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


Thursday, October 27 – Swiss Steak, Scalloped Cabbage, Peas, Bread, Pudding/Fruit

Friday, October 28 – Salmon Loaf, Scalloped Potatoes, 3 Bean Salad, Buttered Corn, Cornbread, Crème Pie

Monday, October 31 – Juicy Burger/Bun, French Fries, Mixed Veggies, Cottage Cheese, Peaches

Tuesday, November 1 – Meatloaf, Macaroni Salad, Buttered Broccoli, Applesauce, Bread, Glazed Donut

Wed., November 2 – Chicken Strips, Mashed Potatoes/Gravy, Buttered Carrots, Hot Roll, Fruit Salad

Thursday, November 3 – Roast Pork, Stuffing/Gravy, Sauerkraut, Green Beans, Slice Bread, Cake


Thursday, October 27 –Card Party at 5:00 p.m.

Wednesday, Nov. 2 – Red Hats will join us for lunch.

Thursday, November 3 –RSVP for doing Medicare Part D Free Comparisons from 9-12, call for an appt.  Card Party at 5:00 p.m.

SCR-I School Menus


Thursday, October 27 – Breakfast Burrito, Choice of Cereal, Toast/Jelly, Orange Wedge/Grapes, Juice/Milk

Friday, October 28 – Sausage/Gravy, Biscuits, Choice of Cereal, Blueberry Muffin, Banana, Juice/Milk

Monday, October 31 – Cook’s Surprise

Tuesday, November 1 –Scrambled Eggs, Choice of Cereal, Hash Browns, Toast/Jelly, Apple Wedges, Juice/Milk

Wednesday, Nov. 2 – Bacon/Egg/Cheese Sandwich, Choice of Cereal, Cinnamon Biscuit, Orange Half, Juice/Milk

Thursday, Nov. 3 – Breakfast Burrito, Choice of Cereal, Toast/Jelly, Orange Wedge/Grapes, Juice/Milk


Thursday, October 27 – Pizza Roll-Ups, Chicken Fajitas, Hamburger Bar, Green Beans, Applesauce, Fresh Fruit

Friday, October 28 – Walking Taco, Fish Square/Bun, Diced Tomatoes, Cottage Cheese, Sliced Peaches, Fresh Fruit

Monday, October 31 – Crispy Chicken Strips, Grilled Cheese Sandwich, 5th/6th Grade Chef Salad, Tri Potato Patty, Peas, Mandarin Orange Slices, Fresh Fruit

Tuesday, November 1 – Cheeseburger/Bun, Chicken Patty/Bun, 5th/6th Grade Taco Bar, Oven Ready Fries, Tomato Slices and Pickles, Pinto Beans, Applesauce, Fresh Fruit

Wednesday, Nov. 2 –Country Fried Steak, Chicken and Noodles, 5th/6th Grade Potato Bar, Whipped Potatoes/Gravy, Carrot Coins, Dinner Roll, Jell-O/Fruit, Fresh Fruit

Thursday, Nov. 3  – Chili Soup, Broccoli Cheese Soup, Hamburger Bar, Peanut Butter Sandwich, Pickle Spear, Cheese Stick, Saltine Crackers, Cinnamon Apple Slices

Daylight Saving Time Ends November 6th


It’s almost time to “fall back” and return our clocks to standard time, rejoining 60% of countries around the world who use this time all year.  Daylight Saving Time in the U.S. officially comes to an end, Sunday, November 6, 2016 at 2:00 a.m.

Each year, this “changing of the clocks” brings about discussion about why daylight saving time started and why it still continues.  Typical responses to these questions include “to help farmers” and “because of the World Wars”.

Daylight saving time did begin in the U.S. during World War I and although some states and communities observed daylight saving time between the wars, it was not observed nationally again until World War II.  But World War II is long over and some wonder why we still observe daylight saving time?

The idea of daylight saving is first credited to Benjamin Franklin and found in his essay “An Economical Project” written in 1784.  In 1907, William Willett, a London builder, published a pamphlet titled “Waste of Daylight”.  In it Willett states, “Everyone appreciates the long, light evenings.  Everyone laments their shortage as Autumn approaches; and everyone has given utterance to regret that the clear, bright light of an early morning during Spring and Summer months is so seldom seen or used.”

