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VEA mulls a pair of possible community-benefiting programs

The Valley Electric Association discussed possible plans for community-focused projects in between financial discussions at its board meeting Friday.

VEA Chief Executive Officer Tom Husted said the co-op may want to use a building adjacent to the headquarters on Highway 372 for something that would benefit the community.

Husted said a community center similar to that of a YMCA would give back to the valley in a healthy way.

“We’re talking about a totally different animal next door,” Husted said.

Citing a health study by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute that ranked that ranked Nye the unhealthiest county in Nevada, Husted said offering a place where young and old alike could become more active was an attractive plan.

“The community desperately needs a place like that (community center) with the unhealthy ranking that came out in the paper,” he said. “We need to make good things happen.”

Coupled with promoting living an active lifestyle, Husted mentioned it could serve as a hub for the town, which it currently lacks.

“Pahrump doesn’t have that place where the community can meet,” Husted said.

Husted would like to put together a committee of hand-selected people in the community with various backgrounds related to community projects.

The property was purchased for $2.2 million, which could be surplussed, and was originally planned for future expansion for the VEA. Husted said that times are different now, and that possible seed capital could be used to benefit Pahrump right away with the community center.

Husted explained the project would show how the VEA is the cornerstone of the community.

The importance was laid on the community center, as it was mentioned during the meeting that areas that had YMCA-like programs were very successful.

Also mentioned in the meeting was the possibility of creating a community farm on 35 acres of land that the VEA owns.

The plan would be one big garden, with no individual spaces, that would be under the guidance of an ambassador committee.

Husted said the products produced at the farm would be donated to the charity food banks in town.

It was suggested that organizations already in place be brought in to aid the farm, including, but not limited to, the Future Farmers of America.

Not wanting to take away from similar community gardens in town, Husted would have the right people in place to make sure it has a positive effect on Pahrump.

“We don’t want to do something that takes away from the community,” Husted said.

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