Eight attend prayer meeting for Gordonville

Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Residents of Gordonville form a prayer circle Monday night to pray for guidance for the town's leaders. Gordonville residents recently learned of a rate increase on their sewer bills and the fire chief of their volunteer fire department was recently fired. (Laura Simon)

In light of recent tensions facing Gordonville, Jeff Lorberg decided to take matters into his own hands. He organized a prayer meeting at Gordonville Elementary School on Monday night to show support for city officials.

Eight people attended, including Mayor J.D. King and city clerk Rebecca Wright.

"Whenever we let our God be the leader in our decisions, he makes them come out for the best," Lorberg said.

Lorberg is a third-generation farmer from Gordonville. He has lived in the community his whole life. However, he said it wasn't until this year that he became involved in town matters.

"My family has raised me to stand up for my community," Lorberg said. "This is my way to give back to the community."

Lorberg said he felt everything was in conflict. Those conflicts include the recent announcement of a sewer rate increase and the termination of Gordonville Volunteer Fire Department chief Randy Morris. Lorberg also said he heard complaints from citizens saying they had been overcharged for their water.

"If we don't do something, it is going to get worse to the point of no return," Lorberg said.

At a town hall meeting July 20, King announced a sewer rate increase of about $26 a month. He said the increase was because the city isn't bringing in the funds necessary to pay off the debt incurred from the sewer system's installation. They are also facing mechanical problems, such as pumps going out years before they should. According to Wright, the city has already replaced nine pumps.

"We hope to come up with some kind of solution and help people out with the higher sewer bills," King said.

Lorberg said King and the city board inherited these problems from previous leaders.

"The new board gets the finger-pointing, and they haven't done anything yet," Lorberg said.

In addition to the rate increases, the Gordonville Volunteer Fire Department board fired Morris in June. He served in that position for three years. Three other firefighters, including assistant chief Steve Corzine, quit the force following Morris' termination, and about 20 others threatened to resign.

Dan Tankersley attended Monday's prayer meeting in hopes of getting some resolution to the situations facing Gordonville.

"There are a lot of uncertainties," Tankersley said.

Larry Hanning, who also attended, said God has a way of straightening out these kinds of situations.

"God says, 'When my people will humble themselves and pray, I will act,'" Hanning said.

ajones@semissourian.com

388-3654

Pertinent address:

Gordonville, MO

Map of pertinent addresses

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