In August, the City entered into an agreement with CRC, or Cooperative Reporting Center, which is a 24/7 call center who answers utility calls for more than 200 municipal and cooperatives and has for 30 years. The business is based in Austin, Minnesota and has additional call centers is Tennessee, Texas and Kirksville, Missouri.
CRC takes outage calls and handles line crew dispatching for the citizens of Highland, which became necessary with the state required 911 consolidation and separation of police, fire and EMS calls and non-emergency city calls.
“For many years, Highlanders have called our police department after hours if their power went out. We wanted to partner with a group that were accustomed to all the things power outages bring. CRC is very well known in this field and already serves utility companies that surround us, so we are looking to them to help us close that gap,” Chris Conrad, City Manager said.
While the transition to CRC was fairly simple, there are a couple of things the citizens should know when reporting a utility issue after hours.
“When you call 618-654-2131 or 618-654-9891 to report a power outage after hours, they are automatically forwarded to the CRC phone number so, you won’t have to learn any new numbers. However, it will be handy to have your account number available if at all possible,” Conrad said. “If you can enter your account, the call will be answered and handled more quickly because the agent will know you are from Highland and will have already accessed that data”
Types of calls CRC can handle include power outages, damaged street signs, water/sewer emergencies and other after-hour city service issues. CRC will handle calls after 4:30pm and before 8:00am on weekdays, Saturdays and Sundays and during holidays.