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Hernandez Rejoins LUB, ARPA Mediation Open Until August 31st

Leo Hernandez was reappointed to the Lamar Utilities Board during its regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, August 15th.  Prior to that, the Lamar City Council approved his reappointment during their Monday meeting which the Utilities Board ratified for a five year term.  Hernandez became a board member in 2013.

The lawsuit between the City of Lamar and Arkansas River Power Authority was not resolved earlier this summer as several municipal members declined to agree to a settlement. When La Junta and Trinidad indicated their intent not to sign on, the court continued the lawsuit with the trial judge ordering both parties to attempt a settlement through mediation by the end of August.  If the case between ARPA and Lamar is not resolved by that time, the suit will go to a jury trial in Pueblo.  The earliest date for the expected four week court proceedings is March 5, 2018.

ARPA recently received a favorable court ruling in their lawsuit against the manufacturer of the boiler for the Lamar Repowering Project, Babcock and Wilcox. Last November, ARPA successfully sued B and W claiming the coal fired boiler was unable to meet performance standards without violating their air emissions permit.  ARPA was awarded $4 million in damages.  This past July, the judge granted ARPA’s pre and post judgement interest and amended the final judgement which increased the award by $3.7 million.  Babcock and Wilcox has until August 21, 2017 to appeal the verdict.

Lamar Light Plant Superintendent, Houssin Hourieh, told the board there were only a few minor power outages associated with the August 10th hail storm in the plant’s operating area.  “We had some damage to vehicles and operating equipment and we’re forwarding those claims to CIRSA,” he explained.

Hourieh provided an update on the Plant’s wind turbine performance, noting that through the first half of the year, the three turbines have generated 5,418.1 MWH off electricity at tan average capacity of 29%, about 1.8% lower than the same period last year.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: City of LamarConsumer IssuesFeaturedHot TopicsUtilities

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