A three-member panel from the state Public Utilities Commission heard public comment on the application by Penoyer Valley Electric Company for authority to transfer its electrical distribution system to the Lincoln County Power District No. 1 and cancel Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity #828.
About 20 people were on hand at the Rachel Senior Center Tuesday evening for the meeting. Most spoke of the need for the Company to cancel the certificate and sell to LCPD.
Jermaine Grubbs, Alaina Burtenshaw of the PUC office in Las Vegas, and Craig McDonnell of the Carson City office, were on hand to take the comments and make a later recommendation to the full PUC board. A meeting of the PUC is scheduled for Las Vegas in June.
Most of the reasons given in support of wanting to join LCPD focused on the fact PVEC has outlived its usefulness in Rachel. With only 47 customers, people said the company has no money, and with any catastrophic loss of lines, poles, transformers, and other equipment, it would be impossible to pay for replacements. Member Pat Loudenclaus and Company president Sharon Taylor both said it is time for a change, because they do not have the money to handle the high costs of maintenance anymore.
However, one couple has expressed deep concern that the sale of the company for $1.00 to Lincoln County Power is illegal, claiming it should be declared null and void, because PVEC is not following the rules of dissolution defined in the Company constitution and bylaws, in returning any remaining cash assets to the current and former members of the Coop.
At times, the meeting got a bit heated, and several people walked out when George Moore had his turn to speak, not feeling his concerns were valid.
After hearing Moore?s brief arguments for delaying the sale until the legal issues can be worked out, Burtenshaw said her panel did not have the authority to make judgment on legal issues, that would have to be looked at by a team of PUC lawyers.
LCPD manager Dave Luttrell said later in a telephone interview what the power district would be doing is ?assuming ownership of the power lines, and then we would provide retail power sales to them. If they want to turn their system over to us, we?re here to provide that service.?