Havre Daily News - News you can use

By Tim Leeds 

HHS emergency generator fires up in test run


January 30, 2014

Tim Leeds

Hill County Commissioner Jeff LaVoi, from left, Havre High School Assistant Principal Kipp Lewis and Havre Public Schools Grounds and Transportation Director Jim Donovan watch Steve Faber of Bear Paw Electric Wednesday fire up the emergency generator at Havre High School in a demonstration run.

A surplus military generator was running at Havre High School Wednesday morning in a test demonstration for high school administration.

Jim Donovan, the school district's director of grounds and transportation, said it was not the first test or demonstration.

"We have run the high school with it before," Donovan said.

The generator was installed over the summer by school district personnel along with Steve Faber of Bear Paw Electric and Scott Doney of Diesel Doctor, said Hill County Disaster and Emergency Services Coordinator Joe Parenteau.

The generator would provide power to the High School in the case of a disaster or emergency. The high school is designated by the American Red Cross as an emergency shelter for Havre, Hill County, the township of Hingham or other neighboring jurisdictions.

"It's been a long process, and it's good to see that it's there and functional," Parenteau said after the demonstration.

He said installing the generator began in 2009, when Donovan and Havre High School head custodian Rose Cloninger contacted him to see if something could be done with the generator.

The project, though started in 2005, when Parenteau's predecessor, Ron Knudson, and Hill County Sheriff Don Brostrom found the surplus military generator and procured it to make it available to the school district, Parenteau said. Obtaining the generator cost the district $2,000 to transport it to Havre.

Getting the generator up and running was a side effect of the massive flooding in 2011 in this region and across the state. The Federal Emergency Management agency provides 5 percent of the total assistance awarded in a federal disaster to provide mitigation projects, to reduce impacts of future disasters.

Of that money, $16,650 went to taking the generator out of mothballs, getting it ready to run and installing it at the high school.

Parenteau said getting the generator out of mothballs, installed and running was a joint project of the Havre public school district, the Hill County government, Hill County and Montana DES and the American Red Cross.


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