Lamar Utility Board Moves Forward on 2024 Projects



Light Plant Superintendent, Houssin Hourieh outlined replacement and equipment upgrade plans for 2024 for the board which included an upgrade of the 4Kv substation equipment; replacing the gearbox for wind turbine T-4 and begin to decommission the 37 miles of 6 and 4-inch natural gas pipeline stranded assets per the direction of the PUC’s regulations.  Hourieh said the estimated cost is around $660,000 which was unanticipated in time to be incorporated into the 2024 budget.  The Light Plant has installed 5,155 AMI Smart Meters to date and plans to install 457 more through 2024, which, he said will complete the long-term project.  He told the board the only significant power outage from the January 8th snowstorm was in Wiley when a downed tree clipped a wire resulting in a temporary power loss.

The Lamar Utility Board held its first meeting of 2024 on the heels of the first blizzard of the year.  Purchase orders came to $677,054.62 of which $646,662.62 required board approval.  This included $601,061 for estimated power purchases from Arkansas River Power Authority for December.  This included $18,900 for Unit 19 truck repairs on the hydraulic boom, $5,000 annual membership dues to Prowers Economic Prosperity and $5,440 for annual water share dues to the Lower Arkansas Water Management Association.  Bills totaling $1,330,287.82 were also paid.

The board accepted the low bid of $5,372.68 from Stagner Incorporated, the lowest of four submitted for replacement for a cracked engine block for a 2017 Ford Edge.  Board member, Roger Stagner, abstained from the vote.

The year to date income statement shows that total operating revenues for the year are $13,349,219 with operating costs at 11,606,396 for a gross operating income of $1,742,823.  With non-operating revenue and expenses factored, the YTD shows a net loss of $1,758.  Retail sales for November are up 2% of $244,375, comparing 2022 to 2023 figures.  Overall estimated expenses were down 2%, or $228,413.
By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: EnvironmentFeaturedPublic SafetyUtilities


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