Lamar Utility Board Finalizes 2024 Budget and Write Offs



The Lamar Utility Board finalized its approval of the 2024 budget.  Revenues are expected to be $15.7 million with $14.3 million from retail electric sales and the balance from wind turbine production. Operating expenses are estimated at $14.2 million which includes $9.3 million for power supply.  Other expenses include $1.400,516 for personnel costs, $2,297,867 for repairs and maintenance and $1,719,400 in capital outlays.   Light Plant Superintendent Houssin Hourieh, presented the budget to the Lamar City Council Monday, October 9th for its general information update.

The board paid purchase orders totaling $1,072,442.34 of which $1,052,707.04 required approval.  This included $1,007,038.73 for monthly power purchase estimates from ARPA, Arkansas River Power Authority.  Superintendent, Houssin Hourieh, explained $5,456 was for truck repair parts, $20,064 for pipeline insurance and $15,225.25 for a master radio upgrade.  $234,734.66 in monthly bills was also paid.

The board approved the write-off for 2023 bills amounting to $29,146.72 or .2% of the 2022 electric sales revenue of $14,128,505.  The annual budget write-off for uncollected bills is $50,000 and historically, the percentages of uncollected bills has been decreasing.  The delinquent accounts go to a collection agency for action each year.  The four highest for the year are all just under $1,200.  The board briefly discussed finding an investment source which could provide up to 5% interest on available funding.  One stipulation would be the ability to withdraw any sized account as needed without a penalty.  More action will be taken at a future meeting once various aspects of the suggestion are considered.

Superintendent Hourieh’s system operating report noted the line crew upgraded a 4kv overhead feeder in the alley between Main and 5th Street from Hickory to Washington Streets.  Poles were replaced as well as crossarms, insulators which will help improve efficiency and reliability.  A new master radio reporting system was installed which will improve SCADA system reliability for meter reading.  Due to supply chain delays, it took over a year to receive the new radio system which was budgeted in 2022.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: City of LamarConsumer IssuesFeaturedUtilities


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