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Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
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January 3, 2001     Feather River Bulletin
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January 3, 2001
 

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Lassen News 3 7A I l lst of skyrocketing ltdct to cut nearly $4 its operating bud- aade the proposal, s approved by the at LMUD's ed Dec. 27 cost-cutting , residents and busi- attending the the company I nlore cuts. owner com- $3,678,193 in "the rank and the board of all- should take the as other business owners in Lassen County. Chapman also wondered LMUD's cuts items had been budgeted, which will allow the company He told the board they why the public was never in- The bulk of LMUD's budget These cuts include comput- "to pay back the bonds and the should look at their bottom formed of this crisis, evenreduction, $2.6 million, came ers, software, electrical meter- interest they draw as well as line and find ways to save though it had been going onfrom the'utility's decision not ing equipment, installation of generate enough revenue to money the same way he will. for months. He couldn't under- to purchase a building fromnew transformers, capacitors, operate the district. He said the directors should stand why this issue wasn't a Citizens Communication in and regulators, a forklift, a to- Cady advised the board that look beyond the workers and campaign issue during the No- Johnstonville. totiller, a Skyline Drive sub- if they didn't raise the rates make deep cuts in their own vember election. The supervi- In fact, the directors toldstation, enlargement of theunder those guidelines, they administrative budget, includ- sor said he followed state-Cady to put all real estate ne- Milwood substation, improve- would be in breach of contract ing taking a look at their perks ments made by the candidates, gotiations on hold, although ments on the Westwood sub- with the bondholders. and benefits package, and not one of them mentioned neither the board nor Cady re- station, and installation of Cady said breaching that Lassen County Supervisor the rate increase looming just vealed what acquisitions the powerlines, contract or defaulting on the Jim Chapman expressed con- after the election, company had under considera- Baxter also announced a bonds would lead to a compli- cerns about the hefty proposed Frank Cady, LMUD's legal tion. Cady advised the board company-wide hiring freeze,cated legal process in federal rate increase, counsel, said the board of di- that such a public statement He said two linemen recently court that would pay the Chapman complained that rectors didn't hide anything was probably appropriate giv- had been hired, but they will salaries of several large law $16 million from the local econ- from the public. He said the en the currem economic crisis, not come to work. firms for several years, includ- omy was going to slip through board of directors discussed Baxter said LMUD borrowed ing such a law firm hired to LMUD's fingers and wind up these matters repeatedly inthe $7 million for the building Con d ing bankruptcy represent LMUD. in the city of Redding's coffers, public meetings which mere-for three years at 5-percent in- Director Darrell Wood askedThe utility's counsel said the The supervisor said the move- bets of the public and the me- terest. He said the money is in Cady what would happen if the bond company probably "can't merit of this amount of money dia chose, for their own rea- the bank drawing 7-percent in- utility simply defaulted on the really take over," but in the could have significant impacts sons, not to attend--until news terest. He said they will pay debt to its bondholders, end, he said a judge or a on the local economy, not to of the proposed rate increase the money back if the building Cady said the board is con-trustee would take over the mention the difficulties local was revealed in the past sever- is not purchased in that time. tractually obligated to thedistrict and probably raise the consumers would have paying alweeks. Another $1.1 million in cuts bondholders to run the utility rates anyway. their electric bills at the pro- come from all areas of the corn- in a fiscally prudent manner posed new rates, pany, although all of theseand to set the rates at a level I I businesses and their electric they may feel or an sense of least a pinch in business owners, higher electricity turn to an al- of the Su- says he :to using a petrole- to an "expected Says he has already to conserve energy. overlooked in also see a reduction Stewart said. arn not sure." says there will in the hours open. to make the changes as seamless as possi- make every effort to keep the tot Michelle Raymer said. "We on the state, local or national Health and ttuman Services ble," Stewart said. bills down. plan to continue business as level