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.

Lady Tigers Drop Two of Three at Schuyler Tourney

 

Maddie Brassfield slides into second base.

Maddie Brassfield slides into second base.

After dropping two of three games at the Schuyler County Tournament on Saturday, the Scotland County softball program returned from Lancaster under the .500 mark on the season with a 7-8 record.

SCR-I got off to a  horrible start Saturday morning. After leaving the bases loaded in the top of the first, Knox County jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the bottom of the frame, taking advantage of a pair of SCR-I errors as well as a home run.

Chelsea Wood singled and Stevi See walked with two outs in the third inning before Ashleigh Creek cracked a triple to trim the deficit to 5-2.

Another two-out rally in the sixth inning made the final score 5-3. Kaylyn Anders singled and scored when Abby Blessing reached on an error.

Creek pitched six innings, allowing just one earned run on seven hits and a walk while striking out five.

Wood went 2-3 with a walk and a run scored. Creek was 1-2 with two RBIs.

In game two, freshman Kaitlin McMinn got her first varsity pitching victory as SCR-I rallied for a 9-5 win over Brashear.

SCR-I fell behind 4-0 before Wood and See singled in the third and scored on a two-run hit by Creek.

The fifth inning put SCR-I over the top as Abi Feeney reached on an error and scored on a double by Wood. Creek added an RBI triple before Maddie Brassfield was hit by a pitch and scored on a base hit by Abby Blessing to make the score 6-5.

Creek took over in relief and notched the save with two scoreless innings of work.

Abby Blessing fires in a throw from center field.

Abby Blessing fires in a throw from center field.

SCR-I tacked on three more runs in sixth. Wood and See singled in front of a three-run homer by Creek to make the final score 9-5.

McMinn allowed two earned runs in four innings of work on four hits and three walks.

Creek struck out four in two innings of relief. She was 3-4 at the plate with six RBI and finished a single short of the cycle after hitting a double, triple and homer.

Wood was 3-4 and See went 2-4 as SCR-I finished with 10 hits after a slow start.

The consolation game slipped away from Scotland County as the host team broke a 2-2 tie in the fifth inning en route to the 5-4 win.

Schuyler County took a 2-0 lead in the second inning on an SCR-I error.

Abi Feeney singled and came in to score when Wood reached on an error to trim the deficit to 2-1.

Creek singled in the fourth inning and courtesy runner Hailey Darcy stole second base and came in to score when Anders reached on an error.

In the sixth, Creek smacked her second homer of the day to trim the lead to 5-3.

Katie Feeney squeezes a throw at first base on the bunt attempt.

Katie Feeney squeezes a throw at first base on the bunt attempt.

Julie Long reached on an error to start the seventh and pinch runner Khloe Hamlin stole second before scoring when Abi Feeney reached on an error. Wood doubled but SCR-I stranded the winning run at second base as the Rams held on for the 5-3 win.

Creek took the loss, despite not allowing an earned run. She held Schuyler County to five hits and three walks while striking out seven.

Lady Tigers Knock Off Novinger 15-1

abi-novinger

After a slow start Monday night, the Scotland County softball team came on strong late to close out Novinger 15-1 in five innings of play in Memphis.

Abi Feeney was hit by a pitch to lead off the game and stole second base. She scored on an RBI single to give SCR-I a 1-0 lead.

Stevi See reached on an error and scored on an RBI ground out by Creek in the third to extend the lead to 2-0.

Novinger trimmed the deficit to 2-1 in the top of the fourth inning when a walk  led to a run on a wild pitch.

But SCR-I closed the door on any rally with a huge fourth inning that saw the Lady Tigers send 17 batters to the plate en route to scoring 13 runs.

Abby Blessing and Katie Feeney had RBI singles to start the rally before Abi Feeney delivered an RBI triple. Chelsea Wood followed with a double  before Creek drove in another run with a two-bagger. See also contributed an RBI single during the onslaught.

Creek finished off the five-inning no-hitter with a one-two-three inning to record the victory. The junior allowed one run on no hits and three walks while striking out 11.

SCR-I improved to 8-8 on the season with the win.

Rams Outlast Lady Tigers 2-1 In Defensive Battle

Shortstop Abi Feeney makes a throw to first from her knees after one of her several nice defensive plays at Lancaster.

