2012 Lamar Light Plant Budget Outlined

Michael Bryant, Receiving his Oath of Office

The Lamar Utilities Board reviewed the 2012 budget for Lamar Light Plant and Repowering Project operations this past Tuesday, September 27.    Superintendent Rick Rigel said the budget is funded primarily by retail electric sales amounting to $14.6 million and total revenues should be in excess of $15.4 million.  Residential customers will account for $5,237,000; Commercial & Industrial sales are projected at $7,976,000; Irrigation customers at $557,000 and miscellaneous customers at $795,000.  Gas gathering and wind production will account for $720,000 of the revenue. 

The revenues are also based on the scheduled rate increase, which goes into effect November 1, as well as the 2.5% increase scheduled for June 1 of next year.

The Repowering Project budget proposed operating expenses for next year at $12,871,550 with $6.2 million for production costs, $4.7 million for coal purchases, $2.87 million for personnel costs, $536,000 for health insurance and $1.35 million in capital outlays.  Rigel added that power supply costs are projected to increase 20%, from $8.75 million this year to $10.5 million for 2012.  Once the budget has been finalized, a public hearing will be scheduled with the Lamar City Council in early October. 

At least three weeks of testing will be needed following the most recent upgrades to the Repowering Project boiler.   Plant Superintendent  Rigel told board members, almost a dozen engineers from Babcock and Wilcox have been on hand for the tuning and testing procedures.  He said four areas of concern have been prioritized for optimum performance at the plant out of the eight series of tests.  He noted some improvements  are already evident such as the bed temperature is better which helps reduce emissions, along with a cutback in the amount of coal being consumed.  Rigel stated that the reduction is in the neighborhood of 22 tons per hour, down from 30 tons used previously.  This also accounts for better emission conditions, he added.  Since modifications have been made to the control system, the equipment is also showing better response. 

Bids on turbine pumps for cooling wells were rejected as the two submitted were in excess of the board’s limits.  Bids had been requested from six vendors and the board will ask for the bids to be resubmitted. 

The newest board member, Michael Bryant, was officially sworn in by Judge Larry Stutler, as Bill Wootten’s replacement on the board.  A search is continuing for another board member to replace  Chairman Bob Schemahorn whose term has also expired.

By Russ Baldwin


Filed Under: BusinesscommunityEconomyEnergyFeaturedLamarUtilities


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