weather icon Mostly Cloudy

VEA’s transmission line sale vote falls short of threshold; extended until Nov. 14

Valley Electric Association, Inc. announced Friday that they’re extending the voting deadline for its proposed transmission line sale.

VEA said as of that afternoon, more than 11,500 votes have been cast by member-owners on whether or not to sell its 230-kilovolt transmission system.

Around 94 percent of members who voted in the special election, which began Sept. 14, were for the sale of the transmission system.

VEA said 10,800 members voted “yes” as of noon Friday, which represents about 62 percent of the membership.

Approval to sell a major asset requires a two-thirds affirmative vote of the entire membership or 66.6 percent. VEA said it is approximately 750 more “yes” votes.

As a result of not achieving that two-thirds threshold, a decision to extend the deadline four more weeks came down at a membership meeting Friday.

Those who were present at the meeting voted to extend the period to allow more members to vote.

Per the bylaws and Nevada state law, Friday’s action would keep voting open for the extra 31 days.

In September, VEA’s Board of Directors approved the sale of VEA’s 230-kV high-voltage transmission system to Chicago-based GridLiance.

The sale would include 164 miles of high-voltage transmission lines it owns throughout Southern Nevada for an estimated $190 million.

The transaction would net the cooperative almost 2.4 times the initial $82 million it invested to construct the transmission lines.

The proceeds would be distributed and invested in many ways, including the $82 million debt VEA took on to build the transmission system being retired and $10 million being set aside to distribute to active members who paid into the ownership of the lines between 1995 and 2016.

Other uses include putting $7.2 million toward retirement of capital credits, retirement of patronage capital, paying down additional debt and being used in future capital expenditures.

The sale would also allow the cooperative to roll back a 9.9 percent rate increase enacted in July 2016 and stabilize the rate to where another rate adjustment wouldn’t be made for at least 10 years.

The $10 million set aside for distribution to VEA member-owners will be given out in a one-time cash payment of $579 through the retirement of capital credits, which would be the largest in VEA history.

VEA’s board of directors have heard from thousands of members during the past 45 days through face-to-face meetings, phone calls, letters, emails, and through social media.

Despite the multiple ways to cast their votes, VEA said through those interactions they learned that members expressed concern with being unable to cast their votes due to loss of ballots, lack of familiarity with computerized voting, inconvenience and the lack of time to consider the magnitude of the issue.

Due to those issues and the two-thirds threshold needed to approve the sale falling just short, VEA decided upon extending the voting period.

Those members who have yet to cast their vote can do so by going online to www.vea.coop, in person at Valley Electric Association, by phone at 775-727-5312 or by mail.

Also at Friday’s meeting, three members’ names were drawn for prizes totaling $5,000. The prizes ranged from $2,500, $1,500 and $1,000.

A similar drawing will be held at the Nov. 14 meeting at the Valley Conference Center. All members who voted in the election were eligible for Friday’s drawing. All members who voted (except Friday’s winners) will be eligible for the Nov. 14 drawing.

Contact reporter Mick Akers at makers@pvtimes.com. Follow @mickakers on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Bowl-A-Thon to benefit Wounded Warriors

Hosted by local veteran Denise Flanagan, all of the money raised at the Bowl-A-Thon will be donated to Wounded Warrior Project, an organization that supports veterans.

It’s time to light the tree!

Here’s what you need to know as Pahrump prepares to illuminate its annual Christmas tree.

Pahrump crews respond to multiple crashes, fires

Pahrump Valley Fire Rescue and Services crews were dispatched for a two-vehicle crash along Highway 160 near mile marker 38 early Tuesday morning just after 5 a.m.

PHOTOS: Quilts of Valor

Comfort and healing bestowed upon local veterans.

Pahrump Holiday Task Force hosting annual holiday meal

Thanksgiving is a time that should be spent with others, be they family, neighbors or even brand new friends and the Pahrump Holiday Task Force is ensuring that no one in the valley has to be alone on the most thankful day of the year.

What’s next for outgoing Nye County sheriff? Maybe a seat on the bench

Outgoing Nye County Sheriff Sharon Wehrly is one of 15 candidates being considered for a vacant justice of the peace seat that county commissioners are expected to fill as early as January 2023. The position replaces judge Kent Jasperson who died in August following a long battle with cancer.

Nye clerk blames ACLU for delaying hand counts

Election officials had planned to count more than 13,000 mail-in ballots before the polls closed in Nye County, but “lost 14 days” because of stop-and-go court orders.