Officer: dianel@smifoundation.org | 507-214-7014

Marcia Haley, SBA Lending Director: marciah@smifoundation.org | 507-214-7021

8. COVID-19 Information hotline: 651-201-3920 (Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.)

9. Updates on actions as directed by the Governor of Minnesota: Gov. Walz website https://mn.gov/governor/news/ 10. MN Chamber of Commerce Tool Kit https://www.mnchamber.com/blog/covid-19-business-toolkit

Posted: Apr 09, 2020 by Tony B | Comments (0)

RPU Tree Trimming Locations

Rochester Public Utilities (RPU) will spend nearly $1.4 million this year on proactive tree trimming and vegetation management.  In 2020, RPU plans to do proactive trimming along 17 different feeders.  Within the map, two types of trimming areas are shown, Planned and Proposed.  Planned areas, , will be trimmed in their entirety along the depicted areas.  Proposed areas, , will be trimmed at priority locations within the depicted areas.  

What Customers should know about tree trimming:

Follow the link below for a real-time map of RPU tree trimming locations scheduled or currently being trimmed.

RPU tree trimming map

Posted: Mar 31, 2020 by Tony B | Comments (0)

An important message from RPU General Manager Mark Kotschevar

RPU’s motto is “We Pledge, We Deliver” and our vision is to “Set the Standard for Service.”  As COVID-19 affects our community and as community leaders ramp up our response efforts, it is important for our customers to know that providing safe, reliable, and affordable electricity and water is and will continue to be RPU’s top priority. 

RPU is taking the following specific measures to help the Rochester community persevere through our current challenges:

Customers are encouraged to utilize the RPU Connect app and rpu.org to obtain answers to questions and conduct RPU business, so phone lines can be kept available for persons needing assistance.  In the meantime, we here at RPU will continue working around the clock to provide safe, reliable, and affordable electricity and water to help our community survive and thrive in this uncertain time.

Mark Kotschevar, General Manager

Rochester Public Utilities

About Rochester Public Utilities

As the municipal utility of Rochester, Minn., for more than 110 years, RPU provides high-quality and reliable electricity to over 50,000 customers. Water customers number more than 40,000. RPU continually investigates innovative technologies to help customers realize the best value from the services they receive. Current initiatives include fuel cell research, wind power, and photovoltaic offerings.

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Posted: Mar 20, 2020 by Tony B | Comments (0)

Major Water Associations Reassure Public On Safety Of Tap Water During COVID-19 Outbreak

Article from Wateronline.com regarding drinking water safety and tap water sources during COVID-19 outbreak.

Posted: Mar 19, 2020 by Tony B | Comments (0)