Lamar Utility Board Reviews Favorable Court Decision in SECPA Lawsuit


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The Lamar Utility Board met in regular session Tuesday, June 29th to discuss the Public Utility Commission’s decision to affirm the recommended decision of Administration Law Judge, Conor Farley, in favor of LUB in its lawsuit against Southeast Colorado Power Association.

Light Plant Superintendent, Houssin Hourieh, noted the PUC affirmed all key parts of the judge’s recommendation on June 26th, denying SECPA’s exceptions except for one smaller point that had no determination on the ruling.  Hourieh noted the key rulings by the Commission:

The legal standard for transfer of “Frozen” customers I the 1970 Decision is the same for LUB and SECPA-Substantial change in the nature of the service.  The facts of the cast regarding May Valley Well #7 did not meet the standard, instead the facts show MVWA was “Rate Shopping” which is prohibited by prior Colorado Supreme Court decisions.  SECPA is ordered to cease and desist from providing service to MVWA Well #7.  LUB is authorized to offer MVWA the option to connect Well #7 to LUB’s service.

In other action, the line crew completed constructing 2,700 feet of a line extension starting at the intersection of CR LL and 13 in Prowers County.  Crews replaced a failed 450 circuit for Metal Halide lights at the Green Ballfield and replaced a 15 hp circulating water/chemical boiler feed pump at the municipal swimming pool.

The board paid $45,752 in purchase orders of which $29,489.17 required approval and paid bills totaling $782,393.87 of which $686,558.45 were for ARPA electrical power purchases.  LUB accountant, Lisa Denman, noted that this marks the eighth straight month when power purchases have been lower than $700,000, mostly attributed to cooler, wetter weather and the lack of demand for irrigation power purchases.

The May 2021 financial statement shows cash is up $230,034 from April and accounts receivable decreased by $91,485.  When compared to 2020 revenues from retail sales are up approximately $22,130 or less than 1% comparing May 2021 to 2020 and overall operating expenses are down approximately $144,864 or 3% resulting in a net loss of $155,713 for the year.

The board moved into executive session to discuss specific legal questions regarding the LUB vs SECPA case and SECPA’s motion to stay the effectiveness of the decision.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: City of LamarConsumer IssuesEconomyFeaturedUtilities


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