Springfield, MO

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Heard On The Street

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WATER. Springfield's City Council interviewed four candidates Oct. 26 for appointment to the Board of Public Utilities. John Whittington and Chris Nattinger were reappointed to three-year terms on the City Utilities board. Eric Piel and Jim Shuler were not chosen, but council discussion indicated their chances would be good if they applied again next year when four seats will be open on the board. The questions asked of the potential appointees elicited interesting responses, particularly from the two current board members Nattinger and Whittington. Of note: Roundtree and water. Both current members said the board will have an important decision to make in coming years when CU General Manager Robert Roundtree retires. His contract runs through June 30, 2001, and Roundtree said he intends to serve out the length of his contract. He said he has told the board he will give them notice before retiring to facilitate a search for his replacement. Water, too, was a common theme of Nattinger and Whittington. They said CU's water source in Stockton Lake and its treatment facilities here will make it a source for drinking water not just in Springfield, but in the region. "Water ... (will be) one of the most import elements we're going to face in the next 15 years," Whittington said. "There are seven to eight towns around Springfield that are going to end up really needing this water." Smaller communities that now depend on well water will soon find its volume insufficient and its treatment costs (thanks to stricter state regulations) steep. Nattinger said CU charges for water service outside of Springfield "may be a good opportunity to recover those margins" of profit lost to future deregulation of the electricity business.

IT'S BACK. Commerce Bank plans earlier this year for the corner of Benton and Division were withdrawn before City Council could vote on the proposed bank building on the southwest corner of the intersection. Bob Hammerschmidt, president and CEO of Commerce in Springfield, said the bank has contracts on the parcels of land at the corner (contingent on receiving proper zoning approval) and is considering its options for building there. The bank's facility on Boonville is leased that building was sold several years ago to the General Council of the Assemblies of God and Hammerschmidt said the agreement there runs through 2002 with a series of options until then. He said the bank, after considering both the economics of building and the concerns of neighbors, will decide in 1999 how it will proceed. "I want to really see how much the opposition is and see if they're significant customers of the bank, to be quite frank about it," Hammerschmidt said. Requirements related to the neighboring historic district will be addressed, he said, in any plan submitted to the city.

EARNINGS. Guaranty Federal Bancshares announced earnings per share of 14 cents for the quarter ended Sept. 30. Guaranty Federal Savings Bank, the company's subsidiary, had net income of $798,103 for the quarter, up from $516,503 for the same period in 1997. Great Southern Bancorp earlier announced quarterly earnings of 47 cents per share. The company reported net income of $3.8 million for the quarter, up from $3.4 million (excluding a state tax credit taken last year) for the 1997 quarter. Mercantile Bancorporation Inc. reported quarterly earnings of 71 cents per share on net income of $110.5 million, excluding nonrecurring items. Net income, with the nonrecurring items included, was $63.1 million, compared to net income of 13.4 million in the same quarter last year. Mercantile had after-tax merger expenses of $76.8 million related to six bank acquisitions completed in 1998.

EARNINGS II. Jack Henry & Associates Inc. reported quarterly net income from continuing operations of $8.3 million, compared to $4.4 million in the same period last year. The Monett-based company had revenue of $40.7 million in the quarter that ended Sept. 30, compared to revenue of $20.1 million in the 1997 quarter. Empire District Electric Company reported net income of $14.1 million for the quarter on revenues of $77.9 million. In the same period in 1997 the Joplin-based company had net income of $12.7 million with revenues of $68.6 million.


To the polls, to the polls

A-voting we will go

Cockfighting, boats-in-moats

Senators, commissioners and judges

Will we be casting our votes

Or merely expressing our grudges?

SLICE OF NICE. Gallery of Santas for Kids, an opening reception and benefit auction for Camp Fire Boys and Girls and Camp Codah, a camp for children in need or crisis, will be held 5-7 p.m. Nov. 5 at Waverly House Gifts and Gallery, 2031 S. Waverly. The live auction will include original handmade Santas in a variety of media by more than 20 artists. For more information, please call Waverly House at 882-3445.

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