August 10, 2006

Rising Electric Bills Are Shocking Memphis Residents

Why are our rates so much higher than everyone else around us? That was the question restaurant owner Kelly Nelson poised to the Memphis City Council on August 3rd regarding growing electric bills. And she wasnt the only one asking the question. Nelson presented a petition, demanding the city address the high rates, complete with 267 signatures.

And we just started the night before last, Nelson said regarding the popularity of the cause. So you know there are plenty more people interested in this issue.

Customers in the City of Memphis have witnessed electric rates increase from the base rate of $0.0877 per kilowatt hour (kWh) established back in 2001 to the most recent adjusted cost of $.1321 per kWh in June 2006. That represents an increase of roughly 33 percent.

The City Council attempted to explain to the public at the meeting, that this increase is 100-percent related to the cost of energy.

The increase you have seen in your bill is caused by a surcharge that the city is collecting so it can meet its expense to buy the electricity, stated Alderman Chris Feeney. The surcharge simply allows the city to collect nearly as much as what it is turning around and paying to the electricity provider. We cannot sell the electricity to the customer for less than it costs the city.

Therein lies the problem. Since 2001 when the current rate level was established, the price of electricity for the City was $0.0482 per kWh in October. In November and December that rate fell below the established base rate, meaning citizens saw a negative surcharge, or in essence, received a rebate because of the low rates.

Since then the rates have been on the rise. By July of 2004, citizens were paying a $0.0097 per kWh surcharge as the cost of buying power had risen by nearly a penny per unit. Recently the cost crunch has become extreme, creating the latest surcharge of more than four cents per kWh.

Local customers are not alone in the dilemma. Fellow MoPEP member, Palmyra has implemented two price increases, totaling more than 33-percent in the past 12 months, including a 25-percent price hike approved in May.

In June 2001, the last time power rates were adjusted in Memphis, the city set the rate at $0.0877 per kWh after the minimum charge of $7.71 for the first 50 kWh. Of that base rate, $0.0437 was established as base power cost factor, meaning roughly half the customers electric bill would pay for the actual electricity. The other half of the revenue was earmarked for overhead, including salaries and equipment for the light plant and line crew. This is a basic industry standard, with most power providers maintaining a 50/50 split between their cost of electricity and overhead to provide the necessary services.

The rate also established a surcharge to be added to a customers bill monthly. That surcharge is the difference between the base rate established for the cost of electricity back in 2001 ($0.0437) and the average of the previous three months actual energy cost.

In April 2006, the City of Memphis paid an average of $0.0823 per kWh for its wholesale power. In May that rate was $0.0909 and in June it dropped back to $0.0817 per kWh.

The costs from the three months are averaged, dividing the total price paid for the power by the total number of kWh used in the city (minus the electricity consumed by the city itself to power the light and water plants, the cemetery, the swimming pool, city hall, the police department and fire station, street lights and various other public holdings). That produces the base energy cost, which in June was $0.0881.

So in July 2006 customers not only were paying the normal $0.0877 per kWh, they had the added surcharge of $0.0444 per kWh. The city paid an average of $0.0881 per kWh for power sold to customers, creating the surcharge ($0.0881 base rate $0.0437 = $0.0444 per kWh surcharge).

It is a confusing process that prompted one citizen in attendance at the meeting to tell the council it has done a very poor job of communicating the problem with its customers.

Discussion on the bill increases stalled when prospective solutions were discussed, as most were in agreement there is no quick fix to the issue.

One resident questioned why the city does not generate its own power.

Light Plant Superintendent Mike Ahland explained that the plants generators are not nearly as efficient as those more modern facilities at larger plants. He said, while the city has the capacity to produce electricity in emergency situations or during high peak demands, it is not cost efficient to generate on a regular basis. He estimated it would double the current cost of electricity if the city used its diesel-fueled generators to meet the entire demand.

However Ahland noted that by simply maintaining the capacity to generate, the city receives a demand credit of more than $10,000 a month from the electricity provider.

