Lamar Utility Board Moves Forward on 2022 Budget

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The Lamar Utility Board held a brief meeting, Tuesday, September 28th after which, they moved into executive session to receive advice on legal questions related to a Public Utilities Case.  During its September 14th meeting, Light Plant Superintendent, Houssin Hourieh, informed the board that the deadline for SECPA, Southeast Colorado Power Authority to file an appeal with the district court was September 10th and there had been no notification of a filing up to that point.  There was no action taken following the executive session.

The board reviewed the proposed 2022 budget under the direction of Light Plant Superintendent, Houssin Hourieh.  The figures cover the Transmission and Distribution Operation and Capital Outlays.  Given the fluctuating power usage over the past year of the Covid pandemic, the amounts are pretty much in line withs the previous year.  A slight revenue downturn can be attributed to the inability to shut off delinquent accounts due to executive orders preventing that action.  Total revenues for 2022 are estimated at $16,488,070 compared to the 2021 figure of $16,492,070.  Charges for Services are the same for these two years at $16,411,820.  Net-operating income is estimated to be $1,173,885, compared to 2021 at $1,224,647. Capital Outlays is estimated for 2022 at $1,288,720 which includes the replacement of a bucket truck at $180,000 and $338,220 to finish the project for new AMI metering for customers.  Superintendent Hourieh said the board can move forward on this budget.

The board approved purchase orders in the amount of $91,219.20 from a total of $114,677.99.  Payment of bills came to $1,120,261.08 of which $1,038,586.44 were for power purchases from ARPA, Arkansas River Power Authority.

The financial statement for August 2021 noted that cash was up $63,952 from July and accounts receivable increased by $256,761.  Total operating income for the month is $1,587,929 with operating costs at $1,314,971 resulting in gross operating income of $272,958.  When the non-operating revenues and expenses are factored, there is a net income of $167,961 for the month.

When compared to 2020, revenues from retail sales are down approximately 2% or $155,565 comparing August 2021 to August 2020.  Overall operating expenses are down 4% or $334,611 resulting in a net loss of $262,897 for the year.

At the suggestion of board member, Jay Brooke, the board will hold an extended meeting on October 26th to discuss a Strategic Planning Agenda which includes strengths and weaknesses of Lamar Utilities, opportunities and threats and steps to either improve or protect against these areas.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: City of LamarConsumer IssuesEconomyFeaturedUtilities


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