Members of the LaGrange County Rural Utility District (LCRUD) voted unanimously to pre-pay $85,000 of outstanding bonds at their Thursday evening meeting. By pre-paying the bonds, the district will save some $57,374 in interest that would have been due.
Treasurer Bob Jarolim explained that the district is in a strong cash position and recommended the pre-payment. The treasurer’s report showed cash on hand of $2.591 million. The majority of the district’s funds are in Farmers State Bank.
Jarolim remarked that he is 95% assured that the funds are covered by insurance in case of a bank failure. The FDIC stopped covering the funds over $250,000 at the start of the year, but there is a state of Indiana program that protects public money.
Don Skinner, operations manager of the district, told the board , “Our biggest challenge will be to keep electric costs container. These costs are going up significantly.” Electric costs are second to employment costs of wages and benefits for LCRUD.
Skinner also told the board that employees are now rebuilding grinder pumps that stop working. “Our cost of rebuilding pumps is about $581 compared to the cost ($2000) of new pumps,” he added.
Skinner’s proposal to install high-efficiency lighting and HVAC in the utilities buildings was approved at a cost of some $14,902. This investment will payback in one to five years or less with REMC incentives now being offered.
Attorney John Gastineau spent some time telling board members about HB 1497 and the various amendments that have been offered since the original bill was introduced in the Indiana House of Representatives. Senate Bill 205, which is somewhat of a mirror of HB 1497, will be heard in committee again Monday (Feb. 18).
Gastineau noted that there is a long time before the legislature adjourns for this year and that most anything can happen to a bill between now and then.