Since 1996 that provider has been the Missouri Public Energy Pool (MoPEP), a cooperative consisting of 26 Missouri cities joined together under the Missouri Joint Municipal Electric Utility Commission (MJMEUC), a state-wide Joint Action Agency specifically authorized by state law to operate as an electric utility for the benefit of the combined requirements of the members.

Established by six charter members, the MJMEUC has grown to a membership of 56 consumer-owned systems ranging in size from 700 to 87,000 meters. These municipal and cooperative electric systems serve 347,000 retail customers, and have a combined peak load of over 2100 MW.

MJMEUC may construct, operate and maintain jointly owned generation and transmission facilities for the benefit of members. The Commission has the authority to enter into contracts for power supply, transmission service, and other services necessary for the operation of an electric utility.

MoPEP, which is run by the MJMEUC, consists of the cities of Albany, Bethany, Butler, Chillicothe, El Dorado Springs, Farmington, Fayette, Fredericktown, Gallatin, Harrisonville, Hermann, Lamar, LaPlata, Macon, Monroe City, Odessa, Owensville, Palmyra, Rock Port, Rolla, Shelbina, Stanberry, Trenton, Unionville and Vandalia.

In 1991, when Memphis joined MoPEP, the city council authorized the contract with the new entity based on electric rates well below the wholesale power contracts being offered by area electric cooperatives.

One director of an area cooperative indicated that the city took what was an excellent deal at that time, saving customers on their electric rates.

Now, since rates through MoPEP have risen, the city is faced with some difficult obstacles in finding a solution. The most difficult mountain to climb is the MoPEP contract itself, which requires a member to give five years notice before leaving the power-buying group.

Even if the city did escape its MoPEP contract, there are fewer options available than back in 1996. Most of the electric cooperatives no longer offer wholesale power contracts, meaning the city has limited options to replace MoPEP, even if it legally could.

Based on the current situation, the city has some limited options to offer relief to our electric customers, stated Alderman Feeney. We can cut our costs, which means likely cutting some services or other expenses. We could also possibly lower rates by using the citys reserve funds earmarked for system improvements and repairs. Or, we can attempt to change suppliers, but our contract and the existing options will make that extremely difficult. None of these are perfect solutions.

Mayor Roger Gosney asked the citizens to consider making efforts to conserve electricity to help lower their expenses while the city strives to resolve the problem.

Trust me, we are working on this issue, but it doesnt appear as there is a quick fix, he stated. We cannot promise you anything, except that we are going to try to help. Remember we are all customers too.

Scotland County Senior Nutrition Center

MENU

Thursday, March 23 – Liver and Onions or Chicken Pattie, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans, Bread, Fruit

Friday, March 24 –Fish Fillet, Macaroni and Cheese, Baked Beans, Pickled Beets, Fruit Juice, Cornbread, Peanut Butter Dessert

Monday, March 27 – Goulash, Italian Blend Veggies, Lettuce Salad, Hot Roll, Peach Crisp

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Shoes From the Heart Visits SCR-I Elementary

The Scotland County R-1 Elementary Student Council, Mrs. Fromm, and Principal, Erin Tallman accepted shoe donations for 30 SCR-1 students Tuesday, March 21st. The donating organization, Shoes From the Heart, a ministry started by Donnie Bonuchi and his late wife, Cindy, with the help of generous supporters, plans to provide approximately 36,000 pairs of shoes to needy children throughout Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, and Kansas in 2017.

by Andrea Brassfield

Shoes From the Heart, a ministry whose mission is to provide brand new shoes to children, visited Scotland County’s Elementary school Tuesday, March 21st, handing out 30 pairs of shoes to children there.

Donnie Bonuchi and his late wife, Cindy, started the ministry in Macon, MO in 2012.  At that time, their goal was to provide 65 pairs of new tennis shoes to the children at the Macon County Head Start.  Since then, they have expanded to serving over 70 counties in Missouri and helping over 28,000 children.  Last year, they handed out over 16,000 pairs of shoes and in 2017 they expect to give out around 36,000 pairs of shoes!

Donnie says the idea of Shoes From the Heart came from his late wife, Cindy.  “She wanted to help local children have new shoes,” he stated.  Donnie added, “There are several programs like this designed to help children in other counties, but Cindy wanted to help children closer to home.”

