As utility rates continue to rise, Councilman David Watkins has voiced his concern about the growing amount of money generated through the Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT). A previous council had set up the line item to meet $400,000 the city needed to generate in order to provide services, but Watkins believes the city has been unfair to its utility users.
Joy Howard, of WM Financial Strategies, appeared before the St. James City Council to inform them of significant potential savings in interest rates on General Obligation Bonds the city currently has in debt service. Rates have dramatically decreased since the bonds were issued in 2011, and she estimates approximately $400,000 could be saved by refinancing.
On Monday night, the St. James City Council approved an ordinance to join Show Me PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy), creating another tool for economic development. The St. James Winery had requested the program be allowed during the January meeting of the council, as it has plans to utilize funding to become more energy efficient.
A community forum will be held by the St. James Board of Education to allow the community to participate in the hiring process for a new superintendent of schools. Residents will have the opportunity to ask questions of the candidates, and the community response will help the board in making a final decision.
On January 28, St. James Mayor Jim White visited the St. James McDonald’s to present a proclamation naming February 8 through February 14 as “Ronald McDonald House Week.” The proclamation was made to support the local efforts of McDonald’s restaurants in the area as they participate in the Share a Heart Campaign to raise money for two Ronald McDonald Houses in Springfield, Missouri.