November 15, 2001

Fair Board To Begin Search For New Racetrack Promoter After Negotiations Fail

More than eight hours of contract discussions evaporated in a split second as former track promoter Ron Anderson walked away from the negotiation table at the November 12 meeting of the Scotland County Fair Board.

The move left the fair board scrambling in an effort to secure the services of a track promoter for next season, and left many members scratching their heads about the process after numerous concessions were granted by the fair board in the negotiation process.

The two sides had first met to discuss a new contract on November 6 when Anderson highlighted a number of issues in the groups proposed contract that he deemed "unacceptable."

Following the first meeting, which lasted well over four hours, the fair board met in executive session to take Anderson's requests under advisement.

The initial proposal had called for a change in the payment schedule, asking for $600 rental payment for each event scheduled at the track. Anderson countered that, stating he should only have to pay $600 rent per week, regardless of the number of events held at the track.

"Anytime you have an event at the fair grounds there is additional wear and tear on the facilities that ultimately costs the fair board more money to repair," fair board president Phil Aylward stated.

Anderson countered stating "You can only have a function down there at the track if you can afford to make ends meet and we sure lacked a lot for paying for the program last year. If the promoter can not make any money there is not a lot of reason to promote."

Anderson did note that he was not anticipating having more than one event per week but he insisted the fair board was not going to tell him he could not do so by charging him additional rent for each extra race.

The second main sticking point was the length of any contract agreement. Anderson was requesting a 10-year lease, while the fair board made it clear it did not want to enter any long term agreement considering the working relationship's difficult times this year as well as the track's history for promoters.

"I will not discuss this without multi-year renewal," Anderson stated. "If you won't even guarantee multiple year renewals we don't need to discuss this any further. A promoter can not build a program without a guarantee. I want to work something out we can all work with. I wanted 10 years, because I wanted to build some things at the racetrack that the fair board doesn't want to invest in. I can not secure financing without some type of guaranteed future at the track."

Fair board president Phil Aylward attempted to explain the board's position on a long-term agreement.

"There has been a lot of animosity between both groups this year, yet we feel that the track has made a lot of big strides," Aylward said. "Lets go on another one year contract, see if we can get along, and then go from there."

Anderson countered by stating the animosity had caused a lengthy delay in the contract negotiations. He said if the board would not agree to an extended contract, he would like the first right of renewal on the contract at a fixed rental rate.

"We have wasted a lot of money because I could not pick up and run with marketing and sales for the track in September," Anderson stated. "Basically I have to start over again this year. I can't keep starting over, it costs too much money."

Both groups agreed that the two sides did not need to like each other, but simply needed to be able to work together in a professional business relation-ship. Each side also agreed that a lack of communication was a major problem this year.

Anderson suggested having a monthly meeting the first Saturday of each month at the racetrack. The fair board agreed to send two different members to the meeting each month to discuss track issues.

A third major issue was the fair board's desire to ban all Sprint Car races due to safety concerns.

Anderson countered stating "I am the promoter. It is not acceptable for the fair board to tell me what we race there. If the race track is not safe to race sprint cars then it is not safe enough to race anything."

Several issues however were agreed upon at the second meeting, after initially being considered sticking points at the initial contract negotiation.

Anderson had asked to have the Saturday night of the Scotland County Fair for races, but agreed to remove that request after the fair board indicated it was not negotiable since that evening is reserved for the fire department's demolition derby.

Anderson also agreed to take on all expenses of mowing the grounds for all events except during the fair. Initially he had requested the fair board handle the mowing duties.

The fair board agreed to lower the suggested contract deposit per Anderson's request to $2,000 from the initial contract level of $5,000.

The fair board removed the original right to termination of the contract as requested by Anderson while also agreeing to rewrite the fuel container requirements per the promoter's suggestion.

The two groups met in the middle regarding the expenses of track repairs prior to the season. Anderson had asked the fair board spend an estimated $11,000 to repair the crow's nest, the flag stand, the grandstands, the catch fence in front of the grandstands, and the guard wall on the back stretch.