exist to help. department manager Melody And don't expect Susanville "We just got to do a betternormal." Lassen County Health and Brawley said a household with Supermarket to close the doors job of conserving," WisemanDenny's, the only 24-hour Human Services Director one adult and (wo children because of the increased costs, said. "Making sure lights are restaurant in Susanville, says Thomas Keeffer says federalshould receive approximately "I can categorically deny, we shut off and when we are not no plans have been made to cut aid may be the only help avail- $612 per month in welfare pay- will absolutely not be closing," using something, it's turned back on opening hours, able to those who can't pay the ments and an expectation of Stewart said. "Now there may down or off. .... I have made the front office increased energy costs, approximately $200 in food be some smaller businesses While Wiseman refused to aware of the rise in electricity "There's no program in ef- stamps. that could be forced to close, say how much his store payscosts," Denny's Manager feet on the county side," Keef- And if that household is cur- but they do not include us." monthly for electricity, like Karen Thomas said. "But we fer said, "to help people with rently paying $60 per month in Wal-Mart store manager the rest of the Lassen Munici- don't even see the bills, they go energy. Now there are some electric bills, that means that Casey Wiseman says the ira- pal Utilities District (LMUD) directly to the office. But so far federal programs in effect and more than one-fourth of their pact will be substantial but service area, his costs will we haven't heard of any some people may qualify forcheck could end up paying just doesn't plan any drastic mea- more than double, changes." those." for electricity. sures. However, Wal-Mart employ- The average consumer will But indirectly Keeffer said, The rise in energy rates may "It's going to affect us finan- ees should not worry about los- pay a projected increase of 162 the county may be able to help mean some families are now cially of course," Wiseman ing their jobs. percent for January energy the poor and needy, by eligible to receive food said, " because our rates are "I know it will be tough but bills. "Obviously it may affect stamps or other services. probably going to double, we do not plan to lay anyone While business will pay a their disposable income," Keel'- "We have staff standing by "But it won't hurt us as off or cut jobs," Wiseman said. larger proportion of the in- fer said. "And that might sbe to help people," Kceffer said much as say it will mom and At Lassen Community Hos- creased costs, those individu, able to assist in food stamps re- "it they want to take a look at pop stores. Small business will pitalm the costs are expected als on the lowest economic lad- quirements and that sort ofit." see the rates go up as much as to reach more than $15,000 per der will be forced to make thingin an indirect way." ours and that's really going to month when the new rates gosome serious decisions. hurt them. It won't be as devas- into effect. The elderly on fixed incomes tating for us as it will be for "We are not planning any and those receiving welfare them." immediate changes in hospital benefits will be hardest hit. Wiseman says his store will operations," Marketing Direc- And currently, few programs County's citizens to give Municipal Utilities of Directors a regarding 162-per- rate increase at Public hearings held Jan. 3. = they expect a large the LMUD all- hold the meetings Middleton at the LMUD hearings are sched- p.m. By are re- can the proposed rate LMUD's gener- said the rate hike Sary because of the California's elec- which will cost the company an additional $19.5 million more than their budget for the fiscal years 2000 and 2001. Anticipating the traditional winter drop in electric rates, the publicly-owned utility failed to secure a long-term contract with a power supplier during the fall as the whole- sale price of electricity sky- rocketed to unprecedented lev- els. After spending $3 million and exhausting its Rate Stabi- lization Fund and an addition- al $2 million in reserves, LMUD finally signed a one- year contract with the city of Redding on Dec. 19. LMUD will buy the power for 12.3 cents per kwh. Baxter said if he had waited one more day to ink the deal, the cost of the annual contract would have increased by $1.5 million. L/ke a Teach Kids Fire Safety If clothes catch fire, instruct kids to STOP, DROP and ROLL See me, your State Farm Agent: Rk:had K. Sto(:k Ct.U 65 West Stmet, 0ncy (53O) 283-O566 good neighbor, State Farm is there.* STATE FARM FIRE AND CASUALTY COMPANY HOME OI:RCE BLOOMINGTON, ILLINOIS Soup, Salad Bar SHOPPING CENTER 283-2320 SHADETREE AUTO SALES 283-9740 I I I I I I I I CALl.IN on any Pizza or Calzone with coupon | Not valid with any other offer. 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