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Lamar Council Adopts ARPA Bond Refunding Resolution

 

The Lamar City Council, following an hour long executive session Monday night, March 19th, approved resolution 18-03-01 which will issue refunding bonds by ARPA, Arkansas River Power Authority.  The vote was five to one in favor with the dissenting vote cast by councilmember, Anne-Marie Crampton.

Lamar Mayor Roger Stagner called for the special meeting during last week’s regular council meeting, in order to give more attention to the details of the resolution which was presented by ARPA General Manager, Rick Rigel. Rigel has made similar presentations to the other municipal ARPA members, and all, with the exception of Trinidad has given its approval.  Trinidad will meet tonight, March 21st, to consider the resolution.  All six members, Lamar, Holly, Springfield, Las Animas, La Junta and Trinidad must be on board for the resolution to pass for the refunding of the construction bonds for the Lamar Repowering Project.

Once the bonds are refunded, $143M, as stated by Rigel, ARPA could save as much as from $700,000 to $900,000 a year on its annual payments to the bond holders.  Rigel had said these savings could help stabilize the rates ARPA customers pay for their electrical costs for several years to come.  He could not guarantee a rate reduction, but alluded that it’s not out of the realm of possibility.

Lamar City Administrator, John Sutherland, told The Prowers Journal that supporting the three sections of the refunding proposal was not an easy choice for the council. “We found it a little difficult to do in light of the past litigation with ARPA and the City, given that we did not want to sign the re-affirmation of the Organic Contract which would have forfeited our rights to any redress in the courts,” he explained, adding, “It was a little hard to get the council excited about that part of the resolution.”  City Attorney, Garth Neischburg, had provided his written statement at last week’s council meeting favoring the resolution for bond refunding.

Rigel had said that once all municipal members had signed on in agreement with the refunding, the ARPA board, at their March 29th meeting, will make a presentation to initiate the refunding of the bonds in April.  The Lamar Utility Board is still considering ways in which the annual payment of $350,000 for 26 years from ARPA to the City of Lamar from the Case 31 litigation, can be used to offer rate relief to the customers of Lamar Light and Power.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: City of HollyCity of LamarConsumer IssuesEconomyEventsFeaturedHistoryUtilities

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