Public Service Commission can help save Noranda jobs

As superintendent for the New Madrid County R-1 School District, it is with great concern, for our community and school district, that Noranda Aluminum has been placed in the position to have a rate design case before the Public Service Commission (PSC). The future of our school district is in the hands of the PSC as a decision is being determined in regard to this. Real jobs are now being lost in the Bootheel because Noranda is not able to secure an affordable electric rate. The PSC can stop these job losses immediately and prevent future layoffs, or even worse, closure of the plant. Both scenarios will be detrimental to the R-1 District. Not only in students, but for state aid and taxes that are required to run the district effectively.

The New Madrid County R-1 School District educates many of the children whose parent(s) is/are employed or has/have lost their job with Noranda due to this rate design case. There are so many families within our district that rely on Noranda for their family income. Noranda is the economic backbone for the Bootheel. Without Noranda, families and businesses in the region will suffer greatly, which will cause our school district to suffer greatly.

I support the rehearing and stipulation filed by the Office of Public Counsel (OPC) in this case. The stipulation has strong support from consumer groups and other ratepayers. Right now, the commission has an opportunity to approve a compromise solution that is supported by all affected parties and to save 900 jobs that are the lifeblood of an entire region.

We encourage anyone to contact the PSC in regard to this. It is our hope that PSC will approve the OPC's compromise stipulation that provides a job to 900 hard-working employees and ensures critical economic support for businesses and families in Southeast Missouri and to the New Madrid County R-1 School District. This is a consumer-friendly approach that keeps rates low for everyone.

Please ask the Missouri Public Service Commission to grant rate relief to save the New Madrid smelter:

By email: pscinfo@psc.mo.gov; by phone: 1-800-392-4211 (Missouri PSC Consumer Hotline); by letter: Commissioner Robert S. Kenney, Chairman Missouri Public Service Commission, P. O. Box 360, Jefferson City, MO 65102-0360.

Sincerely,

Dr. Cynthia Sharp Amick is the superintendent of the New Madrid County R-1 School District.

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