Lamar Utility Board Details Outage Prevention Measures

Bull Snakes in Control Box



Houssin Hourieh, Lamar Light Plant Superintendent, provided a systems update for board members in light of the recent power outages experienced by some local customers.  Hourieh said there have been three LAMSOA outages since the last board meeting on June 13th.  One was due to snakes inside the L2-25kv breaker which caused a fault on the 25kv Bus, the other two were caused by a failed power protection relay.  Since then, the light plant has expanded the high voltage fence charger to wrap around all breakers as well as the main transformer.  Crews have installed a heavy-duty steel hail screen under all breakers, air filters and the underground cable tray has been filled with sand as a varmint barrier.  Replacement relays have been ordered and a firm is conducting power testing and verifying the reliability of all substation protection systems.  These outages, he said, impacted about 1,200 customers in the southern half of Lamar.

Hourieh also provided some background to another recent outage and needed repairs.  “Last Friday, June 23rd, at about 4:15 p.m. our distribution system was impacted by a severe thunderstorm and high winds. The storm caused few scattered outages and damages, where we lost:

3- 35 ft wooden poles across from the Elks to a single phase 4KV power line

1-40 ft. wooden pole near Parmenter St. and the Truck Bypass

2-35 ft.  wooden poles on the well circuit near the three old water tanks

1-40 ft. wooden pole by the 6 Million gallon water tank Substation

1-15 KVA pole mount transformer

Our crews have been working on replacing the damaged poles.”

Lamar Utility Board member, Cliff Boxley submitted his resignation to the board on June 8th, 2023, citing his absence from Lamar for an extended period.  Hourieh said the board will review past applications and noted that a candidate must be a Lamar resident and a Light Plant customer.  Meetings are held bi-monthly at noon at the main office.

The plant conducts an updated count of the number of connected meters every May since 1999.  There were 5,802 for this May for 4,063 customers.  The peak was in 2003 with 5,836 meters and the lowest was in 2015 with 5,594.  There have been 208 connections since that year.

Board members approved purchase orders totaling $81,824.29 from a total of $92,013.67.  CIRSA third-quarter property insurance accounted for $65,474.79.  Payment of bills amounted to $822,999.98 of which $753,041.57 was for electric power purchased from ARPA.  Year to date financials indicate that when compared to 2022, revenues from retail sales are up approximately $234,417 or 5% comparing May 2023 to 2033 and overall operating expenses are down approximately $6,785 or less than 1% resulting in a net loss of $247,214 for the year.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: AgricultureCity of LamarConsumer IssuesFeaturedPublic SafetyUtilities


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