Lamar Utility Board Reviews Financials and Repowering Project Capacity

The Lamar Utility Board held a brief meeting Tuesday, October 25, and postponed the swearing-in of new board member, Ron Cook until the November 15 meeting.  A reorganization of the board will take place at that time when members will elect a new chairman and vice-chair as well as appoint an attorney, superintendent and authorize check signing.  Bob Schemahorn, the current chairman, will be replaced on the board by Cook. 

Superintendent Rick Rigel briefly reviewed the light plant’s September income statement and year-to-date income statement.  Operating revenue for September was $1,461,468 with operating costs at $895,845.  Year-to-date revenues are $10,394,165 against costs for the same period at $9,355,024 for a net operating income of $1,039,141.  When the non-operating revenues and expenses are considered, the YTD net income is $81,721.  Rigel explained that overall sales of power are up 3.2% in total with commercial sales showing the strongest leader with an increase of 4.5%.  Irrigation sales are up 10% YTD, but Rigel said that is a smaller customer class, compared to commercial sales.  Purchased power costs are up 17.1% from 2010 at almost $0.105 per kilowatt hour. 

There are still some adjustments being made to the Repowering Project.  A small tube leak was easily repaired, but the plant has not been able to achieve compliance at full load, but is at compliance at a load range of approximately 70%.  Rigel said the plant operators are reviewing test data with the boiler vendor at to what steps are needed to operate at full load. 

The board closed its regular meeting and moved into executive session to discuss the Discovery phase of the second complaint brought against the Repowering Project by WildEarth Guardians.  Rigel also updated board members on negotiations with the State regarding a Consent Order of Compliance that addressed emission exceedances from 2010 and operating conditions for 2011.

By Russ Baldwin


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