Who Loaned City Money Without City Approval? - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

10/10/02

Who Loaned City Money Without City Approval?

Who from the City of Lubbock loaned $5.3 million to help the West Texas Municipal Power Agency build the Massengale Power Plant without the knowledge of City Manager Bob Cass or council members? Cass hopes to get those answers soon.

On Thursday, instead of meeting behind closed doors, Mayor Marc McDougal invited the public and media inside. The council and city executives talked about the $5.3 million the WTMPA owes the city, but unfortunately, the council will have to wait until the answer is found.

Cass said during the meeting that he is not happy that someone went behind his back and loaned $5.3 million to WTMPA, but he has a plan to get to the bottom of things. He's asked for an audit, which consists of: pulling expenditures by WTMPA and the city dealing with the Massengale Plant, reviewing contracts between LP&L and the WTMPA, and finding out whether LP&L is keeping WTMPA financially afloat.

"The concern is about WTMPA and the city's relationship. It's a blur. These are two separate legal entities. They've grown too close. We need to separate the affairs from one to the other, and we're simply going to have to extricate the two and find out what happened, then fix it, and keep it from happening again," said Cass.

Back in March 2002, WTMPA charged Lubbock, Tulia, Brownfield, and Floydada more money to buy electricity, hoping to get enough money to pay back its $5.3 million debt to the City of Lubbock. But that wasn't enough to pay the city back.

Will LP&L customers pay more on their bills because of all this? No one at city hall can answer that question -- so far. There are still many questions left unanswered, but Cass hopes the audit will shed some light on this very complex issue.

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  • get more>> Web Enhanced 10/10/02

    Victor Hernandez Responds to City of Lubbock/WTMPA Relationship

    City Council member Victor Hernandez is issuing the following statement regarding the ongoing discussion of the City’s relationship with the West Texas Municipal Power Agency. Mr. Hernandez had a prior commitment and was unable to attend Thursday's open executive session.
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