Lamar Utility Board Approves Arby Economic Incentive Package



A fast-food business, RB Colorado LLC, received an economic development incentive agreement from the Lamar Utility Board for their proposed outlet, which will be situated at the site of the former WHO Blue Building at 1002 North Main Street.  The utility board’s approval was contingent on the Lamar City Council’s approval which was granted during its Monday meeting.  The property and adjacent land had been purchased by the city for the developer, which, when the agreement was approved, would be sold to the developer at cost.  The city has been making plans to dissemble and remove the current building to be used as a municipal storage site at a different location.

Lamar Light Plant Supervisor, Houssin Hourieh, explained that the incentive package was pretty much a standard procedure request that had been granted in the past, involving crew labor and some equipment including cable and transformer, in the neighborhood of $28,000.

There was considerably more discussion involving a request from Tesla for their economic venture into Lamar which compared the two new projects. The Tesla group has asked the board to waive the cost of their trucks and equipment use valued at $8,720 for helping with the installation of Tesla’s new electric charger stations at the Lamar Chamber of Commerce parking lot on East Beech Street.  During a previous meeting, the board approved waiving $9,980 for labor costs.  Tesla had asked a new service for their EV level lll charging station for a total of $68,564 which includes the $8,720.

Hourieh said the costs associated with Tesla would be more costly as the electrical equipment would go underground as opposed to Arby’s which will be in above-ground cables.  The economic benefits for a rate of return on the city’s investments would also be different in that Arby’s will pay a higher utility bill, hire a staff of employees as well as property taxes and sale tax revenues.  Hourieh said the rate the Light Plant would charge Tesla has yet to be determined pending a study by NMPP.  Another EV group, Charge Point, funded with state and federal revenues, is also planning on a station at the same location, although their hook-ups would be located at the current charger, closer to the stage, while Tesla will be located by the train engine.

The board, with the exception of the No vote from member, Roger Stagner, settled on providing up to 50% of the costs of the trucks and equipment, or approximately $4,360 at the current estimate.

Superintendent Hourieh said the light plant’s line crew installed 4,145 of three-phase line extension for Eddie Hall of Holly as well as performing construction services for the Cobblestone Hotel on North Main Street in Lamar.  He added the wind turbine crew completed installing replacement synchronizing switches on the T-2 and T-4 turbines as a budgeted item for equipment upgrades.

The board approved $742,093.63 in purchase orders from a total of $771,304.02. $697,282.45 was purchased for power by ARPA as their February estimate.  The board also reviewed $179,033.05 for monthly payments.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: City of LamarConsumer IssuesFeaturedUtilities


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