The fair board agreed to cover all costs of repairing the grandstands as well as for installing the new catch fence in front of the grandstands while also repairing the flag stand and extending it out over the track to allow drivers better visibility of the flag. The group noted it had already made plans to make the grandstand repairs regardless of contract discussions.

Anderson agreed to pay for the construction of a new concrete guardrail on the back stretch as well as a proposed walk way from the pits to the grandstands.

After further discussing the issue the fair board also agreed to provide 100 gallons of paint for Anderson to use to paint any facilities he wanted to paint at the fairgrounds.

The fair board also pointed out that $300 of each week's rent would be placed in a maintenance fund for use by Anderson to make additional repairs at the track.

However the fair board stipulated that the weekly maintenance fund could not be used to pay any labor costs.

Anderson argued that this defeated the purpose of the fund.

"No labor costs is not acceptable," he said. "I have never claimed to be a non-profit organization. I pay all my help, it is not unreasonable to expect to pay someone to perform the maintenance."

The fair board countered that there was no control over labor costs, and felt the fund could easily be abused, for example by paying an employee $50 an hour to perform maintenance.

Despite the labor issue, both sides agreed upon the repair issues and moved onto other debate.

Anderson had initially refused the concept of allowing the fair board right of inspection at the track, which basically allowed the fair board free admittance to race events. After discussing the issue he agreed to the issue and noted he would provide free gate and pit passes to board members.

Ultimately the final issues boiled down to the track rent structure, the ban on sprint cars and the length of any agreement.

After lengthy discussion of the rent issue, the two sides seemed to reach an agreement that would bridge the gap. Instead of charging per event as initially desired by the fair board, the group agreed to charge $600 per week up to 20 events and then an additional $400 per race beyond 20, with half of both amounts going into the maintenance fund.

In addition the fair board agreed to allow Anderson to hold up to four special sprint car races at the track during the year.

Still neither side could agree upon the contract length. Anderson stated he felt it takes at least five years to build a program and apparently was holding out for either that figure or the annual first right of renewal.

"What are you all worried about?" Anderson asked. "If I pay my rent and hold the specific number of races what do you have to lose?"

"We want this thing to work but we are not going to be trapped into someone shoving something down our throat if it doesn't work out," Aylward stated in response to this argument.

"I felt I did more than I said I was going to this year and look how we ended up in this mess at the end of the year."

Fair board member Jimmie Winn said, "It didn't work this year, so we reworked the whole contract and now we need to be able to see if this new plan will work. Then we can revisit it again next year without having to worry about having it renewed automatically with no control over it"

Despite the opposition to anything beyond a one-year agreement the final concession came from the fair board in the form of an agreement to offer a three-year lease to Anderson.

This decision came in executive session. The meeting was reopened and Anderson was informed of the proposal.

He noted that the fair board still was asking for the right to annually raise the rent as much as 20%. He also questioned why the fair board had shifted the cost of the repairs from the Crow's nest to the promoter's side in the new proposal.

The issues were not discussed as Anderson commented that the deal had been down to two concerns before the last executive session and now had expanded to half a dozen.

At this point Anderson thanked the fair board for its time and walked away from the negotiation tables.

Scotland County Farm Bureau Leaders Attend MFB Annual Meeting

Greg and Kat Probst and David and Raella Wiggins represented Scotland County at the 103rd annual meeting of the Missouri Farm Bureau.

Farm Bureau members were challenged to tell their stories of family farming during the 103rd annual meeting of the Missouri Farm Bureau (MFB). The meeting theme “Agvocate,” stressed the importance of farmers and ranchers talking about production agriculture and farm life.

During the meeting, members heard from several Missouri Congressmen, a whole slate of statewide elected officials, including Governor Eric Greitens, and communications experts. The meeting took place December 3-5 at Tan-Tar-A Resort at the Lake of the Ozarks and wrapped up with voting delegates passing legislative priorities for 2018.

In his annual address to the group, MFB President Blake Hurst said “Our voice matters when we weigh in on public policies that impact farmers, rural Missourians and the hundreds of thousands of citizens in small towns and wide places in the road who need and deserve a voice in 114 county seats, in Jefferson City and in Washington, D.C.”