Shortstop Abi Feeney makes a throw to first from her knees after one of her several nice defensive plays at Lancaster.

Tuesday night saw an old-fashioned pitching duel in Lancaster backed up with plenty of defensive gems. Unfortunately for the Lady Tigers, Schuyler County was the last one standing in the 2-1 defeat.

Scotland County took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first. Abi Feeney led off with a walk. With two outs, she was able to score all the way from first base when Ashleigh Creek reached on an error on an errant throw from third base that got by the first baseman.

Schuyler County came right back in the bottom of the frame. The Rams led off the inning with a blooper that landed and died between the pitcher and home plate for an infield single. After a wild pitch and a sacrifice bunt, Megan Haley delivered an RBI ground out to knot the score at 1-0.

After that point, pitchers Ashleigh Creek and Dystine Priebe locked horns, putting up zeros on the scoreboard.

Ashleigh Creek fields a bunt and fires to Katie Feeney at first base to record the out.

Ashleigh Creek fields a bunt and fires to Katie Feeney at first base to record the out.

SCR-I managed a base runner each inning until the sixth, but was unable to advance anyone past first base. Julie Long singled in the second, but was stranded. Stevi See and Abby Blessing walked in the third and fourth innings before Abi Feeney got a base hit in the fifth, but Priebe worked out of the jams, in large part thanks to nine strikeouts.

Her defense helped out a bit, as center fielder Brooke Whitton made a fine running grab in deep center field to rob Creek of extra bases in the third and Haley made a nice catch to rob Chelsea Wood of a hit in the fifth.

Creek matched the zeroes, albeit with a little more effort, struggling a bit with wild pitches that had the Lady Rams with runners in scoring position every inning.

Priebe singled and moved to second on a wild pitch in the second inning. Abi Feeney ended the threat with a diving grab on a line between short and third base.

The senior shortstop made back-to-back put outs in the third to leave a runner at third base. Maddie Brassfield then made a defensive gem at first base to end the threat in the fourth.

Schuyler County finally broke through for the winning run in the fifth inning. A leadoff single followed by a passed ball and a wild pitch allowed the Rams to score on a sacrifice fly.

Long smacked a one-out single in the seventh, her second hit of the contest, but Priebe closed out the rally to secure the 2-1 win for Schuyler County.

Scotland County fell to 6-5 on the season and 4-3 in the Lewis & Clark Conference.

Creek pitched six innings and allowed two runs, one earned on five hits and no walks while striking out three.

Priebe held SCR-I to just three hits and three walks over seven innings, surrendering just the one unearned run.

Rutledge School Building Sold

rutledge-web

The Village of Rutledge sold the school to the Restoration Society for $1.00 on Tuesday, September 20th at 12:00 p.m.  Those at the closing were Society members L to R Lyle Otte, Reva Hustead, Charlene Montgomery, Gwen Ludwick, Bob Hunolt, Dorothy Hunolt, Elaine Forrester, Betty Lodewegan, Lynn McClamroch,  (Keith Zimmerman and Carol McCabe from the Village) and Leon Trueblood.

Grand Hall Singspiration in Memphis

by-grace-ministry-web

The Rabers, part of the By Grace Ministry, will be hosting a Grand Hall Singspiration in Memphis at the Grand Hall, across from the BP Station, 418 E. Grand, on Sunday, October 2nd at 7:15 p.m.  They are also hosting a Men of Valor men’s meeting on Monday, October 3rd at 7:15 p.m.  Everyone is welcome and admission is a free will offering.  For more information about the By Grace Ministry, visit www.bygraceministry.com.

Area Children Enjoy Games at Annual Rutledge Fall Festival

The annual Rutledge Fall Festival was held Saturday, September 17th and several area children enjoyed participating in various games.  Karl DeMarce emceed the games this year.

Balloon Toss winners in the six to eight division included Trevor and Evan Tague (1st), Kadence Burnett (2nd), and Craig Pflum and Cole Mazziotti and Nina Knepp (tied for 3rd).  In the nine and over division winners were Owen and Lucas Durflinger (1st), Hunter Holt and Aden Aldridge (2nd), and Aaron McDaniel and Hugh Baker (3rd).