Since 2012, the mission has expanded from Head Start and churches into elementary schools across Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, and Kansas.  Currently, they are making a trip across northern Missouri and plan to visit ten schools this week.

Donnie is very appreciative of all the support they have received, stating, “We have been blessed to have the support of regional communities and organizations along with corporate sponsors across Missouri and the Midwest helping us on our journey.”

The organization currently has four offices in Missouri, including Macon, St. Joseph, Hannibal, and St. Louis.  Because they order so many pairs of shoes in mass quantities, they are able to purchase them for around $10 each.

In addition to donations, Shoes From the Heart is always looking for volunteers to help in different ways.  If you are interested in being part of their team by helping to work current events and organize future events, you can contact them through their website at shoesfromtheheart.org/volunteer.html, by calling 660-353-9915 or emailing at shoesfromtheheart@gmail.com.  They are also on Facebook and Twitter.

Tigers Rally to Win Baseball Opener 11-9 Over Highland

Lane Pence takes the throw to the plate to force out the Highland runner as the Tigers rallied to beat the Cougars 11-9 in the 2017 baseball season opener.

High expectations heading into the 2017 baseball season were quickly challenged on Monday night in Memphis as the Scotland County Tigers fell behind Highland 5-0.

But the pitching depth that is expected to fuel a possible post season run for SCR-I was on display, combined with some timely hitting that allowed Scotland County to rally for an 11-9 victory.

The Tigers fell behind early as starter Grant Campbell was plagued with some control issues that were compounded by some untimely fielding miscues by his defense.

A leadoff walk turned into a run for Highland courtesy of a pair of Scotland County errors that allowed the Cougars to take a 1-0 lead in the first.

The Tigers couldn’t take advantage of a Highland error that allowed Gage Dodge to reach to start the bottom of the frame. Aaron Buford followed with a base on balls but both runners were stranded.

Highland added to its early lead with a big second inning. A leadoff single turned into a run courtesy of two more SCR-I fielding miscues. A walk and a hits batsman loaded the bases. The Cougars plated two runs with a base hit an made the score 5-0 on another SCR-I error. But Campbell helped his own cause, making a diving stop on a blooper back through the box, throwing from his knees to nab the runner at the plate before striking out the final batter to keep the deficit at 5-0.

Aaron Blessing started a two-out rally in the second inning with a walk. After Will Pickerell singled, Dodge worked a base on balls to load the sacks for Buford who mashed a three-run triple in the right-center field gap to trim the lead to 5-3.

Will Pickerell laces a base hit.

Highland finally chased Campbell in the third, tacking on two more tallies, loading the bases with a pair of hits and a walk. Campbell walked in a run before a high bouncer off the plate turned into an infield single to make the score 7-3. Fromm relieved Campbell to record the final out of the inning via a strikeout.

SCR-I got a run back in the bottom of the frame. Catcher Lane Pence reached on an error. Courtesy runner Ryan Slaughter stole second and came in to score on a base hit by Blessing to make the score 7-4.

Pence gunned down a would-be base stealer in the fourth to erase a walk by Fromm, who faced the minimum in the frame.

That set up a key fourth-inning rally for the Tigers.

Buford started the excitement, reaching on an error. Fromm crushed a deep fly ball to right field that turned into a double. Campbell and Justin McKee followed with RBI singles before Elijah Cooley put Scotland County ahead with a two run base hit. A walk to Blessing ended starter Tommy Harvey’s night. Dodge greeted reliever Riley Eisenberg with a two run double to make the score 10-7.

Highland made the score 10-8 with a pair of hits in the fifth inning. An error on SCR-I allowed a run to score before Fromm struck out the side to end the threat.

Slaughter manufactured a run in the fifth inning with his speed on the bases. He generated a balk on the pitcher and later stole third before scoring on a wild pitch to push the lead to 11-8.

Highland loaded the bases in the sixth and a Cody Kessler single trimmed the lead to 11-9 before Fromm again came up with a big strikeout to close the frame.

