On Tuesday, the Sun spoke with El Dorado Springs City Manager Bruce Rogers about the destroyed electrical sub-station, vandalism in the Park and status of the city.
Q. I heard there was $900 damage to Christmas lights in the Park before the lighting ceremony.
“Yes, somebody got in there and vandalized stuff.”
Q. Catch anybody yet?
“I don’t know. I haven’t heard that they have.”
Q. How’s the sub-station coming along?
“We are just waiting on the insurance company.”
Q. So, right now the entire city is running off the new one?
“Right. Sub-station Two.”
Q. We don’t know any amount of payment or anything?”
“No, we don’t. They are trying to get an engineer to give them an estimate of what it is going to cost to replace it, to rebuild it the way it was.”
Q. You want to rebuild it a little better, don’t you?”
“Well, yes. When we go about the process of rebuilding it, we will probably make some enhancements or improvements to it.”
Q. Do you plan to build it big enough to where it could carry the whole town if the other one goes down?”
“Yes. We’d like to have them both large enough to handle the entire city load, the summer peak load, by themselves, if necessary.”
Q. That would be a welcome back up, from my standpoint.
Q. Any time frame on getting this done?
“No. Lead time on transformers can be six months to nine months, unless you find a refurbished one that is out there ready to go. You might be able to get that one in less than three months.”
Q. Would the refurbished one be sturdy enough to do our job?
“Oh, yeah. The one that was there in that sub-station had been refurbished in 1999.”
Q. Do we know yet what went wrong?
“No. We probably will never know the exact cause.”
Q. Well, it was a hot fire.”
“And that’s why we probably will never know because if it was an animal that got in there it was probably so burnt that you couldn’t recognize it.”
Q. How is the city looking?
“I think good. The auditors have been here and already left. They did all their field work in December. Of course, we don’t have any draft of anything, but based on conversations I had with them when they were here, everything seemed to be moving in the right direction.”
Q. How are our account balances?
“They indicated that they had all gone up with the exception of maybe one small fund. I don’t remember which one. All the large funds had increases.”
Q. How’s the electric fund looking?
“Much better. I think it will have a positive net income once they have finished with the audit.”
Q. So we won’t have a price increase?
“No, I didn’t say that. I think it will finish with a small net income of less than a hundred thousand. That is one of them that can have a major swing in a short period of time. I’d like to see the electric fund to where it makes about $200,000 a year. That would be a good place to be.
Q. So that would let you do your upgrades?
“Yes, you have to build some cash reserves to handle emergencies.”
Q. As we can see.
“Yes, insurance may not take care of all this. We may have to pay for part of the improvements.”
“Right now, I think there is just under a million in the electric fund. That could be spent pretty quickly. Adding fifty to seventy five thousand a year to it is not much. Almost a $4.7 million operation just the electric. Less than a hundred thousand is not a very good profit margin.”
Q. How big is the entire city?
“I’d have to sit and add it all up. I don’t have the numbers in front of me. We are probably at a $10 million budget. Maybe 11 million.”
Q. Anything else you want to tell people?
“We are waiting word on the second sidewalk grant.”
“We are working on selecting and engineer for the electrical sub-station rebuild. We’ve interviewed engineers. We will make a selection soon on that.”
“And the water study is underway. The engineering firm we selected for that is reviewing options for well No. 3 (behind Ehlers Variety). It’s shut down right now.”