Natural Gas Coming to Lake Area

The Lake Area will soon have another form of heating. Natural Gas will be coming to the tri- county listening area soon as the Missouri Public Service Commission has approved an application filed by Summit Natural Gas of Missouri which authorizes the natural gas company to construct and maintain a natural gas system that will be providing service in Benton, Morgan, Camden and Miller counties. Listed in its application, Summit Gas proposes to install a natural gas distribution system providing natural gas sales and transportation service in Camdenton, Osage Beach, Hurricane Deck, Linn Creek, Sunrise Beach and the Village of Four Seasons (Camden County), Gravois Mills and Laurie (Morgan County) and Lake Ozark (Miller County). The proposed system would also provide service in certain unincorporated portions of Benton and Morgan counties as well as in portions of unincorporated Camden County. Based upon a review of the application and the PSC staff recommendation, the Commission determined the application should be approved.

Camdenton Sees Nearly 13% Drop in Sales Tax Revenue

Camdenton City is feeling some fiscal pain as Sales Tax revenue is down nearly 13 percent in the last report. At the Camdenton BOA Meeting this week City Administrator Brenda Colter reported that the City of Camdenton sales taxes were down 12.92 percent in May, which is the last month reported. This trend is dangerous because many were anticipating a steady increase in the summer months. Colter said in the meeting that she was concerned about the significant drop so much so that she phoned the state to see how other cities were fairing. She said to the Board that there were a lot of cities with decreased sales tax in May. We will see what happens next month. Camdenton has had a nice increase in sales tax recently and this is the first month that reports have it down. July is the first month of fiscal year 2013, as the cities fiscal year runs from July 1 to June 30.

Lake Regional Hospital Plans Dock Safety Forum

In the wake of the electrocution deaths of three swimmers near private docks over the 4th of July holiday, Lake Regional Hospital in Osage Beach is organizing an informational forum on dock safety, to be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday, July 31st. Water Patrol Sergeant Randy Henry, Osage Beach Fire Marshall Ed Nicholson and Lake Regional Trauma Nurse Coordinator Marcia Whitter will conduct the session covering electrical safety and precautions, first aid for electrical and water-related injuries, and water safety. The forum is free, but registration is required. For more information, or to register, call 573-348-8222 or visit lakeregional.com/events.

Littons in Court, Jamie Attends Preliminary Hearing

The Stover couple charged in the beating death of three-year-old Blake Litton was in Morgan County court yesterday. 21-year-old Thomas “TJ” Presley waived his right to a preliminary hearing. 26-year-old Jamie Litton, the little boy’s mother chose to appear at her preliminary hearing yesterday afternoon at the Morgan County Justice Center in Versailles.

Both are charged with second-degree murder in the Feb. 16 death of Jamie Litton’s three-year-old son Blake. Jamie attended to see if she could get her sentence reduced to a lesser charge which Judge Kevin Schehr did not grant. He upheld Litton’s second-degree murder charge and two separate charges of endangering the welfare of a child. Both face arraignments on August 23 for second degree murder charges.

Ameren Looking For 14 Percent Rate Increase

Amid the sweltering summer weather, Ameren Missouri is taking heat for a rate hike request. As we first reported last week, Ameren filed the request for a 14 percent increase with the Missouri Public Service Commission. Consumers are receiving letters in the mail this week informing them of the proposed rate hike, of about $14 a month for the average residential customer. Public hearings on the increase start next Thursday in Jefferson City. Rich Deaver will have a commishioner on from PSC on Tuesday at 1030 to answer any questions.

Traffic Study Shows No Decline In West Side Tourism

Some potential good news for local business owners on the west side. A traffic count released by the Village of Sunrise Beach offers a snapshot of how busy the main thoroughfare through the area was on Hwy. 5. For the 12 day study a total of 123,890 vehicles were counted. This shows that while it is assumed less people are coming down to the lake area due to the economy, this may not be true. The way the number was attained was by counting one lane of traffic at a time and doubling it, assuming those who drove in the one direction would eventually come back. The average daily flow during the count was 10,324, around the same as a traffic study done mid-summer in 2010, showing no growth but on the optimistic side no decline in attendance.