Lamar Utility Board Reviews 2022 Budget



Light Plant Superintendent, Houssin Hourieh, provided a view of the proposed Capital Improvement and Operation and Maintenance segments of the 2022 budget for Utility Board members on Tuesday, August 24th.

A substantial amount of the budget is for repeat expenses and remaining generally in line with the previous year’s financial projection.  Capital Improvement is estimated at $1,281,220 and O & M is at $637,000.  The board gave approval for several upgrades including $90,000 for wind turbine parts and $70,000 to provide an automatic lift to be installed in the wind turbine towers at $70,000.  Hourieh noted that 1,938 new AMI smart meters have been ordered at $338,220 which will complete the project of providing new electric metering systems for light plant customers.  Some outdated equipment, such as a 50 year old forklift, will be replaced along with replacement roofing for the machine shop and the lower area of Unit Six.  New electric gates for the north and south facilities are also being added this year.

The board approved purchase orders totaling $80,887.13 from the total amount of $86,179.82 as well as the monthly payment of bills at $1,150,764.58 which included $1,045,521.96 from Arkansas River Power Authority for the purchase of power.

The financial report for July 2021 showed total operating revenue for July is $1,454,455 and operating costs at $1,383,016 resulting in gross operating income of $71,439.  When the non-operating revenues and expenses are considered, there is a net loss for the month of $101,954.

When compared to 2020, revenues from retail sales are down approximately $146,069 or 2% comparing July 2021 to 2020 and overall operating expenses are down approximately $330,237 or 4% resulting in a net loss of $430,858 for the year.

Aging parts, such as synchronizing contactors on T-2 and T-3 wind turbines have been ‘nuisance’ tripping causing the turbines to go offline and lose production.  Hourieh, told the board these are original parts and are now obsolete.  There is a proposal to replace the two contactors at $40,178 and the board can plan to budget the rest of the wind turbines upgrades on the 2022 budget.  He noted that he has not received a reply from May Valley Water from a recent phone call, inquiring if they wanted to be reconnected to the Light plant to power their Number 7 Well.  Board members agreed a registered letter of inquiry would be appropriate at this point.

By Russ Baldwin


Filed Under: City of LamarConsumer IssuesEconomyFeaturedUtilities


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