Lamar Utilities Board Reviews 2024 Budget

Jill Bellomy and Judge Lane Porter


With the addition of Jill Bellomy to the Lamar Utilities Board, replacing Clifford Boxley, a reorganization of members is required.  Following her oath of office, administered by Judge Lane Porter, the board elected Doug Thrall to remain as Chairman with Jay Brooke as Vice-Chairman, Houssin Hourieh continues as Light Plant Superintendent and Lance Clark as Board Attorney.

The board, Hourieh and Lisa Denman, Plant Financial Officer, reviewed the proposed 2024 budget which projects total revenues for the new year at $14,529,041, a drop from 2023 which was at $16,681,188.  Operating expenses are estimated at $14,217,662 for 2024 which includes personnel expense at $1,400,516, production expenses at $9,313,880 and repairs and maintenance at $2,297,867.  Net operating income for the new year is estimated at $311,379.  The 2024 Charter Appropriation which is paid to the City of Lamar is up slightly from $1,685,806 from 2023 to $1,689,507.  The appropriation is based on a three year average at 12% of revenue.  Final approval of the new budget will be conducted at the board’s next meeting on October 10th.

Purchase orders amounting to $94,126.09 were paid, of which $83,663.61 required board approval.  This included $11,558.48 for a new copier, breaker troubleshooting by Cross Canyon Engineering, amounting to $3,753.75 and $65,474.79 for CIRSA property insurance premiums for the 4th quarter.

Bills amounted to $1,255,375.89 of which $1,007,038.73 was for electric power purchased from ARPA, Arkansas River Power Authority.

The August 2023 financial report noted cash is down $245,935 from July and accounts receivable increased by $313,853.  The total operating revenue for the month is $1,625,392 with operating costs of $1,381,236 resulting in gross operating income of $244,156.  When the non-operating revenues and expenses are factored, there is a net income of the month of $80,945.

Total operating revenues for the year are $9,552,654 and total operating costs are $8,483,729 resulting in gross operating income of $1,068,925.  When the non-0operatingrevnues and expenses are factored, there is a net loss of $205,483, year to date.

When compared to 2022 revenues from retail sales are down approximately $3,151 or less than 1% comparing August 2023 to August 2022.  Overall operating expenses are down approximately $481,800 or 5% resulting in a net loss of $205,483 for the year.
By Russ Baldwin

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