weather icon Clear

VEA fiber-optics coming to Beatty soon

“Beatty will be the first all-fiber-optic community in Nevada.” So said Valley Electric Association CEO Tom Husted at the District 3 annual meeting at the Beatty Community Center, March 8.

However, Beatty residents will still have to wait a while for fiber-optic Internet service.

“I ask for your patience,” said Husted, explaining that installation of the service requires replacing existing power poles with higher ones designed to handle the additional cable. He estimated it will take four to seven months for the work to be completed.

Husted also said that this was one example of how Valley Communications will be of great benefit to Valley Electric, as the communications company will bear the cost of the infrastructure upgrade. He also said that Valley Communications will be a significant source of revenue for the parent company.

Valley Communications is already in operation in Pahrump via a system of Wi-Fi towers, and Amargosa Valley is set to begin hook-ups this month.

On keeping the cost low, officials said it was amazing how the staff continually found creative ways to “pull the rabbit out of the hat,” and Husted pointed out that, despite increases in the cost of power, rates are still the same as in 2010.

In speaking of the company’s contract with Creech Air Force Base, officials said that the Air Force had complimented VEA on their operation and said that VEA replaced old, deteriorated infrastructure, and that its employees had been able to track down and fix a periodic outage problem that had puzzled the Air Force for years.

Husted said that the company has been able to grow, even during the worst recession in its history. Early in the recession, they reduced staff as part of a cost-cutting strategy. They have been adding staff this year, partly because of increases in the size and scope of operations.

The company plans to reinvest profits from the sale of transmission lines in the company, said Husted.

An email has been circulating casting doubt on that sale, saying that it was the result of a decision made in an illegal meeting. Husted refuted that claim, saying it was totally inaccurate, and that the company had been careful in following legal counsel.

Husted said there are also always “interveners,” which he says are lawyers who make a living by raising objections and then taking a “black box” settlement.

One thing that is delaying the sale, however, is the lack of a quorum on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which has to sign off on it. He said that body was down to three members out of five before the election, and another member resigned when President Trump was elected. Until at least one more member is appointed and confirmed, nothing can be done.

Another email in circulation cites huge figures from an IRS Form 990, representing them as the salaries of officers. Husted says that whoever is circulating it doesn’t understand how to interpret the forms, and that the numbers cited actually are projected retirement fund balances.

The same email is critical of the expense of an office the company leases in Henderson. Husted says it is important to have a place where the company can meet with legislators and with people from other companies with whom they do business. He says the expense is insignificant compared to the company’s total budget.

Regarding the emails, Husted said, “I don’t know what the motivation was behind the rhetoric, but it absolutely was not accurate. If you ever receive an email about the company or have a question about the company, call me. There is not boogey man in the company. There are no secrets.”

VEA commented, “Whenever the board meets and has a decision to make, the first question we ask is, ‘Is it good for the members?’ Then, ‘Is it good for the company?’ If the answer is yes to both, then it is, ‘Okay, how do we do it?’”

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Beatty officials take stance on Greenlink, SUP’s

The Beatty Town Advisory Board took positions on three topics in their May 23 meeting, approving letters stating those positions to be sent to various agencies and officials.

The Source cannabis dispensary aiming for July opening in Pahrump

The Source secured the necessary privilege license from Nye County to allow for the opening of Pahrump’s second pot dispensary and company officials are eagerly anticipating the start of business.

Here’s how you can celebrate Memorial Day in Pahrump

Memorial Day is known as many things in the U.S. and while taking advantage of the three-day weekend and warming weather is a focus for the masses, the true meaning behind the holiday is much more somber.

Tonopah Class of 2022: Grads talk about school in a pandemic and future plans

The Times-Bonanza caught up with some of the graduating seniors from the Tonopah High Class of 2022 to talk about their high school memories, experiences during the pandemic and future plans. Here are excerpts from those interviews.

Balloons are back: Pahrump festival will see a 9th year

The Pahrump Valley Chamber of Commerce’s decision to cancel the 9th Annual Pahrump Balloon Festival earlier this year was a source of much dismay and disappointment for area residents but thanks to the efforts of the Dubin family and Balloons Over Pahrump, the event is now set to make a comeback this fall.

How Pahrump came together to feed veterans at the Rib Extravaganza

Rising to a challenge posed just three days prior to the big event, the Pahrump community came through in a big way for the “Support Our Troops Rib Extravaganza” with combined donations totaling more than $4,000 and hundreds of veterans able to enjoy a hearty lunch at absolutely no cost.

Nye County’s CASA holding Hawaiian vacation raffle

Since the onset of the pandemic in March 2020, nonprofits across the country have been hit hard with reduced funding, but the needs those organizations fulfill have certainly not lessened.