The Scotland County Farm Bureau joined more than 1,200 other members from throughout the state to formulate those policies on issues that affect their livelihood and the economy. Those attending from Scotland County were Greg and Kat Probst and David and Raella Wiggins.

BABY BRUBAKER

Philip and Karen Brubaker of Memphis are the parents of a daughter, Jessica Patience Brubaker, born December 8, 2017 at 7:21 p.m. at Scotland County Hospital in Memphis. Jessica weighed 6 lbs 8.6 oz and was 20 inches long. Grandparents are Edwin and Esther Brubaker of Memphis and Roland and Mary Weiler of Rutledge.

Pruetts to Celebrate 60th Anniversary

Dick and Faye Ann Pruett of Wyaconda will celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary. On December 15, 1957, Dick Pruett married Faye Ann Waterman in Wyaconda, MO. The children of the couple will be having an anniversary party for them on December 17, 2017, at the Wyaconda Fire Station in Wyaconda, MO from 11am to 4pm. Food and drinks will be served.

Rutledge Renegades

Luke and Lena Mae Horning went to PA to a wedding.

Janet Lee (Ewing) and husband Don Deaton of Huntsville, AL are here for a few weeks visiting with family and friends.

Martin Guinn and Reva Hustead went to Cantril, IA and Kirksville.

Charlene Montgomery and Naomi Kidd-Schwandt went to Kirksville.

Madison Mallett, Katrina and Neta went to Kirksville.

Missy Hyant, Kevin and Kathy Hyant and daughter, Aspen Sloan from Macon came and visited with Tamara Tague.  They came in Zimmerman’s café for breakfast and Lena Mae’s donuts.

Some of those in this week were:  Tim Morris, Dale Tague, Neta Phillips, Charlene Montgomery, Mark Mazziotti and Cole, Bob and Dorothy Hunolt, Don Tague, John Riddle, Ruth Ludwick, Darrell Shultz, Ronnie and Bonnie Young.

Living Life Over

FIVE YEARS AGO

A cooperative effort between the Scotland County Road and Bridge Department and the City of Memphis recently helped grant funding for a trails project at Lake Show-Me.

Last week, crews from both entities put the plans to work, transferring an abandoned county bridge to the lake to be refurbished and installed as part of the recreational trail for pedestrian traffic.

The bridge, a 72-foot span across a creek bed on an unnamed county road in southern Scotland County off Route W, has been closed since 2005.  The bridge was originally constructed in 1910.

A new wooden floor will be installed on the bridge in the weeks to come and finish work will be completed on the piers.

The bridge can be accessed from the campground at the south end of the dam.  The pedestrian trail runs from the primitive camping area.  The bridge spans the main lake drainage channel between Lake Show-Me and the old city lake.

TEN YEARS AGO

With a significant upgrade project winding down at Briggs-Smith Memorial Airport this year the Memphis City Council is already preparing for future projects to continue to improve the Scotland County facility.

Engineer Brian Garkie of Crawford, Murphy & Tilly, Inc., is working with the city to continue the successful capital improvement program that has been made possible in large part by federal grant funding.

Airport committee members have been reviewing the existing long-range planning goals that were used to determine the need for the current project.

The list includes expanding the apron and construction of new hangar taxiways, construction of a parallel taxiway, construction of a terminal building, installation of a new Avgas fuel facility, installing new medium intensity runway lights, plus numerous other electrical upgrades.

20 YEARS AGO

The Timber Ridge Golf Course was the third site in a string of burglaries that has hit the Scotland County area in December.

According to the Scotland County Sheriff’s Department, the clubhouse at the golf course was broken into sometime after 10:30 p.m. on the evening of December 12th.  The burglar(s) made off with a 19-inch Magnavox television set as well as some golf balls, golf gloves, and some beer.

The theft was discovered at approximately 8:00 a.m. the following morning.  According to the report there was no sign of forced entry.  The burglar(s) did break a window between the main room and the pro-shop.

30 YEARS AGO

The Scotland County Rotary Club will be sponsoring a soup luncheon on December 19th at the old Place’s building, located on the south side of the Memphis square.  Serving will begin at 11:00 a.m.

