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Boxley and Steerman Assume Positions at Lamar Utility Board

Boxley, Sworn in by Judge Stan Brinkley

Boxley, Sworn in by Judge Stan Brinkley

Lamar resident, Clifford Boxley and attorney Don Steerman, began their service with the Lamar Utility Board on Tuesday, October 25th.  Boxley was sworn in as a board member by Judge Stan Brinkley, replacing Howard Hobbs who resigned earlier this month due to health issues.  Boxley has been a resident of Lamar since 1964 and serves on the City of Lamar’s Planning and Zoning Commission as well as the Lamar Partnership Incorporated Board.  He will finish Hobb’s term on the board, about one year.  Steerman, a local attorney, is replacing John Lefferdink, who recently announced his retirement as board attorney.  Steerman brings a working familiarity of the Utility Board to his new position as he had been a previous board member until his term expired in 2013.

LUB Attorney, Don Steerman

LUB Attorney, Don Steerman

As part of the membership process, a vote was taken for reorganization of the board with Doug Thrall becoming the board chairman and Michael Horning as vice-chair. Other members include Pat Leonard, Leo Hernandez and Mayor Roger Stagner who represents the city as a non-voting member.

John Lefferdink with Light Plant Superintendent, Houssin Hourieh

John Lefferdink with Light Plant Superintendent, Houssin Hourieh

The board had several questions regarding writing off uncollectable accounts for the current year, totaling $75,029.85, or $0.54% of revenues for 2015 of $13,694,496. LUB accountant, Lisa Denman said that because of a number of bankruptcies among light plant customers in 2012-2014, the level for write-offs in this year’s budget was increased from $50,000.

LUB secretary, Linda Williams said the accounts are turned over to a collection agency and the board is provided with a list of those accounts, but not the names of the clients. “If we can collect on the bill in the first 30 days, the city is usually reimbursed about 90% on the bill, but we’ll only see from 45 to 50% when it goes later than that,” she explained.  She added that three final monthly notices are mailed to delinquent clients, and the client is informed there will be a power shut off past the second month.  Williams said the delinquent notice doesn’t go away over time.  “If the party returns to the city, even after ten years to open a new account, that past due bill is brought up and they’ll need to pay before they can receive service.  We also have a safeguard in place that prevents someone from using a different name from the same family at the same address to open a new account when the current one is still past due.”

In other financial dealings, the accounts for September 2016 were announced. Cash is up $249,522 from August and accounts receivable dropped by $147,248.  Total monthly operating revenue was $1,450,248 and total operating costs of $1,007,546 were noted for a gross operating income of $442,702.  With non-operating revenues and expenses considered, net income for the month was  $257,650.    Year to date operating revenues for the year are $10,887,811 and total operating costs are $8,904,901 for a gross operating profit of $1,982,910.  When non-operating revenues and expenses are considered, year to date net income is $248,883.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: City of LamarConsumer IssuesEconomyFeaturedUtilities

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