Rochester Public Utilities | Blog

20th Annual Arbor Day Celebration to be held on April 29th

April, 27, 2022 – ROCHESTER, MN – Rochester Public Utilities (RPU), with partners Maier Tree & Lawn and Rochester Parks & Recreation, and Sargent’s Gardens will host the 20th Annual Arbor Day Celebration on Friday, April 29 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Three Links-Silver Lake Park, located at 840 7th St NE in Rochester.

The fun and free community event will feature a variety of activities and displays that will include: A tree giveaway (while supplies last), a free lunch of hot dogs, corn on the cob, chips, cookies, and soda will be provided (while supplies last), and live music from PK Mayo Quartet. Tree experts will also be on hand to answer questions on tree planting and care, along with many other vendor activities and information.

Children will be able to enjoy Smokey Bear, tree medallion necklace, apple toss game, tree ring toss game, bean bag toss, and much more!

At noon, an awards ceremony will honor Rochester elementary school students who were selected as finalists of the Arbor Day poster contest, as well as this year’s overall winner, Jia-Xin Fan, a 4th grader at Gibbs Elementary. Jia-Xin will receive a $100 ABC & Toy Zone gift card, her winning poster will be featured in RPU’s 2023 calendar, and a tree will be planted in her honor at Gibbs Elementary School. This year’s poster contest theme was “Trees Are Terrific and They Keep Our Water Clean!”

RPU line crews will also collaborate with Rochester Parks & Recreation on a tree planting for The Right Tree in the Right Place program on May 5th. This is an annual event to plant the proper type of boulevard trees in different neighborhoods in Rochester.

Co-Sponsors of this year’s event include: Hy-Vee, Jim Whiting Nursery & Garden Center, Minnesota Energy Resources, Pepsi, and Seneca Foods.

In the event of rain, the celebration will be moved to Rochester Community & Technical College’s Field House.

About Rochester Public Utilities

As the municipal utility of Rochester, MN, for more than 110 years, RPU provides high quality and reliable electricity to over 58,000 customers.  Water customers number more than 41,000.  RPU continually investigates innovative technologies to help customers realize the best value from the services they receive.  Current initiatives include photovoltaic offerings, wind energy, energy and water efficient equipment, and electric vehicle charging.

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Posted: Apr 27, 2022 by Tony B | Comments (0)

Important information for all RPU customers!

Posted: Apr 15, 2022 by Tony B | Comments (0)

Arbor Day Foundation Awards Recognition to Rochester Public Utilities as 2022 Tree Line USA Utility

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact:  
Arbor Day Foundation
Lauren Weyers 
lweyers@arborday.org  
 

Arbor Day Foundation Awards Recognition to Rochester Public Utilities as 2022 Tree Line USA Utility 
Rochester Public Utilities earns the Tree Line USA recognition for their commitment to urban forestry in its community 

 
LINCOLN, Nebraska – Rochester Public Utilities was named a 2022 Tree Line USA by the Arbor Day Foundation to recognize its dedication to proper urban forest management in the provider’s service area. 
 
Tree Line USA, a partnership between the Arbor Day Foundation and the National Association of State Foresters, recognizes public and private utilities for pursuing best practices that protect and cultivate America’s urban tree canopy. In addition, Tree Line USA promotes delivering safe and reliable electricity while maintaining healthy community forests. 
 
“Trees are essential to creating more urban green spaces in communities across the United States,” said Dan Lambe, chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation. “In addition, they provide important benefits to residents, including clean air, clean water, and vital tree shade. Service providers like Rochester Public Utilities demonstrate how easily trees and utilities can co-exist for the benefit of communities and residents.”
 
By joining the Tree Line USA program, service providers benefit from lowering line clearance costs due to proper pruning. As a result of those properly pruned and maintained trees, the people benefit from increased reliability of service because those trees will have healthy root systems that decay less, have less structural weakness, and ultimately result in fewer downed lines during storms. 
 
Rochester Public Utilities achieved the Tree Line USA recognition by meeting five program standards: quality tree care, annual worker training, tree planting and public education, a formal tree-based energy conservation, and a sponsorship of or participation Arbor Day celebration.  
 
More information about Tree Line USA can be found at www.arborday.org/TreeLineUSA

About the Arbor Day Foundation
Founded in 1972, the Arbor Day Foundation has grown to become the largest nonprofit membership organization dedicated to planting trees, with more than one million members, supporters and valued partners. Since 1972, almost 500 million Arbor Day Foundation trees have been planted in neighborhoods, communities, cities and forests throughout the world. Our vision is to lead toward a world where trees are used to solve issues critical to survival.  

As one of the world’s largest operating conservation foundations, the Arbor Day Foundation, through its members, partners and programs, educates and engages stakeholders and communities across the globe to involve themselves in its mission of planting, nurturing and celebrating trees. More information is available at arborday.org.

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Posted: Mar 25, 2022 by Tony B | Comments (0)

Mask guidance changes for city and county buildings

Mask guidance has changed for anyone visiting government buildings or facilities in Olmsted County and the City of Rochester. Effective today, masks will no longer be required in them. Olmsted County and the City of Rochester still welcome the use of masks in local government buildings for whoever wishes to wear them and strongly encourage unvaccinated and immunocompromised individuals to continue wearing facial coverings. 

These changes are effective today because the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated the COVID-19 Community Level for Olmsted County to “Medium.” Olmsted County and the City of Rochester have been following CDC recommendations throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to help guide decision-making on COVID-19 matters.

It’s important to note that masks are still required on Rochester Public Transit (RPT) buses and in RPT facilities by order of the Transportation Security Administration and the CDC. Masks will also need to be worn by individuals 2-years-old and up for direct patient care services provided by Olmsted County Public Health Services (that is because the CDC’s new COVID-19 Community Level recommendations do not apply in health care settings). Additionally, private businesses still retain the right to require patrons to wear masks inside stores and facilities.

“At Olmsted County, we have been vigilant about keeping our employees, clients, and visitors as healthy and safe as possible,” said Olmsted County Administrator Heidi Welsch. “We have appreciated the community’s compliance with these CDC guidelines.”

City of Rochester Administrator Alison Zelms shared, “The news of Olmsted County dropping to ‘Medium’ on the CDC’s COVID-19 Community Level tracker ushers us into a new, more optimistic, and welcomed phase of the pandemic where we no longer require masks to be worn inside our facilities. We understand that many in our community will continue masking and they are welcome to do so in all of our buildings.”

To view Olmsted County community levels and prevention steps, visit the CDC website.

https://www.rochestermn.gov/Home/Components/News/News/8629/1121

Posted: Mar 11, 2022 by Tony B | Comments (0)

All RPU customers urged to monitor the temperature of their water

January 26, 2022 – ROCHESTER, MN – Rochester Public Utilities (RPU) is starting to hear from customers that are concerned about their water service freezing this winter. Current frost depth is 36” as of January 26th.

RPU advises these water customers to take the temperature of their water and then continue monitoring it until the frost is out of the ground. This is especially important for customers that have experienced frozen water services in the past. Run an inside cold tap and hold a thermometer in the stream for 10-20 seconds for an accurate reading. If your water temperature gets below 35 degrees Fahrenheit, you should immediately start running a continuous pencil-width stream of water from a faucet.

All businesses and residence types could be affected. The age of your home does not matter.

For more information, please contact Tony Benson at 507-280-1534 or email at tbenson@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 56,000 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 photovoltaic offerings, wind energy, energy and water efficient equipment, and electric vehicle charging.

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Posted: Jan 28, 2022 by Tony B | Comments (0)