The sophomore hurler finished off the win with a solid seventh inning to earn the victory. Fromm tossed 4 1/3 innings in relief, allowing two runs, one earned, on six hits and two walks while striking out seven. Campbell was tagged with seven runs, six earned, on five hits and four walks while striking out three.

Eight different Tigers recorded a hit in the contest. Blessing was 1-1 with three walks, an RBI and two runs scored. Buford went 1-3 with a pair of walks, a run scored and three RBIs and Cooley was 1-2 with two walks, a run scored and two RBIs.

Buford, Campbell Earn All-Conference Basketball Honors

 

Aaron Buford

Two Scotland County seniors were honored by the coaches of the Lewis & Clark Conference when the league announced its all-conference picks following the completion of the 2016-17 hoops season.

Aaron Buford was named to the L&C 2nd Team. Buford was second on the team in scoring, averaging 11.2 points per contest. The point guard led the team in rebounding, grabbing 6.4 boards a night and was also tops on the team with 153 assists on the year, averaging 6.1 per game. Mr. Versatility also was tops on the Tigers in blocks and steals, pilfering 3.3 passes per contest.

Teammate Grant Campbell earned third team all-conference honors. The forward led SCR-I in scoring averaging 12.4 points a game, while shooting 32% from three-point range.

Scotland County finished 4-4 in conference play in the school’s first season as a member of the Lewis & Clark Conference. Knox County, Harrisburg and Salisbury finished in a three-way tie for the conference championship.

Named to the L&C 1st team were: Blake Dawson, a  junior from Fayette;  Cade Combs, a  junior from  Harrisburg; Noah Talton, a senior from Knox County; Makenzie Fessler, a senior from Marceline; and seniors Garrett Francis and Evan Fessler of Salisbury.

Grant Campbell

 

Joining Buford on the L&C 2nd team were: Tommy Phillips, a senior from Fayette; Brendan Gray a senior and Cody Karl, a junior from Harrisburg; Hayden Miller, a junior from Knox County; and Keaton Nelson, a senior from Schuyler County.

Named to the 3rd team along with Campbell were: Robby Robinson, a senior from Fayette; Kyle Strange, a senior from Knox County; Dylan Painter, a senior from Paris; Gavin Ramsey, a junior from  Salisbury; Riley Veatch, a junior from Schuyler County;  and Ben Miller, a sophomore from Westran.

Bridge Work Will Close Route A on March 28th

Weather permitting, MoDOT crews will be continuing road work in Scotland County this week and next.

Work was scheduled on Route M for March 17 and March 20, with the road being temporarily closed between Route MM and about a quarter mile south of Route MM, for culvert replacements.

On Tuesday, March 28, Route A will be temporarily closed between two and half miles south of Route U and about 10 miles south of Route U for bridge maintenance.

The work will take place between 8:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Motorists will need to use alternate routes during this time.

Again, this work is weather dependent and could be rescheduled or delayed. For more information, contact MoDOT’s Customer Service Center toll-free at 1-888-ASK MoDOT (275-6636). All roadwork is posted on the traveler information map online at www.modot.org/northeast.

Auction, BBQ Will Benefit Gospel Express Ministries

A benefit auction to support Gospel Express Ministries is being held Tuesday, March 28th at the Scotland County Livestock Market in Memphis, MO.  The evening begins at 5:30 p.m. with a delicious free will chicken BBQ supper followed by an auction beginning at 7:00 p.m.

In addition to cattle, lots of local business donations and miscellaneous items will be sold during the auction.  One hundred percent of the proceeds raised during the evening will go to bibles and bible study courses for prison inmates!

Gospel Express Ministries is an evangelistic ministry in prisons, churches and however God chooses.  The ministry has expanded to include community tent crusades. Support chaplaincy programs, comprehensive Bible study correspondence courses and a New Testament ministry to prisoners throughout the U.S. and Canada.

For more information about the BBQ meal and benefit auction, contact Delmar Martin at 660-216-0548, Darin Shank at 660-216-1870 or Ralph Burkholder at 660-341-1927.  Everyone is welcome to come out and enjoy the evening!

Raytec Manufacturing Makes ‘Seamless’ Transition to New Location South of Memphis

Raytec Manufacturing has moved into its new facility, located 2.5 miles south of Memphis on Highway 15.

