The Mornin' Mail is published every weekday except major holidays
Thursday, July 24, 2008 Volume XVII, Number 25

did ya know?

Did Ya Know?... July 25th & 26th, Carthage Shrine Club 20th Annual Tractor & Pickup Pull will start at 7 p.m. just North of Carthage on V Highway. Call David at 417-358-8816 for more info.

Did Ya Know?... On Sat. July 26th, Greater Ozarks British Motoring Club will host their 9th Annual GOBMC Car & Cycle Show on the Historic Carthage Square. Call Dave at 417-358-9166 for more info.

Did Ya Know?... On Sat. July 26th, Carthage Merchants will have their Summer Sidewalk Sale starting at 7 a.m. There will be drawings for $50 and $150 "Chamber Cash" sponsoring the participating businesses in the sidewalk sale.

Did Ya Know?... The City of Carthage will be spraying for mosquitoes July 28th - Aug. 1st at 8 p.m. on the evening of your trash collection day.

today's laugh

Why don’t you back horses?
I backed a horse one time and lost fifteen dollars.
How was that?
I backed him into a store window.

Is it correct to say: You have et?
No, it’s wrong.
Why is it wrong to say: You have et?
Because I ain’t et yet.

A Chronological Record of Events as they have Transpired in the City and County since our last Issue.


The Knell fair association offers a bonus of $500 to get the race here and each horse owner entering the race is to add $250 to this purse. Mr. Knell suggests that the state fair ought to offer a purse of $1000 for the race, to which the $250 from each horse owner should be added.

If this is done, he expresses willingness to transfer the race to the state fair grounds. Otherwise, he insists that the race be at the Carthage fair. The men who have so far indicated their desire to enter the race are Mr. Todhuster, owner of "Ashbrook," and Messers, Johnson & Leonard of Joplin, owners of "Falmont".

Mr. Knell suggests that if the other contestants do not object, he would be willing for the pacing horse "Flairloom, of Joplin to be allowed to enter. A final decision will be announced in the near future.

For Choice meals, call at the Merchant’s cafe in Snyder Building.


Today's Feature

Public Library Asks for Levy Increase.

The Carthage Public Library is asking that the voters of the Library District approve an increase in the property tax levy on August 5th. The increase would reset the levy at 32 cents per hundred dollars assessed valuation.

In 1988 the district approved a levy of 26 cents per hundred dollars assessed valuation and that was the last increase the Library has received. The levy generates approximately $180,000 a year in revenue for the organization according to County records.

With the new addition to the library recently completed, the budget for operating the facility is being severly stressed according to Library Board President Jim Seitz.

The 32 cent levy would generate a total of approximately $324,000 per year. The apparent discrepancy of a 6 cent increase, as indicated by the ballot language, creating almost twice the current revenue is explained by the Hancock Amendment. The amendment was adopted by the voters on November 4, 1980. As it applies to this situation "If the assessed valuation of property.....increases by a larger authorized percentage than the increase in the general price level from the previous year, the maximum authorized current levy applied thereto in each county or other political subdivision shall be reduced to yield the same gross revenue from existing property..." This means that even though the Library continued to receive approximately the same dollar amount each year after 1988, the levy has gradually been reduced each year to reflect a growing assessment valuation in the district. The levy actually used to calculate taxes in 2007 was 17.4 cents per hundred dollars assessed valuation. The voters are being ask to not only increase the levy by 6 cents, the affirmative vote would also reset the voted levy at 32 cents to start the process over again.

The City of Carthage, which is a separate political subdivision, agreed in 2003 to act as the entity to support a sales tax of 3/16th of 1 percent to finance $2.5 million of the $4.5 million Library expansion project. The Library was required to secure private funding for the remaining $2 million of the now completed Library expansion. The City was able to adopt the voter approved tax as being a Parks/Stormwater sales tax with the understanding that the tax would retire the $2.5 million certificate of participation (lease purchase) for the Library. The tax generates more than enough to pay down the certificate and a portion of the excess is used to help with operating expenses at the Library. The City approved a $55,500 request by the library for operating expenses this year.

According to the Memorandum of Understanding between the City and the Carthage Library Board signed in 2003, the Library Board must ask the voters every three years for an "increase in the ad-valorem tax levy for the operations of the Library to replace a portion or all of the three-sixteenth of one percent Parks/Stormwater Sales Tax being used for library operations with additional increments to be replaced by the ad-valorem tax until such time as the existing three-sixteenth of one percent Parks/Stormwater Sales Tax is supplanted or replaced by the ad-valorem tax." The sales tax generated $350,700 last year.

