Lamar Utility Board Approves 2015 Budget

Coal Domes

Coal Domes

The 2015 Lamar Light Plant budget was passed by the Lamar Utility Board during their meeting, Tuesday, October 14. The budget, according to Light Plant Superintendent, Houssin Hourieh, is in two sections.  One budget deals with the revenue requirements for Operations for the transmission and distribution of electricity.  The second deals with the Lamar Repowering Project and those expenses are funded by ARPA, the Arkansas River Power Authority.

The Operations budget included total revenues for 2015 in excess of $13.9 million from retail electric sales and wind turbine production and gas gathering fees. Operating expenses are projected at $11.6 million which includes $9.2 million for power supply.  Personnel costs are $872,331 and the annual Charter Appropriations payment to the City of Lamar is $1,647,779 which is the maximum 12% of retail sales as allowed by the Charter.

Next year’s budget for the Lamar Repowering Project’s maintenance and operation expenses is over $1.8 million. Of that, $1.2 million is for personnel costs and $355,500 for general and administrative costs.

The fate of the Lamar Repowering Project may be decided before the end of the year as ARPA board members voted 10 to 2 recently to adopt a resolution declaring that disposing of, or decommissioning the plant would be in the board’s best financial interests. The two Lamar representatives cast ‘no’ votes.  The plant hasn’t been operating for the past three years and a state district court ruling will keep it out of operation until 2023.  It costs an estimated $135,000 a month to maintain the plant.

Utility Board members voted to hire special legal counsel for representation in a lawsuit against ARPA and Syncora Guarantee, Incorporated. Board member Doug Thrall abstained from the vote as he, as a private business owner, is represented by a different legal firm in legal action against the two parties.

Superintendent Hourieh stated in answer to a question during the meeting, that once a decision to decommission the plant has been reached, approximately 17 full and part time employees on the Repowering Project will be without work. The Light Plant has a separate staff of 38 employees.  The next ARPA board meeting will be held in Holly at 10am on Thursday, October 30.  The next Lamar Utility Board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, October 28 at noon.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: BusinesscommunityCountyEconomyEmploymentEnergyEnvironmentFeaturedHollyLamarProwers CountyUtilities


About the Author:

RSSComments (0)

Trackback URL

Comments are closed.