According to Chairman Harold Davis, Jr., bean soup and “Gary’s Special Vegetable Soup” (with 44 herbs and spices, but not the kitchen sink) will be served.  Cornbread will be served with the soups.  The cornbread will be baked by the “Rotary-Anna” who, according to Chairman Davis are “the best cooks in Memphis”.  Drinks will be available.

Cost of the luncheon will be $1.50 per person.

40 YEARS AGO

The local Scotland County R-1 High School was recently honored when two of its students were named to “All American” honors according to information received from Dan O’Donnell, Director of the Scotland County R-1 High School Band.

The “All-American” Hall of Fame Band award is made annually by Purdue University (Lafayette, Indiana) in order to recognize superior and outstanding musicianship and service by student musicians in high school bands throughout the United States.

Those receiving the honors are Jan Hinds who plays a clarinet and Carolyn Bullock who plays a trumpet.

50 YEARS AGO

State Rep. Richard DeCoster of Canton, MO, representing the 9th Missouri district, has notified the Gate City that he had received a copy of an Interstate Commerce Commission order directing the Santa Fe railroad to continue three trains for at least four months.

The commission has ordered the Santa Fe to continue trains Nos. 9, 11, and 12 between Chicago and Kansas City and Fort Worth – Dallas pending a hearing and decision by the commission.

The decision must be made within four months from December 18, the date set by the railroad for terminating service on these three trains.

The trains operate through Representative DeCoster’s district and he, along with others, has protested removal.

60 YEARS AGO

Santa Claus Day will be observed in Rutledge Saturday p.m., Dec. 21.  There will be a program and treats for the children.

All persons present will be eligible to register for prizes consisting of turkeys, hens, and articles donated by merchants.  Also, prizes will be given to the oldest and youngest present.

Santa Claus will be present to deliver the treats.

Must say, Santa is surely getting around this year!  Just learned he’s going to make his last stop in Wyaconda Monday, Dec. 23, before heading back to the North Pole.  Of course, you know he’s coming to Gorin Friday, before heading over to Rutledge.  Many of you saw him on his visit to Memphis last Saturday.

70 YEARS AGO

A Lions Club was organized at Gorin Friday night at the Civic Club rooms with a membership of 21 prominent businesses and farmers. Carl Hickey of Jefferson City represented the International Lions Club.  Al Peterson was elected president and Porter Heckethorn, secretary; W. E. Shannon, treasurer, and C. M. Boyer, Russel Nickels, and L. M. Shanes, vice-presidents.  Joseph Buford was elected Tail Twister.  The other officers will be elected at the next meeting.  Memphis Lions Club is sponsoring the new club in Gorin.

Tea Time

The American colonists in the late 1700s certainly loved their cup of tea. Estimates indicate that colonial tea-drinkers consumed more than a million pounds of tea each year. The tax on tea imported from England was continued after other taxes levied by the Townshend Act were repealed in 1770. The colonists believed Britain was unfairly taxing them to pay for expenses incurred during the French and Indian War, and they objected to being taxed without representation in the British Parliament. The merchants of Boston turned to the smuggling of tea from Dutch traders. In the spring of 1773, Parliament authorized the Tea Act, which gave the British East India Company exclusive rights to tea sales in America and imposed a duty tax on the colonies. Protests began as colonists learned of the Tea Act. In Boston, when three British ships arrived in port in December carrying tea, the protesters reacted. On December 16, 1773, a midnight raid on the ships by about sixty Massachusetts men disguised as Mohawk Indians became known as the “Boston Tea Party”. The men boarded the ships and tossed 342 chests of valuable tea overboard. The raid was the first organized rebellion against British rule. The raiders, organized by Patriot leader Samuel Adams, were members of the Sons of Liberty, a resistance group formed to protest harsh restrictions placed on the colonies by England. In retaliation, Britain passed the Intolerable Acts, which included closing the port of Boston, an action that further outraged and unified the colonists.

From Jauflione Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution

Scotland County Commission Meeting Minutes

Thursday, November 30, 2017

PLACE OF MEETING: Scotland County Courthouse Commission Chambers

The meeting was called to order at 8:30 a.m.

