City Council Seeks Means to Reduce Electric Power Rates



The Lamar City Council, during their final meeting of 2017, gave thought to a means by which Lamar Light and Power customers could realize reduced costs for their electricity purchases. The general population of the City of Lamar had issued past comments that, should the lawsuit against ARPA by the City of Lamar be resolved in Lamar’s favor, the city should find some way to offer relief for the high rates customers had been paying ever since the cost of the construction bonds for the Lamar Repowering Project had been included in their monthly utility bills.

On Wednesday, December 27, the council adopted and modified Resolution 17-12-03, “Authorizing the Payment of $350,000 Per Year from the City’s General Fund to the Lamar Utilities Board for the Purpose of Reducing Electric Utility Rates Paid by Lamar Light and Power Customers.”  This past November, the council adopted a resolution to accept the Settlement Agreement ending the litigation with the Arkansas River Power Authority over the failed LRP.  The City will receive $350,000 per year for the next 26 years.  The question of the most fair means of reducing customer rates is one that will be forwarded to the Lamar Utility Board for consideration.  The utility board, through the resolution, will be provided with the $350,000 on the expressed condition that the Board use the money to reduce electricity utility rates to all of its customers.  If that condition is not met, the resolution states that the funds will not be transferred from the City’s General Fund.

Mayor Roger Stagner suggested the resolution be modified to begin the payments after the litigation fees had been fully paid to the city by ARPA, just over $2.5 M.  The council voted unanimously in favor of the recommendation.  The majority of those funds have been reimbursed, but Stagner felt that the full amount, another $102,785 be paid to the city before the $350,000 be allocated to the Utility Board, sometime in mid-March of next year.  The Utility board will then receive the full amount following that payment, expected to be in December of the following year.

by Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: City of LamarConsumer IssuesEconomyEventsFeaturedHot TopicsUtilities


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