LUB Reviews 2016 Draft Budget for Lamar Repowering Project

Coal Domes

Coal Domes


“This is a bare bones budget,” according to Houssin Hourieh, Lamar Light Plant Superintendent. He remarked that overall; it’s 27% lower than last year’s submission sent to ARPA for approval under their Joint Operating Agreement. ARPA, Arkansas River Power Authority, needs to have the budget submitted to them by August 1.

2016 revenues are projected at $1,324,533 compared to the 2015 budget of $1,817,186 for a 27% reduction. Personnel expenses for payroll have dropped by 33% against last year’s figures of $1,226,586 and the 2016 estimate of $820,533. 2016 Repairs and Maintenance are down 28% and Work Orders have dropped by 59% compared to 2015 to $41,500. The Repowering Project Capital Outlays are $41,500 which covers spare parts, instruments and electrical supplies and various equipment purchases to maintain the coal fired plant in its current status. The table for manpower at the Project indicated the need for nine fulltime employees and seven part time. “Based on these needs, we’re employing a total of 11.4 persons at the Repowering Project and the Light Plant with costs shared with ARPA,” he explained. Hourieh said some employees will work at different stations for a portion of a day which accounts for the percentage. He added that despite the coal plant’s being offline, a minimum of five plant operators is needed to maintain a 24/7 shift schedule. “We have to have one person per shift. We cannot leave the control room without someone being there,” he said. The employee categories include: maintenance, mechanical/electrical engineer, gas field, plant operators, document control, IT, warehouse, environmental/compliance, electricians and accounting.

The June 2015 financial report for the Light Plant shows total operating revenue at $1,014,004 and costs at $1,084,145 for a gross operating loss of $71,141. When non-operating revenues and expenses are factored in, there is a net loss of $223,471 for June. Hourieh explained that several sizable payments had to go out that month. Year to date figures show total operating revenues at $6,130,615 and total non-operating costs at $5,091,950 for a gross operating profit of $1,038,665. With non-operating revenues and expense factored in, there is a net profit of $65,338, year to date. A 2014 comparison notes that revenues from retail sales are down approximately $39,981 or 1%, comparing June 2014 to 2015 and overall operating expenses are down by $139,190 or 3%, resulting in a net profit of $65,338 for the year.

Superintendent Hourieh noted a decline in the number of customer meters for the month of May, a count that has been taken annually by the Plant since 1999. There were 5,594 customers connected for May 2015, while in 2003 there was a peak of 5,836. To date, this past May indicates the lowest meter count since the practice was initiated.

LUB Chairman, Michael Bryant indicated that he would not seek another year as a board member, and as such, the July 28 meeting would be his last one. “I’ve just got too many items on my plate at this time and I had to find a point where I could reduce some of my work load,” he explained. The next utilities board meeting is set for Tuesday, August 11.

By Russ Baldwin





Filed Under: AgricultureBusinesscommunityEconomyEmploymentEnergyFeaturedLamarUtilities


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