PRESENT WERE:  Presiding Commissioner: Duane Ebeling; Eastern District Commissioner, Danette Clatt was absent; Western District Commissioner, David Wiggins; and County Clerk, Batina Dodge.

Commissioner Wiggins moved to approve the consent agenda; seconded by Presiding Commissioner Ebeling. Motion carried 2-0.

The minutes from November 29, 2017 were presented. Commissioner Wiggins moved to approve the regular session minutes; seconded by Presiding Commissioner Ebeling. Motion carried 2-0.

The Commission audited and signed checks.

Adam Slayton requested permission to refurbish five to ten of the benches that sit in the courthouse lawn as part of an Eagle Scout project.  The Commission approved the request.

Seeing no further business, Presiding Commissioner Ebeling adjourned the meeting at 12:00 p.m.

The Scotland County Commission adjourned to meet in regular session on Wednesday, December 6, 2017.

 

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

PLACE OF MEETING: Scotland County Courthouse Commission Chambers

The meeting was called to order at 8:30 a.m.

PRESENT WERE:  Presiding Commissioner: Duane Ebeling; Eastern District Commissioner, Danette Clatt was absent; Western District Commissioner, David Wiggins; and County Clerk, Batina Dodge.

Commissioner Wiggins moved to approve the consent agenda; seconded by Presiding Commissioner Ebeling. Motion carried 2-0.

The minutes from November 30, 2017 were presented. Commissioner Wiggins moved to approve the regular session minutes; seconded by Presiding Commissioner Ebeling. Motion carried 2-0.

The Commission signed court orders 87-2017 and 88-2017.

Kathy Kiddoo, Treasurer, presented a monthly settlement of funds.

The Commission approved a purchase order for Kimberly Nicoli, Prosecuting Attorney, to purchase office supplies.

Ryan Clark, Road and Bridge Supervisor, discussed current projects with the Commission.

The Commission reviewed the property and liability insurance renewal from MOPERM.

The Commission approved invoice #117868 from PSBA for engineering services on rehabilitation of the road and bridge facility.

The Commission approved a trade of soft-match credit funds for BRO funds with St. Louis County.

In a letter to Robert Maznke, district design liaison for the Missouri Department of Transportation, Scotland County agreed to transfer $150,000 of its soft-match credits, earned for replacing eligible bridges not on the federal-aid system solely with county funding, to St. Louis County. The soft-match funds can be used as a county’s 20% match on BRO funded projects. In exchange St. Louis County will transfer $150,000 of its Off-System Bridge Replacement or Rehabilitation (BRO) funds to Scotland County, which can be used with remaining soft match funds to fully fund a state-approved bridge replacement.

Seeing no further business, Presiding Commissioner Ebeling adjourned the meeting at 12:00 p.m.

The Scotland County Commission adjourned to meet in regular session on Thursday, December 7, 2017.

Living in a Seatbelt Society 

We have designed within our minds an ideal church that is two things; happy and safe.  However, this isn’t reality.  This isn’t the church that Jesus built.  Yet, it is the very weave we choose to form organizational tactics.

The Jesus-Life continues to be the ultimate call for every heart.  Its powerful impact remains available for today’s world; yet, its designed strength has been sabotaged and weakened.  And, what would I know about it as I am among the weakest?  Therefore, my judgment is based upon looking at our world and looking at His Word.

I see a calling for drastic adjustment.

The Jesus-Life is often the opposite of our tendencies.  We seem to believe we can/should choose where to serve; find a place that makes us feel needed and useful.  The underlying criteria is that it shall not make us uncomfortable.  However, this is not necessarily losing our life due to our crosses strapped to our backs.  No, we are driven by a state of religious convenience which permits individuals to hide from reaching the world while carrying out various church works…. in quite demanding safety.

Edwin H. Friedman spells out a concept in his book, A Failure of Nerve that we have become a “seatbelt society”.  He expresses this term to point out that we are creatures of safety over adventure.  A thirst for safety directly impacts our talk, our doctrine, our walk, our entire mission. Fundamentally, far too many of us are afraid to venture even into additional truths of the Bible because we operate from safety of not being challenged by nor in trouble with co-believers.