Shoe Kick winners in the five and under division were Natalie Tague (1st), Travis Tague (2nd), and Ethan Pflum (3rd).  In the six to eight division winners were Evan Tague (1st), Cole Mazziotti (2nd), and Nina Knepp, Trevor Tague and Cole Pflum (3rd).  In the nine and over division winners were Owen Triplett (1st), Riley Small (2nd), and Lucas Durflinger (3rd).

Running Race winners in the five and under division were Landon Davis (1st), Kinze Mallett and Travis Tague (2nd), and Natalie Tague (3rd).  In the six to eight division winners were Kaden See (1st), Cole Mazziotti (2nd), and Evan Tague and Nina Knepp (3rd).  In the nine and over division winners were Owen Triplett (1st), Hunter Holt (2nd), and Lucas Durflinger (3rd).

Egg Race winners in the five and under girls’ division were Kenzie Mallett (1st), Nora Guthrie (2nd), and Natalie Tague (3rd).  In the boys’ division winners were Travis Tague (1st), James Guthrie (2nd), and Clay White (3rd).  In the six to eight girls’ division, winners were Natalie Howerton (1st), Kayla Pflum (2nd), and Tegan Mallett (3rd).  Boys’ division winners were Trevor Tague (1st), Kadence Burnett (2nd), and Craig Pflum (3rd).  In the nine and over division, winners were Braydon Tietjens (1st), Aden Aldridge (2nd), and Owen Triplett and Lucas Durflinger (3rd).

Afternoon games included a Kiddie Tractor Pull, Tug-of-War Race and the Shirley Chancellor Memorial Hot Cookie Race.

SCR-I School Menus

Breakfast

Thursday, Sept. 29 – Breakfast Burrito, Choice of Cereal, Toast/Jelly, Orange Wedge/Grapes, Juice/Milk

Friday, September 30 – Sausage/Gravy Biscuits, Choice of Cereal, Blueberry Muffin, Banana, Juice/Milk

Monday, October 3 – Waffles, Choice of Cereal, Cinnamon Biscuit, Apple Wedges, Juice/Milk

Tuesday, October 4 –Cinnamon Rolls, Choice of Cereal, Toast/Jelly, Orange Half, Juice/Milk

Wednesday, October 5 – Ham/Cheese/Croissant, Choice of Cereal, Toast/Jelly, Fruit Medley, Juice/Milk

Thursday, October 6 – Breakfast Burrito, Choice of Cereal, Toast/Jelly, Orange Wedge/Grapes, Juice/Milk

Lunch

Thursday, Sept. 29 – Spaghetti/Meat Sauce, Chicken Wrap, Hamburger Bar, Green Beans, Garlic Bread, Sliced Peaches, Fresh Fruit

Friday, September 30 – Sack Lunch Today – HOMECOMING

Monday, October 3 – Chicken Ala King/Biscuit, Juicy Burger/Bun, 5th/6th Grade Chef Salad, Onion Rings, Peas, Mandarin Orange Slices, Fresh Fruit

Tuesday, October 4 – Cheeseburger/Bun, Tenderloin/Bun, 5th/6th Grade Taco Bar, Oven Ready Fries, Tomato Slices and Pickles, Applesauce, Fresh Fruit

Wednesday, October 5 –Country Fried Steak, Chicken Alfredo, 5th/6th Grade Potato Bar, Whipped Potatoes/Gravy, Broccoli/Cheese Sauce, Dinner Roll, Sliced Pears

Thursday, October 6 – Beef ‘N’ Tator Bake, Chicken Wrap, Hamburger Bar, Green Beans, Dinner Roll, Pineapple Tidbits, Fresh Fruit

Scotland County Senior Nutrition Center

MENU

Thursday, Sept. 29 – BBQ or Plain Pork/Bun, French Fries, Cauliflower Blend Veggies, Mandarin Oranges, Cake

Friday, September 30 – Hot Beef Sandwich, Mashed Potatoes/Gravy, Coleslaw, Buttered Carrots, Pudding

Monday, October 3 – Juicy Burger/Bun, French Fries, Mixed Vegetables, Cottage Cheese, Peaches

Tuesday, October 4 – Roast Pork/Stuffing/Gravy, Sauerkraut, Green Beans, Slice Bread, Cake

Wednesday, October 5 – Chicken Strips, Mashed Potatoes/Gravy, Buttered Carrots, Hot Roll, Fruit Salad

Thursday, October 6 – Meatloaf, Macaroni Salad, Buttered Broccoli, Applesauce, Bread, Glazed Donut

ACTIVITIES

Thursday, Sept. 29 – Card Party at 5:00 p.m.

