Utility Board Accepts Wind Turbine Bond Refinance Offer


Lamar Wind Turbines

Lamar Wind Turbines

A resolution to refund the City of Lamar’s Wind Turbine revenue bonds was approved by the Lamar Utilities Board during their September 10 meeting.  The unanimous vote must still be approved by the Lamar City Council.  When finalized, $3.8 million in outstanding debt on the bonds will be refinanced at a lower interest rate through the sole buyer, Wells Fargo.  Representatives from the company explained the process for board members which they say will reduce the proposed bond rate from 4.5% to 2.58% for an annual savings of $40,000.   

Wells Fargo agent, Brad Angst, stated that the direct placement bonds to his company will reduce the fees normally connected to a public offering.  Angst said the cost for the transaction will be $68,000 including closing and miscellaneous fees.  Board Attorney, John Lefferdink asked if there is any pre-payment penalty connected to the deal, to which Angst replied that the bonds, issued in 2004, have enough maturity to eliminate that particular cost.  If the City Council approves, the new rates should be in effect by November 15. 

Two large repair projects at the Light Plant have been completed.  Superintendent Houssin Hourieh said the failed gearbox on one wind turbine has been replaced.  A G.E. wind energy crew worked with the local light plant crew and the installation was completed on August 31.  Work continues to upgrade the plant’s 24.9kv substation.  New equipment was installed replacing some parts dating back to 1960.  The new circuit breaker went into service on September 6. 

One application has been received to fill a board vacancy. Superintendent Hourieh received an application from Lamar resident, Howard Hobbs.  It will be sent to the Lamar City Council for action at their next meeting.  One other resident made an inquiry, but decided to put his application on hold until the council and board makes a decision on the first applicant.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: BusinesscommunityCountyEconomyEnergyEnvironmentFeaturedLamarProwers CountyUtilities


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