Churches are clearly buckled up with seatbelts of safety and, thus, stymied from opportunity.  As long as one perpetually looks over his/her shoulder to see if what one is discovering from God is going to be accepted, we are basically shut down; focused toward where we have been with no vision for where we are going.

We are left with the repeated motions of what we have always believed.  To buckle up with our religious seatbelts of safety is a drastically costly move.  It is costing us friends, relatives, and neighbors as they don’t find life among us….just more church habit.  The demand for religious habit was what called for the killing of Jesus.  He was living without a seatbelt.

I would encourage us to unbuckle.  Drive the lanes of faith without seatbelts.  Yes, some of us might die to our biases, preferences, and whims…. but hasn’t this been the call for every believer all along?

LIVING IN A SEATBELT SOCIETY

Return of the Cold

Karina and Christina brave the cold to prep garden beds for next year by mulching them with newspaper. Photo by Javi.

Greetings from a much chillier Dancing Rabbit! If you’ve been reading the last few weeks you’ve likely noticed regular mentions of continuing unseasonable warmth. Yeah, not this week. Tereza here, with a cold-impacted take on happenings in the village.

Note that there’s a double meaning in that last sentence: I’ve been down with a nasty cold most of the week. So as sometimes happens, most of my reporting will be word-of-mouth, as I wasn’t around and about to find out what’s up, and certainly didn’t go to much myself.

Even if I wasn’t able to participate this week, I’m really enjoying all the energy for events as we head into winter. I’m sure that having five rhythms dance regularly will be really great for me. This week as I lay in bed in Nathan‘s house (where I stay when I’m ill so he can more easily take care of me) I could hear the music ever so faintly coming from Casa next door, and every so often I could hear (and feel!) pounding on the dance floor, perhaps from feet hitting the ground or people jumping up and down as they dance, each in their own way, to the music. It was fun to imagine who might be there and what they might be doing, although of course I would much rather be there in person. Maybe next time!

I’m also excited about the qigong classes Liz is offering in Casa twice a week. It sounds like a number of new folks attended this week, and I hope they keep going– I’m really enjoying it and want other people to come enjoy with me.

One interesting report is the construction of a big hoophouse out in Critterville. Javi told me he, Cameron, and Ryan have been working on it, and now I’m looking forward to my next walk out that direction so I can check it out. Or maybe I’ll see it when I drop by the Open Barn (‘cause it’s not really an open house) that’s happening out thataways this week. (Humorous aside: at our weekly planning meeting I’m not the only person who heard Ben say “open bar” and got maybe a little too excited. Tho’ I’m sure I’ll like the barn a lot too.)

Also reported to me was a rash of sleepovers happening among various kid groupings in the communities. Apparently (and this will be shocking, simply shocking to most of you) very little sleep happens at most of these sleepovers. Perhaps it’s time for a new name? I’m thinking  “chatterover” or “giggleover” might be more apt, not to mention way more fun to say.

Quite a few folks will be traveling for the winter holidays, visiting family and such. Ted, Sara and Aurelia of Ironweed kitchen co-op will be gone for a few weeks, so Danielle and I need to decide whether to hold down the fort on our own or close the place up and seek kitchens elsewhere. She’ll be heading out just before the New Year, so if we do stay in Ironweed I’ll be on my own for a stretch too. Other folks have stepped up for Ironweed chicken care, so I might only need to tend the kitchen and the kitten. (I know, I know, Gromit isn’t a kitten anymore, but it sounded cuter that way, didn’t it?)

I know we try to keep these updates fairly positive, but that proved fairly hard for me as I was writing. During this bout of illness it has felt difficult to keep myself from falling into despair and depression. Is it just the lack of sun? (But I have my happy light, I tell myself.) The state of the world? (Well, yeah, but it’s not like that’s new.) That we’re heading into the holidays? (Bingo.) I know it’s meant to be a time of joy and all that, but I often struggle with this time of year in general, and being in bed for days, hurting and uncomfortable, and just feeling too lousy to do much of anything, as others are heading for family and friends elsewhere, really threatened to take me down the rabbit hole this time. On a positive note, I was able to notice it happening, and was able to (intellectually, at least) know that as soon as I felt physically better, I would feel emotionally better as well. Often just knowing what’s going on for me can ease the challenge a lot. So I’m choosing to see that as progress.

