By Miguel Gonzalez
(Victorville)-Inland Energy President Buck Johns was the guest speaker before a full room at the local Rotary Club held Tuesday afternoon at the Grumpy Golfer Clubhouse.
Johns, the mastermind behind many Victor Valley projects, including the Victorville Power Plant 1, spoke to Rotarians about the many projects in the area that stand to create thousands of well paying jobs and also creating a local sales tax base.
Chief among these projects, Johns touted that the DesertXpress project, which will build a high speed train from Victorville to Las Vegas by 2016, will be a catalyst for the creation of 88,000 jobs, according to a study by UNLV Professor Tom Carroll. The construction of DesertXpress will create 50,000 direct jobs, plus 38,000 indirect and induced jobs. Most of these jobs will benefit the Victor Valley and even Barstow,Johns explained to the Rotary Club members.
Johns explained that projects such as DesertXpress do not happen overnight and they need the support of local leaders and elected officials to become a reality. These projects are enormous and need the support of the communities that will eventually benefit so much.
Johns also announced that by the end of this week, the City of Victorville will be filing a response with the federal government for the EB-5 program, which is currently under review.
Past Rotary President Mike Page said the speech by Johns served as a great eye opener for many of his members. Many times, newspapers do not have enough space to print all details and to hear it from the horse’s mouth is a great advantage for our members because they are community leaders and business owners, Page told High Desert Daily.
Mojave Water Agency General Manager Kirby Brill said that updates on job generating projects help his agency to make sure there is enough water available to assist in the construction of said undertakings. “I think there is a lot of promise out there with the projects Buck mentioned. The leaders of this community are good at grabbing a hold of a vision, blast through obstacles and make things happen. It has happened before and I am sure more important projects will become a reality because of this positive mentality,” Brill said.