About a year after Willett began advocating for daylight saving time, Britain set the ball in motion by introducing a bill in the House of Commons to make it compulsory to adjust the clocks.  An act was passed on May 17, 1916 to add 80 minutes, in four separate movements.  However, this act created great confusion and opposition with many adjustments being made to address unique problems created by changing the clocks.

There are pros and cons to both sides of the argument, and in the U.S., Congress has changed the rules a few times since passing The Uniform Time Act of 1966, which provided the basic framework for alternating between daylight saving time and standard time in the U.S.  In 1973, daylight saving time was observed all year; in 1986, the system of beginning DST at 2 a.m. on the first Sunday in April and ending it at 2 a.m. on the last Sunday in October started; and in 2007 the rules changed again with DST beginning the second Sunday of March and ending the first Sunday in November.

Who knows what the future for Daylight Saving Time will be… only TIME will tell!  For now, the shifting of time and the illusion of shorter days, will take place Sunday, November 6th.

Living From Both Extremes 

The system of church could use a vigorous boost.  The body of Christ will always do well to consciously remain new in Spirit day by day.  It’s this new zone which challenges us; calls for us to function from such a perspective.  It would seem that hope awaits us, the church, when we decline to function somewhere within the realm of middle-zone in order to operate from the edge… both edges…at the same time.

We are not right with God because we figured ourselves out.  We are saved because He figured us out. We do not earn our salvation.  It is a gift from God.  Jesus is the one right.  We are the ones who could not save ourselves.  When we make inward adjustments to believe we could not save ourselves; but that He did, an entirely new frame of walk should take place.  Any arrogance due to self-salvation should slip away as an atmosphere of humility should increase.

We are called to live from both extremes; the energy of the Holy Spirit while fully aware of the non-power of ourselves.  Faith on one side and surrender on the other, we become free to enter the dynamic that only God can supply.  There is no middle of safety or forewarning or management.  God runs the show and we most certainly do not.  Our job is two-fold; to stay out of the way and to get into His way.  We are to live from both extremes…and this takes, therefore, a double-commitment of sorts.

From human logic it would seem at first glance that we would be one or the other. Yet, from faith’s perspective it is both… simultaneously…confidence in Him and the lack thereof in ourselves…we are to be empty of self in order to be full in Spirit.  Living from these two extremes make life tick.


Conservation Department Investigates Elk Sighting

Trail cameras at Hickory Hill Hunts in rural Scotland County captured images of this bull elk earlier this month. Elk are a protected species in Missouri, making it illegal to harvest an elk in the state. The Missouri Department of Conservation recently began an elk restoration program in Carter, Reynolds and Shannon counties.

Trail cameras at Hickory Hill Hunts in rural Scotland County captured images of this bull elk earlier this month. Elk are a protected species in Missouri, making it illegal to harvest an elk in the state. The Missouri Department of Conservation recently began an elk restoration program in Carter, Reynolds and Shannon counties.

by MDC Conservation Agent Michael Collins

The leaves are changing colors and some trees are losing most of their leaves, crop fields are being harvested and the deer are on the move. It appears that the fall has rolled in to stay, or at least that is what the hopes are for the majority of hunters. This coming weekend is the Early Youth Firearms Deer Season, and, before long, the November Portion of Firearms Deer Season will be in full swing. For some people, there is something to consider while they are sitting in their tree stand this fall.

Recently, I received a report of a bull elk in Scotland County. At this time, there is no evidence that it is an escaped captive bull elk or if it is, in fact, wild. Nonetheless, it is definitely an interesting occurrence in Scotland County, Missouri. Some questions have arisen – if it is legal, or illegal to harvest. Here in Missouri, we are currently in the restoration phase of building a healthy elk population. There is currently no season on elk and they are a protected species in Missouri. Therefore, harvesting one of these animals is illegal. If you are afield and see an elk, please contact the local Conservation Agent in the area you are hunting. Of course, here in Scotland County, contact Conservation Agent Michael Collins at (660)216-1374 or contact the Northeast Regional Office at (660)785-2420.

