Trout Creek Warehouse

A new warehouse and office space will better serve members

From left, Michael Galloway, St. Clair Construction; Annie Terracciano, NLI general manager; Jill Vandegrift, NLI board member; Chad Carter, NLI lineman; Josh Sears, NLI lineman; and Oliver St. Clair, St. Clair Construction; break ground on the new Trout Creek warehouse.

Northern Lights Inc.’s (NLI) Trout Creek, Montana, warehouse has served your cooperative well through the years, providing service to most of the Montana communities it serves.

This spring, NLI began building a new warehouse and small office to replace the existing building. Montana-based St. Clair Construction is the general contractor.

NLI bought the current building sometime after construction of Noxon Rapids Dam, which was completed in 1959. The building was previously used as a bunkhouse for workers at the dam. It was set up with small open-top cubicles that were about 6 feet by 8 feet, each with a bunk bed and place to store clothing. There also was a cafeteria-style dining area. There may even have been a small bar at one time.

Outside the warehouse was a drive-in movie theater. Before NLI moved into the bunkhouse, it had a shed-like structure in the Trout Creek area on the old gravel highway. The current-day Highway 200 was rerouted and paved through Trout Creek around the time the dam was built and is where NLI’s current warehouse facility is.

The existing building has served its purpose and was certainly an upgrade from the previous facility. However, the repairs needed to make the space functional, efficient and safe dictate a new facility. It will have a small office, restroom, additional indoor storage for materials, and additional indoor parking for bucket trucks, digger trucks, and pickups.

A vehicle washing station will be on one end of the new building, which will be built on the eastern corner of the property. The existing building will be removed when the new building is done.

NLI will continue to serve the co-op members for many years to come. The upgrades will position NLI to continue providing quality service to the areas it serves from its outlying area warehouse in Trout Creek.

I would like to thank former NLI lineman Cal Dunks and Gary Page—Gary’s father was a former NLI lineman—for the historical information provided.

Kristin MettkeNorthern Lights Engineering & Operations Manager Kristin Mettke is an electrical engineer and has worked in the electric utility industry most of her career.