City of Lubbock Continues Relationship with WTMPA Based on Changes - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

9/23/03

City of Lubbock Continues Relationship with WTMPA Based on Changes

NewsChannel 11 has confirmed big changes happening at the WTMPA after one year of negotiations.

The WTMPA, or West Texas Municipal Power Agency, purchases and sells power to it's member cities, Brownfield, Lubbock, Floydada and Tulia. In October last year, allegations of financial irresponsibility led WTMPA to an internal investigation. An audit revealed unauthorized transfers worth millions of dollars. Since that time, many have questioned whether or not the city would continue to do business with the WTMPA.

The city of Lubbock and the WTMPA will continue doing business together. But only under two major conditions:

1. The WTMPA must give up it's $39 million equity on the power generator to Lubbock Power and Light. The generator is located at the Massengale power plant in Northeast Lubbock.

"I think this puts the city of Lubbock in a good position and it puts WTMPA it puts them back into purchasing power and not being a producer," said Mayor Marc McDougal.

2. Councilman Tom Martin strongly stated on the phone chairman Ty Cooke, also former Lubbock Councilman, had to be out as chairman.

Details of the proposal include LP&L taking over a $22.8 million dollar bond payment the WTMPA owes for the Massengale generator.

Mayor McDougal says LP&L is responsible for 85% of that debt.

Interim City Manager Tommy Gonzales says the city will just be paying $400,000 more on that debt.

All in all, the Mayor is pleased with the proposal going forth to the WTMPA board. "This will change how WTMPA operates their board will be working on how they want to restructure as far as a general manager or bookkeeper to keep up with what goes on at WTMPA on a daily basis," said the Mayor.

"If we were restructuring this or creating WTMPA today, is this exactly how we'd be doing this? No. We're working with what we've got," said Mayor McDougal.

The three other WTMPA member city councils were involved in this proposal. Gonzales says this proposal should affect Lubbock tax payers.

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