And I know I always feel better when I remember to invoke gratitude. So: I am very grateful to have shelter and clothing and food and clean water. And I am grateful to live in community, and for the sheer number of people who are willing to help out when I’m not well. Ted, Sara, and Aurelia all brought me Ironweed meals, made me breakfast, and (along with Dee before she left for a long weekend away) cooked a lot of tasty food this week. (And here I just have to mention that Aurelia made the most amazing sweet potato fries I think I’ve ever had in my entire life. Nom nom nom. Dang, they were good!) Nathan brought me food from Thistledown, and water, and helped take care of my house and bring me what I needed from there, and was a great general support co. Liz made a special dessert delivery of cookies and tasty tiny pecan tart that was much appreciated. Ted and Ezra both volunteered to come hang out and eat with me during community dinner, when I wasn’t up for going but wanted company. And new resident Cameron did setup for that same dinner, which I’d volunteered for the Sunday before but was not able to do. I could keep going with gratitude, but I think I’m out of my little self-made pit-o-despair enough to finish the rest of the update now…

It takes a village to do lots of things: not just raising kids, but caring for the sick, and helping people be born and die, and helping each other learn how to be better humans. Today that’s what I think community is really all about: all of us together, helping each other be the best we can. And in our particular case that includes trying to be way less bad to the planet that our species seems bent on destroying.

And on that cheery note, I’ll say farewell. May you all be well and happy, and for those of you who celebrate any of the upcoming holidays, I wish you light, warmth, and joy. Be good to each other out there!

Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage is an intentional community and educational nonprofit outside Rutledge, focused on demonstrating sustainable living possibilities. Public tours are offered April – October on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of the month. In the meantime you can find out more about us by checking out our website, www.dancingrabbit.org, calling the office at (660) 883-5511, or emailing us at dancingrabbit@ic.org.

Public Service Commission Sets Hearing Schedule for Liberty Utilities Proposed Rate Increase

Seeking to increase revenues by $7 million while also consolidating its three delivery districts into one, Liberty Utilities will be appearing before the Missouri Public Service Commission in a series of hearings beginning in May.

Formal evidentiary hearings are scheduled for May 21-25, 2018 and May 30-June 1, 2018 in the natural gas rate case filed by Liberty Utilities (Midstates Natural Gas) Corp. d/b/a Liberty Utilities.

The Commission will hold local public hearings in this case. Those hearings will be announced when dates, times and locations have been finalized.

On September 29, 2017, Liberty Utilities filed a natural gas rate case with the Missouri Public Service Commission seeking to increase annual natural gas revenues by approximately $7.5 million, of which approximately $500,000 is already being recovered from customers through the Infrastructure System Replacement Surcharge (ISRS). This results in a net increase of approximately $7 million. The ISRS appears as a separate item on the monthly bills of Liberty Utilities customers.

According to the Liberty Utilities filing, the proposed rate increase for a residential customer with average usage would be approximately $2.06 a month in the Northeast District (NEMO); approximately $14.09 a month in the Southeast District (SEMO); and approximately $7.62 a month in the Western District (WEMO). In this case, Liberty Utilities also seeks to consolidate its three rate districts, NEMO, SEMO and WEMO, into a single district with a uniform delivery charge.

Liberty Utilities provides natural gas service to approximately 53,400 customers in 25 Missouri counties (Adair, Bates, Butler, Cape Girardeau, Cass, Dunklin, Henry, Iron, Knox, Lewis, Macon, Marion, Mississippi, New Madrid, Pemiscot, Pike, Ralls, Ripley, Schuyler, Scotland, Scott, St. Clair, Stoddard, Wayne and Worth).

The initial public hearings will be held in Room 310 of the Governor Office Building, 200 Madison Street, Jefferson City. The Governor Office Building meets accessibility standards required by the Americans with Disabilities Act. Any person who needs additional accommodations to participate in these hearings should call the Public Service Commission’s hotline at 1-800-392-4211 (voice) or Relay Missouri at 711 prior to the hearings.

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