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Rory Lenton, Minnesota Energy Resources External Relations (second from left) hands a check to Worthington Fire Chief Rick von Holdt as Worthington Mayor Alan Oberloh (left) and City Administrator Craig Clark (right) look on during a recent photo inside the Worthington Fire Station. (Brian Korthals/Daily Globe)

Minnesota Energy Resources donates $5,000 to fire station

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WORTHINGTON — When Rory Lenton found out how much money he could allocate through Minnesota Energy Resources’ foundation, he first thought of Worthington.

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“We have five different companies under one corporation and they give an allotment of dollars every year,” said Lenton, who does External Affairs for Minnesota Energy.

“When I found out what we had, I did have a request last year to donate and I wasn’t able to fulfill that,” he continued. “So this year, when they told me I had ‘X’ amount of dollars, the first thing I did was spend the first five here. We want to do our part the best we can in the community.”

Minnesota Energy Resources (MER) donated $5,000 to the Worthington Fire Station.

“We have two of our employees are members of the department,” Lenton said. “Wherever I have an employee who is volunteering somewhere, we’ll support that. When we have people involved, we really like to step up.”

Lenton also said the new building is impressive.

“This building is going to be here 100 years,” Lenton said. “This building is really built. The investment in this building goes on and on and on year after year after year.”

The money will go toward the construction costs.

“We’re thankful that Minnesota Energy Resources recognized our fire firefighters and the commitment the construction of the new fire station means toward fulfilling their service to our residents and business owners,” City Administrator Craig Clark said.

MER is the natural gas provider for the city of Worthington and 164 other communities throughout Minnesota. The city was awarded the grant from the Integrys Foundation as part of an ongoing partnership between MER and the communities it serves.

“Each year we receive many requests from our communities for grants,” Lenton said. “A contributions committee meets to determine which requests we can fulfill based on the merits of each request. The Worthington Fire Station was chosen due to its ability to serve so many individuals in the Worthington area for many years to come.”

Investing in community safety is an ongoing activity for MER, according to Lenton. In addition to the monetary donations MER grants each year there are also other safety programs MER provides.

“Each year MER offer Public Officials Training to the local fire departments, police, sheriff and city officials,” a press release said. “The training focuses on emergency procedures and specific planning for each community. MER also provide Natural Gas safety programs for middle school classes. In these they teach the students about the properties of natural gas and the role it plays in our well-being.”

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