The Parks/Stormwater tax was approved to be in effect for a period of time not to exceed 20 years. The City will receive any revenue not used to retire the Library certificate or for operating expenses.


Annexation Public Hearing.

A public hearing was held on Tuesday evening prior to the regular meeting of the Carthage City Council. The hearing was for the proposed involuntary annexation of property South of the City limits including the Southwind Acres subdivision. The public hearing was required by state statute as a part of the process of municipally-initiated annexations.

City Administrator Tom Short prefaced the hearing by outlining the plan of intent for the annexation. Short listed the City services that would be provided to the area if it is annexed, and indicated a timeline of when the services would be available. Short also explained the election process for the annexation, saying that a majority of votes would be required not only in the City but also in the Southwind Acres area, which would be tabulated separately. If a majority of votes is not received in both areas, then a second election would be held, in which 2/3 majority would be required in both areas combined. The area is approximately 31 acres in size and is surrounded by City property.

Southwind Acres resident Nancy Troyer showed a petition and told the Council that residents of the neighborhood had signed the petition to oppose the annexation.

"We don’t want to be annexed," said Troyer. "That’s the answer we were getting at every door that we knocked."

Norman Rush seconded Troyer’s statement and also addressed concerns about the effects of growth in the area. Rush said that he felt some of the water drainage problems in the neighborhood were due to commercial construction on the South end of town.

"It’s being over-built in that area," said Rush. "We were there first."

Jane Hale of Hale Fireworks expressed concerns about her stand that sells fireworks in the area. Hale inquired if she would still be able to operate if the area is incorporated into the City.

Mayor Jim Woestman said that the fireworks issue had been noted by City staff and was being taken under consideration. Woestman said there was a possibility that the City would begin allowing the sale of fireworks inside City limits in the future.

Another resident requested an additional meeting to further discuss the proposal, after the residents have had time to review the City’s plan of intent. Mayor Woestman responded that it would be possible to schedule additional meetings with the residents.

During the regular meeting Council members unanimously approved the second reading of an ordinance providing for the annexation.

Council also heard the first reading of an ordinance authorizing the inclusion of the 1/2 cent economic development sales tax on the ballot for the November 4th election. The tax would have a 10 year sunset.

Just Jake Talkin'

Jinks (or Jinx?), ya owe me a coke.

I don’t know how many times that phrase was repeated durin’ my childhood, but I can’t remember ever bein’ treated to a cool soft drink as a result. For some reason this phrase was primarily used as an excuse to punch your buddy’s arm five or six times. Each punch was supposed to add to the number of cola’s you would get.

I don’t know where this stuff comes from. I prob’ly learned the trick from my older brother, but he didn’t have any siblings to teach him. The power of peer education I suppose. It’s amazin’ what kids learn from other kids. Not so amazin’ that they learn it I suppose, but more that they seems to retain it more that they do traditional type learnin’.

Who da thunk it?

This is some fact, but mostly,

Just Jake Talkin’.

Metcalf Auto Supply

Click & Clack Talk Cars
By Tom & Ray Magliozzi

Dear Tom and Ray:

My husband freaks out if the gas light ever comes on (it only happens once in a blue moon). I tell him you can drive around 50 miles after the light comes on. He doesn’t believe me. Since we don’t want to actually test my theory and risk being stuck without gas, I would ask what you think.-- Lisa.

RAY: Well, there certainly is SOME margin for error built into fuel gauges. How much varies from car to car. Average Low fuel light comes on at about an eighth of a tank left.

TOM: There are two ways to find out whether that’s true for your car. You already know one way and run out of gas.

RAY: There’s an easier way to figure it out. Go to the back of your owner’s manual under "specifications" section, look up "fuel capacity." Let’s say your tank holds 16 gallons.

TOM: Then, when your husband not in the care, drive until the low fuel light comes on. Go to a gas station and fill the tank all the way up.

RAY: Now, subtract the amount the tank took from your fuel tank capacity. If your tank holds 16 gallons, you just filled it up all the way with 14 gallons, you know there are two gallons in reserve when the light comes on.

TOM: You may want to run this experiment several times to maximize your data and minimize the measurement error.

TOM: You know however many miles you can go until empty, your husband will still be freaking out. Some people are just less inclined to enjoy surprises, especially getting stranded.

RAY: For his sake, fill it up before the light comes on. Or soon after, don’t torture the poor guy.

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