Lamar City Council Goes Hardball with ARPA

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For all of their two votes at the ARPA membership table, the Lamar City Council authorized their representatives to vote no on approving a resolution to reaffirm the organic contract with the Arkansas River Power Authority and revenue bond insurer, Syncora.  Lamar City Attorney, Garth Nieschburg and Lamar Light Plant Superintendent, Houssin Hourieh, were also directed to vote no by the council regarding the decommissioning of the Repowering Project.  The other action taken following the council’s Tuesday night executive session, tabled possible action on joining a private citizens’ potential lawsuit against ARPA.  That issue will be discussed, as well as the other options on the no votes, during the council’s regular bi-monthly meeting on Monday, July 14.  The special council meeting was called following a series of public hearings by ARPA on the power supply organization’s two options on the coal firing plant, either decommission the complex and sell off the equipment, or place the project in cold standby for at least the life of a power supply purchase for the next ten years. The council also held their own pubic hearing on July 2 to put their options to the general public on best case scenarios the council could act upon.

Craig Johnson, ARPA attorney asked that the council delay their no vote on the reaffirmation of the organic contract, citing that it could send a wrong message to litigation parties for the City of Trinidad and Syncora, the insuring company of the $156M in construction bonds which funded the Lamar Repowering Project.  Johnson said delays or additional litigation would prove costly to the ratepayers.  He also asked for qualifications on a timetable for the council’s no vote on decommissioning and selling off the plant’s equipment.  Johnson inquired if that was a no vote that meant ‘never’ decommission and sell the equipment or to delay doing so until a future point.  The council said they were just telling their representatives, right now, to vote no and leave the door open for a resolution that would alter their directives if they chose to in the future.

By Russ Baldwin
(Editor’s Note:  A more detailed article regarding the council’s decisions following their July 8 executive session will be available on The Prowers Journal website.)

Filed Under: BusinesscommunityEconomyEnergyHollyHot TopicsLamarProwers CountyUtilitiesWiley


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