Blunt May Change Strategy to Change Definitions

A change to definitions in the Federal Power Act could become a stand alone bill from Missouri’s junior senator.

Roy Blunt added two amendments to the energy and water appropriations bill, one which adds private property into the definitions of what the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission regulates. Blunt says FERC needs to recognize everything on the shoreline not just public use.

With no action yet on the amendments, Blunt may put the definition amendment into a stand alone bill. The second amendment Blunt introduced deals with the 662 elevation and Ameren’s plans to move the project boundary to accommodate encroaching structures.

McCaskill Introduces Permanent Earmark Ban

Missouri’s Democrat U.S. Senator and a Republican from Pennsylvania are trying to put an end to earmarks.

Yesterday senators Claire McCaskill and Pat Toomey introduced a bill that McCaskill says will make the current earmark moratorium permanent.

The Earmark Elimination Act of 2011 would define earmarks as any congressionally directed spending item, limited tax benefit, or limited tariff benefit. The bill would create a point of order against any legislation containing an earmark where the point of order would only apply to the actual earmark, rather than to the entire bill. To waive the point of order would require a two-thirds vote.

Osage Beach Boil Advisory Lifted

The boil advisory has been lifted for homes and businesses on Passover Road in Osage Beach. The sample results from Monday’s water shut off have been received., and the samples pass the standards required by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

Ceremony Will Celebrate Completion of Two Highway Projects

Two major highway construction projects are nearing completion at the Lake of the Ozarks, and the Missouri Department of Transportation has announced plans for a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, December 13th. MoDOT will join state and local officials to celebrate the end of construction on the final stage of the new 54 Expressway and the Horseshoe Bend Parkway extension. The event, open to the public, will be held in the westbound lanes of Route 242. The new Route 242, connecting U.S. 54 in Miller County to the Lake of the Ozarks Community Bridge on Route MM in Camden County, will open to traffic following the ceremony.

Police Grant Will Be Used to Secure School Buses

Camdenton Police will improve the security on Camdenton school buses with money from the U.S. Department of Justice.

The police department is receiving about $55,000 in a Secure our Schools grant. Part of the money will be used to buy twenty-five cameras for school buses.

Police Chief Laura Wright says with the additional twenty-five more than half of the school’s buses will then have units.

In addition to the cameras, $9,000 will be used to buy laptops for resource officer patrol cars.

The police applied for the grant back in the spring through the U.S. Department of Justice.

School IT Department Lays Out Plan

The technology department at the Camdenton school district wants more than $1.5 million dollars to make some upgrades.

The plan laid out at the last board meeting would require four years of funding, with plans to implement 1:1 wireless computing for the entire district, replace 10% of computers in use, replace non-manageable wireless services, and add to staff.

If the plan is approved the goal is to spend $33,000 this school year with the next three averaging about $500,000 each. The next board meeting is December the 12th.

Federal Money for Missouri Trail Improvements

Eleven major Missouri trails will be improved with $1.3 million dollars in federal grant money.

Statewide, $348,000 will go to all state parks for non-motorized trail projects, with Cole County receiving $100,000 to connect the Missouri State Penitentiary trail. $400,000 will be spent on motorized trail projects statewide.

The money comes through the Recreational Trails Program and can be used for trail related land acquisition, development or restoration.