Currently, Missouri’s elk populations are concentrated in the Elk Restoration Zone, which is comprised in Carter, Shannon and Reynolds Counties – Elk are a species of Conservation Concern in Missouri due to habitat loss and overhunting by settlers. Before the coming of Europeans, elk, or wapiti, probably ranged over the entire region of what is now Missouri. By 1830, elk were becoming scarce; they eventually were limited to just the northwestern and southeastern parts of the state. By 1865, they were extirpated. Today, elk are being reintroduced, in large part, because of their popularity for hunting and ecotourism.

Missouri Voters to Decide Future of Sales Tax for State Parks, Soil and Water Conservation

On November 8th, voters across Missouri will decide the future of the 0.1% sales tax for the state’s parks and soil and water conservation, which funds places such as Thousand Hills State Park  The tax, first implemented in 1984, has previously been renewed by voters in 1988, 1996 and 2006.

On November 8th, voters across Missouri will decide the future of the 0.1% sales tax for the state’s parks and soil and water conservation, which funds places such as Thousand Hills State Park The tax, first implemented in 1984, has previously been renewed by voters in 1988, 1996 and 2006.

Ever since 1984, 0.1 percent of sales made in Missouri has gone to fund state parks and soil and water conservation efforts in the Missouri in the form of a special sales tax.

On November 8th, voters across the state will once again decide the future of the sales tax.

Originating in a 1984 state constitutional amendment, the issue is returned to the voters every 10 years for reconsideration. Missouri voters approved the continuation of the tax in 1988, 1996 and 2006. Each decade, the initiative passed by a minimum of two-thirds vote, with the over 70 percent of voters approving the tax renewal in the latest election in 2006.

According to the ballot language, Amendment 1, if reapproved by voters, will generate approximately $90 million in tax revenue.

The Citizens Committee for Soil, Water and State Parks points out that more than 19 million people visit state parks and historic sites annually, accounting for $1 billion a year in economic impact, while supporting roughly 14,000 jobs.

The ballot issue is being supported by numerous conservation and agricultural groups as well as park associations.

Proponents note that a yes vote is not costing voters anything, as this is not a new tax, simply a continuation of a sales tax that has been in place since 1984.

Police Warning Businesses, Residents of Utility Bill Scam


As temperatures turn cooler, no one wants their gas shutoff. That’s what scammers are counting on, as law enforcement agencies this week issued warnings to local business owners and residents regarding potential scam phone calls regarding unpaid utility bills.

The Memphis Police Department is investigating a case involving an alleged scam regarding natural gas bills. Investigators indicated a Memphis business was tricked out of $1,200 by an alleged con artist, posing as the local natural gas provider, Liberty Utilities.

According to the investigators, a caller to the businesses, stated unpaid bills would force the discontinue of natural gas service to the business. The scam included a 1-800 call-back number, complete with automated directions.

The alleged transaction was completed over the phone with pre-paid credit cards, which are purchasable at most retail outlets. Immediate payment of the debt was enticed with promises of waving all late fees and disconnect service charges.

While the scammer reported to be the local natural gas provider, similar cons have been reported in other area towns. The Kirksville Police Department recently issued a similar warning to residents in their city regarding scam calls alleging to represent Ameren Missouri, the electricity provider in that town.

Law enforcement encourages anyone receiving calls related to unpaid utility bills to search out valid contact information for the service provider, and to contact them directly to determine the validity of the charges. Customers also warned about any type of collection calls that seek immediate payment, requiring such payments in non-traceable currency, just as cashier checks, money orders, or pre-paid credit or debit cards. Do not confirm or give out any personal, financial or other sensitive information.

Amendment 2 Places Campaign Finance Limits Back on Missouri Ballots


At a time when voters are being bombarded by political ads and campaign propaganda seemingly non-stop, Missouri voters will be deciding if they want to try and place a damper on it with Constitutional Amendment 2, which is proposing campaign contribution limits for state and judicial offices.