Thursday, October 6 – Card Party at 5:00 p.m.

Special 100-Year Homecoming Services This Weekend at First Christian Church

The Memphis First Christian Church will be hosting Homecoming Services to celebrate the completion of the current church building (located on corner of Jones and Main Streets) which was completed in 1916.  The celebration will take place this weekend –  September 30- October 1-2, 2016.

Phillip Gore and Tim Hawkins former ministers of the Memphis First Christian Church will be the speakers for the Sunday, October 2, morning worship service, and former Memphis resident Terry Rush will speak at the closing service on Sunday afternoon.  Following the morning service, there will be a luncheon served.

There will also be services on Friday, September 30, beginning at 7:00 with a “Linger Longer” fellowship time after the service.  On Saturday, October 1, there will be a barbecue at 5:00 with services beginning at 6:30.

Special music for the services will be provided by the Gateway Singers and Paul Burton and Mercy’s Bridge Band, a country gospel group.  The Planning Committee for the Church Homecoming Celebration will share historical information about First Christian Church as part of the three special services.

Members of the community are cordially invited to attend all of the services and meals for the celebration.

Mayor Reckenberg Proclaims Constitution Week, Sept. 17 – 23, 2016 in Memphis

Memphis Mayor William Reckenberg was joined by members of the Jauflione Chapter of the NSDAR to sign a proclamation declaring Constitution Week in Memphis.

Memphis Mayor William Reckenberg was joined by members of the Jauflione Chapter of the NSDAR to sign a proclamation declaring Constitution Week in Memphis.

On Friday, September 23, 2016, Mayor William Reckenberg signed and issued a proclamation announcing September 17 through 23, 2016 to be Constitution Week in Memphis, and asks our citizens to reaffirm the ideals the Framers of the Constitution had in 1787.

The Proclamation reads as follows:

Whereas, September 17, 2016 marks the two hundred and twenty-ninth anniversary of the drafting of the Constitution of the United States of America by the Constitutional Convention; and

Whereas, it is fitting and proper to officially recognize this magnificent document and the anniversary of its creation; and

Whereas, it is fitting and proper to officially recognize the patriotic celebrations which will commemorate the occasion; and

Whereas, public law 915 guarantees the issuing of a proclamation each year by the President of the United States of America designation September 17 through 23 as Constitution Week;

NOW THEREFORE, I, William Reckenberg, by virtue of the authority vested in me as Mayor of the City of Memphis in the County of Scotland do hereby proclaim September 17 through 23, 2016 as CONSTITUTION WEEK and ask our citizens to reaffirm the ideals the Framers of the Constitution had in 1787 by vigilantly protecting the freedoms guaranteed to us through this guardian of our liberties, remembering that lost rights may never be regained.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of Memphis to be affixed this twenty-third day of September in the year of our Lord two thousand sixteen.

The United States Constitution stands as a testament to the tenacity of Americans throughout history to maintain their liberties and freedoms and to ensure those unalienable rights to every American.

In 1955 the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) petitioned the Federal Government to dedicate September 17-23 as Constitution Week.  Congress adopted the resolution and on August 2, 1956, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed it into Public Law 915.  DAR Chapters have been observing Constitution Week various ways since then.  The local Chapter, Jauflione, places a display in a store window to remind the public of the Constitution and its significance to our way of life.  The city Mayor also issues a proclamation declaring Constitution Week.  This is an annual reminder of the inalienable rights the Constitution affords all Americans.

The aims of the celebration are to:  (1) Emphasize citizen’s responsibilities for protecting and defending the Constitution, (2) Inform people that the Constitution is the basis for American’s great heritage and the foundation for our way of life and (3) To encourage the study of the historical events which led to the framing of the Constitution in September 1787.

Written in 1787, the Constitution was signed September 17th.  But it wasn’t until 1788 that it was ratified by the necessary nine states.

The Constitution is a living document, being amended 27 times.  Of the written national constitutions, the U.S. Constitution is the oldest and shortest.

Jauflione Chapter, NSDAR helps keep alive the memory of the men and women who secured the Nation’s independence, whose bravery and sacrifice made possible the liberties Americans enjoy today.

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