Power plant closure creating a buzz in Chamois
Sat, 30 Mar 2013 19:45:00 GMT —
amilies with ties to the plant.
"It's like any employer that creates jobs, you know young people graduate and hopefully if there's good jobs they stay in the community and raise their family," said former Chamois resident Steve Duncan, who was born and raised in the community.
Residents are worried about their businesses and schools, but are trying to remain optimistic in an unfortunate situation.
"I think we're all going to see an effect. But this is a really good community, and we just have to have faith that it will all work out," said Barrister and Brews owner Sheila Koelling.
Koelling runs the city's only downtown restaurants, and sees a lot of business from power plant workers and their families. She will try to keep her restaurant going by getting creative.
"We see a lot of tourist trade, and a lot of people from Jeff City, Hermann...and that's very helpful to us. And we've designed our menu to get people to come this far because it is really good food."
The plant isn't the only place that's closed within the last few months. The Main Street Market closed in January, leaving residents with no other option than to travel 20 or more miles to get the majority of their groceries.
One couple just really misses the Market's take-out pizza.
"It wasn't very expensive, you could get all the toppings on it you wanted, and they'd be ready. That was the main thing for kids, parents, or anybody. Real handy," said Jolene Leach.
There are reprecussions for the school district, too.
A few teachers noted the issue of taxes being raised and enrollment dropping if parents lose their jobs and have to relocate.
The school district recieves just over $66,000 in property tax revenue from the plant. The school board doesn't believe there will be an immediate loss of this revenue, but if that were to happen the school district could raise the tax rate through a vote from $4.25 to $4.71.
The school board will continue to monitor and make adjustments in the budget to ensure that one event such as the closure of the plant does not, in turn, close the school district as well.
Despite these setbacks, residents have hope for growth in their faithful community. They encourage others to enjoy the serenity of the river town.
"They have historical buildings around here, the old school house. Like on Chamois days it's a big crowd here in September. It's the annual Chamois days that bring a whole bunch of people and they line up lots of vendors down the street and all kinds of stuff happening at the park and down the main drag here.We also have the river, and camping on the river," said Chamois residents John and Jolene Leach.