After more than 25 years manufacturing seamless gutter and metal roofing products in Memphis, Raytec Manufacturing has opened a new manufacturing center south of town.

Established in the early 1970’s, Raytec LLC, is a Pennsylvania based manufacturer catering to the seamless gutter and roofing industry.  The company specializes in using a variety of metals to produce seamless gutter hangers, step flashing and long shaped metal roofing products. In addition, Raytec also fabricates items for Agriculture using trademarked names of Way Pig hog scales and Caf-Cart.

The Caf-Cart is a calf transporting item. All products provide solutions to the unique problems faced by both small and large farms.

In March of 1990 the company expanded to Memphis, MO. The original objective of this facility was to distribute to the Mid West and the Western area of the country. The result was to be faster transit times, and provide a more regional buying experience to the customers in these areas. As the years went by, the original building has been expanded several times, remodeled and re-fitted with updated machinery.

Today, the Memphis facility performs light manufacturing including, but not limited to, hidden gutter hangers and step flashing.

Since those early days, many products have been developed which have proven to be helpful to farmers and contractors in the building industry.

After many years of adding on and remodeling the existing building, the company decided it was time to move into a larger location, constructing a new building on Highway 15, just south of Memphis, a project that was completed this winter.

The larger facility is better suited for the current and future manufacturing and distribution requirements.

Raytec will host a open house at the new facility on Thursday April 6, 2017 from 1 – 8 p.m. The building is located on Highway 15, approximately 2.5 miles south of the Highway 136 junction.

Educational tours of the building will be offered. Visitors can watch men and machinery transform metal coil into usable finished building products. Displays of gutter accessories and agriculture products will also be featured while visitors will learn about the company and all its capabilities.

The company also noted there are plans to have the craftsman that performed the  work on the new building, available for the public to meet, greet and discuss any  upcoming building or remodeling projects of their own.

Light refreshments will be served.

For more information, contact, Raytec Manufacturing; phone 660-883-5367.

JOHN RICHARD BARNES (2/3/1931 – 3/15/ 2017)

John Richard Barnes, 86, of Sarasota, Florida, died Wednesday, March 15, 2017, at Beneva Lakes Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center in Sarasota under hospice care.

He was born February 3, 1931, in Blandinsville, Illinois, to S.J. and Evelyn (Mitchell) Barnes.

Richard was united in marriage to Kathryn Ingram on December 22, 1951 in Downing, Missouri. She preceded him in death on April 14, 2016.

Mr. Barnes was also preceded in death by his parents; his in-laws, Curtis and Edythe Ingram; one son, Richard L. Barnes; sisters, Wilma Fitzgerald and Mary Lou McGeeney; sister-in-law, Carolyn Ingram; brothers- in-law, Augustus Crivolio, Ralph West, Thomas McGeeney, and David Ingram; nieces, Christy Eddlemen and Susan Veltri; and nephews, Robert Shellnut and Joseph West.

Surviving are his son, Michael Barnes and wife Brenda of Sarasota, Florida; and a daughter, Terri Emel and husband Danny of Memphis, Missouri; sisters, Eva West of Ocala, Florida, Carol Crivolio of Ocala, Florida, and Donna Eddlemen of Zephyhills, Florida, and brother, David Barnes (Mary Ann) of Kahoka, Missouri. Also surviving are six grandchildren; Wendy (Chester) Gipson, Robert (Kathy) Barnes, Greg (Erin) Barnes, Evan (Andrea) Emel, Aaron (Ashley) Emel, and Nicholas Barnes; and great-grandchildren, Madyson, Amanda, and Chester Gipson, John Jacob, Alexis, and Chase Barnes, Lily, Molly, and Matthew Barnes, Finley and Charley Emel, Isabella and Eva Emel, and Benjamin and Nathan Barnes, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

Richard attended elementary school in Blandinsville, IL, until the age of 13, and then moved to a farm with his parents and siblings near Memphis, Missouri. He attended Union Rural Elementary School and graduated from Memphis High School. After graduation in 1949, he got a job with the Department of Agriculture and travelled the state of Missouri for four years helping the department to eradicate invasive plants and bushes in the state.

