New Line-up at Lamar Utilities Board


Repowering Project Coal Storage Domes


Ron Cook Receiving Oath of Office from Judge Stutler

Don Steerman became the new Lamar Utilities Board Chairman today, November 15, replacing Bob Schemahorn, whose term expired this past August.  Ron Cook was also sworn in during today’s board meeting as its newest member.  Cook had served on the Lamar city council for several terms.  A fellow former council member, Michael Bryant was sworn in to the utility board several weeks ago, replacing Bill Wootten.  The new vice-chairman is David Anderson.  By unanimous vote, John Lefferdink will remain as utility board attorney and Rick Rigel as Lamar Light Plant Superintendent. 

Superintendent Rigel told the board the Repowering Project is currently off-line as some adjustments in performance are required.  Running at a low load, the plant is producing from 28-29 megawatts of power.  The plant attained compliance on emissions at higher loads, but was the performance was not sustainable for long periods.  Additional modifications will be conducted by Babcock and Wilcox engineering, including test reviews as well as ordering and installing new equipment.  Rigel said the offline time will allow plant personnel to review the boiler tube failure from almost a year ago and perform baseline readings on boiler tube thickness and perform readings on that system for any undue wear.  This will help establish a baseline for future performance. 

Retail sales through October were 3.5% higher than 2010 based on increased sales of approximately 1.6% from 2010.  The Retail Rate for all customer classes is 1.9% higher than last year.  Year-to-Date, commercial sales are up about 3.2%, irrigation sales are up about 3.3%, but sales in that category are lower this year than last.  Residential sales dropped a little under 1% from last year.   In order to clear up some confusion over terminology in the customer bills that went out in early November, the ECA, Electric Cost Adjustment was noted as “fuel adjustment”.  The ECA is currently based on purchased power from ARPA.  The term will be changed to read electric cost adjustment in future filling. 

Rigel noted the cost of coal shipments is now at $37 per ton, based on coal prices at $14 per ton, it still costs more to ship the fuel around the country.

By Russ Baldwin


Filed Under: BusinesscommunityCountyEconomyEnergyFeaturedLamarUtilities


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