If approved by voters, Amendment 2 would implement a cap of $2,600 for individual’s donating to campaigns for state offices, such as governor, secretary of state, attorney general or state representative or senator as well as judicial offices. Donations to political parties would be capped at $25,000.

Amendment 2 also would make it illegal for corporations or labor organizations to make direct contributions to candidates, unless the group created a continuing committee of its own for such purposes.

Other facets of the proposed law would ban candidate campaign committees from donating to other candidates, and would prohibit candidates from accepting contributions from out-of-state committees that are not registered in Missouri. Contributions from non-citizens, foreign governments and foreign corporations would also be prohibited, while anonymous contributions could not exceed $25 each and could not account for more than $500 or 1% of the aggregate campaign receipts.

The proposed law would not cap contributions to federal candidates, nor municipal, county or other local issues. It would not impact political action committees (PACs) which still would have no limits on the amount of contributions that could be received and used to promote ballot issues or candidates.

One such example of a PAC is Returning Government to the People, which was formed to support Amendment 2. According to campaign documents, the group, is solely funded by one individual, Fred, N. Sauer, who donated $1.5 million to the campaign for campaign contribution limits.

Sauer is on the record as saying campaign contribution limits are in the best interest of the entire state, putting limits on wealthy contributors whose voices otherwise can drown out majority rule.

Proponents of the amendment point to the 1994 election, when 74% of Missouri voters approved Proposition A, that drastically limited campaign contributions, before it was repealed in 2008 by the state legislature.

Opponents of the amendment have voiced concerns about unintended consequences, such as funneling even more campaign contributions to PACS and other less regulated avenues, that would ultimately have no impact on the peddling of political influence and would make it even harder to track.

Jauflione Chapter NSDA Hosts October Meeting

Jauflione Chapter, DAR, met in regular session Friday, Oct 7, 2016, at the Presbyterian Church Hospitality Room with Regent June Kice and acting Secretary, for this meeting, Terry Arnold.

The first order of business was a very informative presentation by Daisy Murphy, Scotland County Care Center Administrator. Daisy answered many questions for all present.

The business meeting was then called to order in Ritualistic form by Regent June Kice.

Roll call was answered by 11 members naming a famous American woman.

President General’s Message was read by Regent Kice. National Defense lesson was also given by Regent Kice in the absent of the Chairman, Marlene Cowell. Indian Minute was read by Nelda Billups. There was no Constitution Minute read.

Treasurer’s Report, prepared by Kathy Kiddoo, was given by Rita Stott. Kathy reported that she has received dues from many members. She reported that program books have been given to everyone who has paid their dues.

A discussion of eligibility for DAR membership followed.

Regent Kice reported that the “Thank You Veterans” reception will be held Nov. 4th, 2016, at the Hud Housing Meeting Room. Plans were finalized for the reception. It was decided not to mail invitations this year. Advertising will be by radio and the county paper. Posters will also be displayed in businesses around Memphis.

Regent Kice reported receiving a letter from the N. E. District Director Cheryl Varvil. Ms. Varvil will be planning to visit our Chapter after the first of the year.

New business consisted of voting on the two names presented for membership at the Sept. meeting. The vote was positive for both.

Registrar Patricia Miller will begin working on the documentation for their memberships. Volunteer hours were recorded and will be sent to the State chairperson.

The business meeting was closed.

Delicious refreshments were served by Nelda Billups and Verlee Dauma. Beautiful fall themed decorations were displayed on all tables. Everyone enjoyed a pleasant social hour.

Submitted by Rhonda Davis, Secretary

Funeral Services October 27th for Charles Ammons

Funeral services for Charles W. Ammons, 56, of Memphis will be at 11 a.m., Thursday, October 27 at the Gerth Funeral Chapel in Memphis.   Burial will follow in the Gorin Cemetery.

Visitation is prior to the service, from 10:30-11 a.m., at the funeral home.

 Charles W. Ammons died Friday, October 21, 2016 at his home.

A complete obituary will appear in next week’s paper.

Arrangements are under the direction of the Gerth Funeral Service.

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