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Letter to the Editor: County should hold meeting on power plant

Friday, March 8, 2002

To the editor:

Cape Girardeau County commissioners plan to issue $300 million in bonds to build a power plant owned by Kinder Morgan Power Co. They should look closely at the company's financial stability, partnerships and business practices. Trading of Kinder Morgan stock was suspended by the SEC when it fell dramatically. The complexity of Kinder Morgan's business partnerships were discussed on CNBC and linked to Enron-type accounting practices.

Last August, Presiding Commissioner Gerald Jones publicly promised to hold an open county meeting to address residents' concerns prior to making any decisions. Residents had environmental and economic questions that the commissioners said they could not address until the Department of Natural Resources gave construction approval. Yet on March 1 the Missourian reported the commissioners met in closed-door meetings to negotiate with Kinder Morgan and that written agreements are expected in the next few weeks. Prior articles have quoted county officials as "ready to go" on the industrial complex.

County commissioners were elected to represent the needs of county residents and are morally responsible to them. Commissioners were given written questions from residents last July. They have answered nothing to date. We request they honor their promise to hold a public meeting to answer questions and concerns, publicizing it well in advance and scheduling it for early evening so that interested residents can attend.

CHERYL KIEFFER

Whitewater, Mo.