Hitch for ARPA/City of Lamar Settlement Agreement


Lamar Light Plant Superintendent, Houssin Hourieh, announced that The City Council of La Junta cast a collective ‘no’ vote May 15th to approve the settlement agreement between ARPA and the City of Lamar.  Their counterparts in Trinidad, also an ARPA municipal member, decided to table their decision during their May meeting.  All six ARPA members, including Lamar, must be unanimous in their vote to avoid litigation by approving the settlement between the two parties.  To date, Springfield, Holly and Las Animas, in earlier votes, were in favor of the agreement.  Lamar would have been the last to vote.  A ‘yes’ vote on Lamar’s part would have brought the issue before the two representatives of each of the six municipal members of the ARPA board for their final vote on the agreement.

Lamar Mayor, Roger Stagner, said during the May 23rd Lamar Utilities Board meeting, that those two communities have until July 14th to change their votes.  “If they haven’t changed by that deadline, the case goes back to litigation in a courtroom,” he explained.  An earlier interview with ARPA General Manager, Rick Rigel, indicated that the timeline for a court date would be sometime this fall. The trial itself would be in the neighborhood of from 21 to 30 days.  Rigel was also of the opinion that the party that was ruled against in Case 31, the lawsuit, would probably appeal, which would extend the legal proceedings.  If the settlement is approved, the City of Lamar would be paid $1M by ARPA as well as $400,000 a year for 26 years and the city would receive some property and equipment from the Lamar Repowering Project site.  Under terms of the settlement, the City of Lamar would affirm the organic contract, as the other ARPA members did last year, and continue to purchase electric power from ARPA.  ARPA board members will meet Thursday, May 25th in Holly and their next scheduled meeting is July 27th.

In other action, the utilities board approved bids for a bucket truck, pole mount transformers and other electrical equipment. The financial report shows total operating revenues for the year at $4,566,025 and total operating costs at $3,667,105 resulting in gross operating income of $898,920.  When the non-operating revenues and expenses are factored there is a net income of $345,854, year to date.

A follow-up report from the April 29th snowstorm states that the line crews have completed reconstructing all power lines that were damaged and the affected circuits are back to normal feed.  The crew also completed seven miles of voltage upgrades for the Town of Holly.  This involved a three-phase, 4KV circuit that provides power to a 900HP irrigation load.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: City of HollyCity of LamarConsumer IssuesCountyEconomyFeaturedHistoryHot TopicsUtilities


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