After marrying his wife, Kathryn, and moving to Memphis, MO, they purchased the Prairie Farms Milk Dairy business based out of Quincy, IL, and ran milk routes to grocery stores, schools, and restaurants in Memphis and surrounding towns for 20 years. In 1974, Richard and Kathryn sold their business and moved to Sarasota, Florida, where he built several houses before retiring.

Richard’s passion was doing landscape projects and lawn care and traveling to visit family and friends. His hobbies included biking, swimming, walking the beach, and reading. He collected many tools in his workshop and kept a very tidy shed. Most of all he enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren and telling them stories of his childhood.

A memorial service at Toale Brothers Chapel will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, March 24, 2017. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center Therapy Department, P. O. Box 5202. Cincinnati, OH 45201-5202.

ROBERT B. COX (1/21/1930 – 3/15/2017)

Robert B. Cox age 87 from Keosauqua, passed away Wednesday, March 15, 2017 at Keosauqua Health Care Center.

Robert will be cremated and a memorial service and burial will be at a later date.

In-lieu of flowers a memorial has been established. Cards and memorials can be mailed to Sharon Cox, PO Box 8, Keosauqua, IA 52565.

Robert was born January 21, 1930 to Richard and Clara (Baker) Cox at Fairfield Hospital.

He married Jean Hartman of Fairfield. To this marriage, they had three children, Deborah, Karen and Steven. Jean and Robert later divorced and he married Sharon Schlotter on March 13, 1976 and adopted son, Eric.

Robert graduated from Fairfield High School Class 1947. He attended University of Colorado for two years majoring in Institute of Organization Management, Iowa State University for 1 year majoring in Engineering and Business Management, General Motors Sales Institute and Iowa Law Enforcement Academy studying Communication Management and Operator Instructor.

Robert served four years in the US Air Force from 1951 – 1954 as a Photographer, Script Writer, Electronics Technician & Public Information Officer.

Robert was partner of C & 0 Motors in Fairfield for five years. He was a member of Fairfield Elks Club & past Exalted Ruler. Robert became a manger of Fairfield Chamber of Commerce and secretary of Fairfield Industrial Development Corp. He served for several years as Director of Jefferson County Civil Defense, developed and served as, Chief of Jefferson County Police & Sheriff Reserves. Robert became very involved state wide in the development of High Band Radios for public safety and 911 emergency systems. He developed & managed 911 systems in Pottawattamie & Council Bluffs, IA for five years. He developed a 911 system in Sioux Falls, SD and served as director in this capacity for 15 years before retirement. Robert received Outstanding Citizen Award from Iowa Chamber of Commerce and Certificate of Appreciation Pottawattamie County Fire Chiefs, Council Bluffs, Iowa Police & Sheriff Department from the City of Fairfield, IA and Minnehaha County Fire Chiefs.

In 2001 he moved to Roberts Park in Keosauqua, IA and developed Cedar Hills Antiques before he completely retired.

Robert is survived by his wife, Sharon Cox of Keosauqua, IA; four children, Deborah Wesely of Omaha, NE, Steven (Sara) Cox of Springfield, MO, Karen (Tim) Buchan of Omaha, NE and Eric (Deb) Cox of Fairmont, MN; four grandchildren; Jason (Renee) Wesely, Justin (Pam) Smith, Julie Wesely and Nick Buchan; four great grandchildren; one sister, Myrna (Jim) Holcomb; and mother-in-law, Marilyn Schlotter.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Richard and Clara Cox; father-in-law, Robert Schlotter.

Online condolences can be made to the family at behnerfh.com.

BABY CARDWELL

Evan and Luisa Cardwell of Edina, MO are the parents of a daughter, Emersyn Jane Cardwell, born March 15, 2017 at 4:19 p.m. at Scotland County Hospital in Memphis. Emersyn weighed 7 lbs 15 oz and was 20 inches long. Grandparents are Leslie and Kim Cardwell of Edina; Rob and Katrina Hamlin of Wright City; and Marci Novillo of Orlando, FL.

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