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Pahrump Mirror
Pahrump, Nevada
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October 20, 2016     Pahrump Mirror
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October 20, 2016
 

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10 Thursday, October 20, 2016 - Mirror by Robin Hebrock Mirror Staff After one month of voting by Valley Electric Asso- ciation, Inc. (VEA) member-owners on the proposed 230-kilovolt transmission line sale, VEA has opted to extend the voting period an additional month due to the desire for more member-owners to take part in the vote that is necessary to make the sale official. Ac- cording to a press release issued on Friday, October 14, more than 11,500 votes had been cast, represent- ing roughly 66 percent of the co-op's customer base. However, only 10,800 member-owners voted in favor of the sale. As a result, during a membership meeting held Friday, those present voted to continue the spe- cial election process until Monday, November 14. "VEA announced today that more than 11,500 votes have been cast by member-owners to sell its 230kv transmission system," the press release de- tailed. "More than 94 percent of those members who have voted in the special election favor the sale of the transmission system. An approval to sell a major asset required a two-thirds affirmative vote from the membership. More than 10,800 members had voted "yes" as of noon on Fri- day, which represents ap- ,- proximately 62 percent of the (total) membership." According to the press release, per VEA bylaws and Nevada state law, the action taken at a member- ship meeting on Friday will keep the polls in this special election open for several additional weeks. Member-0wners are being urged to take part in the voting process, with monetary incentives one form of encouragement. Also taking place during the Friday membership meeting was a raffle drawing for a total Reliable. Affordable. And FAST! Even though Preferred RV Resort has been open for more than 30 years, we strive to stay ahead of the curve, and help create a positive image for Pahrump in the eye of our visitors. ' NOOSH .. .... That is how fast my internet service is with Valley Communications." We buy all these high-powered computers, but if your service is slow, guess what your high-powered computer will be slow. I have state-of-the-art computers in my home and at the station and now I get the WOOSH .... so fast. Don't blink or you will miss it. Sign up today I promise you won't be sorry. It's just the best. Karen Jackson Owner~Operator KNYE Radio 95. 1 FM We're Expanding Today. Check for Availability in Your Area. A Valley Electric Company 775. 72Z 5312 valleycom.com With speeds of 25 megabits per second, it's fast and reliable, whether you need it for home or business, And soon we'll take speeds to the next level with fiber-optic service. Best of all, it's brought to you by the people you know and trust at Valley Electric Association. "More than 94 percent of those members who have voted in the special election favor the sale..." of $5,000 in cash prizes for those who had already cast their vote, with three Pahrump residents taking home the rewards. Patrick and Mary Morgan won the top prize of $2,500 while Brooke C. Baker won $1,500 and Joseph S. Do- rey took home the third prize of $1,000. Now that the deadline to vote in the special elec- tion has been extended, there is a second raffle drawing scheduled. "A similar drawing will be conducted at the Novem- ber 14 meeting at the Valley Conference Center," the press release read. "All members who voted in the election were eligible for Friday's drawing. All mem- bers who voted (except for Friday's winners) will be eligible for the November 14 drawing." Therefore, all of the VEA membership who take part, even if the member-owner does not wish for the transmis- sion sale to take place and casts a "no" vote, will be entered into the second drawing for cash prizes. This is not the only incentive VEA has been tout- ing in order to get member-owners to the polls either. Those who purchase power, from VEA would also see a rollback of July's 9.99 percent rate hike as well as cash in their pockets. A one-time cash premium of $10 million would equate to a $579 payout to each member-owner, VEA officials have stated. On top of the check from VEA, an additional $7.2 million was reported to be put aside for the retirement of capital credits if the sale does indeed go through. VEA officials have also stated that the estimated $190 million windfall from the sale would go a long way in reducing VEA's overall debt service and de- preciation, lowering VEA's operational costs, build- ing equity and providing investment capital. Addi- tionally, VEA has reported that the sale would turn an operating expense into a source of revenue, as the sale contract would dictate that VEA would be paki to operate and maintain the transmission lines for the new owners. A decade-long period of rate stability was also predicted. "We believe this sale provides enough cash premium and opportunity to stave off a rate increase well into the future," VEA Chief Execu- tive Officer Tom Husted said when the proposed sale was announced. During a VEA Board of Directors meeting held in September, the board approved the sale of the 230kv transmission system to GridLiance, a company incor- porated in 2014 that names itself as the nation's first independent transmission,only company. GridLiance is headquartered in Chicago, IL with regional offices in Kansas City, MO, Austin, TX and Washington D.C. GfidLiance is part of the Blackstone Group LP family of companies. Blackstone is described as an American multinational private equity, investment banking, alternative asset management and financial services corporation based in New York City, NY. "The (VEA) board has heard from thousands of members during the past 45 days. These interactions have come face to face, phone calls, letters, emails and through social media," the press release stated. "Many members have expressed concern with being unable to cast their votes due to loss of ballots, un- familiarity with computerized voting, inconvenience and the lack of time to consider the complexities of the issue. In order to assure that members do not feel disenfranchised and have every opportunity to vote, members can cast their ballots through November 14." Member-owners can exercise their voting ability in several formats, either online at www.vea.coop, in person at the VEA office, by phone at (775) 727-5312 or by mail. As of press time, a total of 11,192 member-own- ers had cast "yes" votes and 642 member-owners had cast "no" votes. For more information on the sale visit www.vea. coop. For more information on GridLiance visit www.gridliance.com. Contact author Robin Hebrock by emailing mirror.rhebrock@gmaU.com