VEA Crews Help Keep Lights Shining

Bulbs replaced at Pahrump parks

If evening events at Ian Deutch and Petrack parks in Pahrump seem a little brighter, you can thank crews from Valley Electric Association crews and Town of Pahrump officials, who teamed up a few weeks ago to replace burned-out bulbs at the facilities.

“We do it as a community service,” says Tim Dunlap, Line Crew Superintendent. “We have the only truck in town tall enough. Otherwise (Pahrump) would have to rent a truck and hire an operator – probably from Las Vegas.”

Pahrump pays for the lamps, and VEA crews replace the dead ones.

VEA helps at least once a year, sometimes twice. “It really depends on how many lights go out in a year,” says Tim. The VEA crew that performed the work in September included Lineman Aaron Fritz, Apprentice Lineman Schain Thomson and Groundsman Mitch Davis.

When it is time to do the work, Jimmy Martinez, Building and Grounds Manager for the Town of Pahrump, calls Tim to see when VEA can have a truck and crew available. “We stop irrigating the fields for at least two days beforehand.” That provides enough time for the fields to dry out so the weight of the bucket truck does not damage the fields and the irrigation system.

Care must be taken with the heavy bucket truck to keep from damaging the fields.

The crews use one of two trucks to do the work, depending on how high the bucket must reach. One truck weighs 48,220 pounds and has a reach of 88 feet to the bottom of the bucket. The other weighs 56,860 pounds with a reach of 130 feet.

The Town of Pahrump pays for all the bulbs and handles the disposal of the old ones. “It really helps us out tremendously to have Valley’s assistance,” says Jimmy. “No other company in town has a truck like that, so it would cost a lot to get it done.”

In September, 44 bulbs were replaced.

“We’ve been doing this as long as I’ve been here, which is 20 years,” says Tim.

VEA crews participate in other community projects, including the Fourth of July Parade, the Pahrump Fall Festival, setting the Community Christmas Tree at the Pahrump Nugget as well as replacing lights at the Desert View Hospital.

One of the Seven Cooperative Principles is Concern for Community. “We are grateful that we are able to provide an essential community service like this – one that would be difficult and costly for Pahrump to have done by someone else,” said Dick Peck, Interim CEO