The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Top Stories

April 25, 2013

Empire shareholders vote down Sierra Club resolution

JOPLIN, Mo. — Almost never is 14 percent support considered a victory.


A shareholder resolution, proposed by Jim Evans and supported by the Missouri Sierra Club, received a nearly 14 percent favorable vote at Thursday’s annual meeting of Empire District Electric Co.’s shareholders. Evans called the vote a “full-fledged victory.” Harry Alper, an organizer with the Missouri Sierra Club, said the favorable votes represent 3.2 million shares of Empire stock.

Empire spokeswoman Amy Bass characterized the result as a win for the utility, with more than 86 percent of votes cast against the resolution, as the board of directors had asked shareholders to do.

The resolution would have directed Empire to provide shareholders with a report of actions the company is taking in the area of energy efficiency. It relates to the 2009 Missouri Energy Efficiency Investment Act, which allows utilities to recover costs of energy efficiency program investments.

Evans and Alper said the vote far exceeds the 3 percent threshold required to bring the resolution back next year to shareholders.

Evans, of Republic, said because the Joplin-based utility’s board issued a statement opposing the resolution, shareholders were inclined to vote against it.

“There is the full force of the company against it,” Evans said by phone after the vote. “They essentially tell shareholders to vote against it. The fact that we got 14 percent is pretty encouraging.”

Evans said the vote puts pressure on Empire to avoid another vote next year.

“They are probably going to go ahead and go forward with what we’re asking for anyway,” Evans said. He said he had faith that the utility would do the right thing and that he wouldn’t need to propose the resolution next year.

Bass said Empire already had planned to make a filing under the state law in the fall when the shareholder resolution was presented. Empire made a filing in 2012 that was withdrawn so that information could be updated.

An Empire news release after the vote Thursday said the company currently offers many energy efficiency programs for customers. The list provided included a low-income weatherization and high-efficiency program, and the Home Performance with Energy Star Program.

Evans said he has owned Empire stock since the 1980s and that he’s not someone who bought a few shares in order to be a thorn in the company’s side. He said his motivation is to keep Empire viable into the future.

“I’m a fan of Empire,” Evans said.

Evans said during a news conference before the vote that he powers his house with solar power and has an electric car.

“My home and my car use less electricity than my solar collectors generate,” Evans said, noting that he is a power producer, a customer and a shareholder. He said the dividends he receives from his Empire stock amount to less than the $300 a year in electric bills he pays as an Empire customer.

He said he produces an average of 12,500 kilowatt-hours of energy annually.

During the news conference, Alper said that other utilities are investing far more in energy efficiency measures than Empire is. He praised the investments made by Ameren Missouri and Kansas City Power & Light, which plan to invest $147 million and $41 million, respectively, in energy efficiency programs over the next three years.


EMPIRE DISTRICT ELECTRIC CO. on Thursday reported first-quarter consolidated earnings of $12.6 million, or 30 cents per share, compared with 2012 first-quarter earnings of $9.8 million, or 23 cents per share. Weather was the primary driver of increased revenue, the company reported.

Text Only
Top Stories
  • 041714 School safe rooms4_72.jpg Joplin school district readies community safe rooms for storm season

    Thousands of Joplin residents will soon be able to stay safe during storms in some of the region’s newest shelters. Community safe rooms at Cecil Floyd, Stapleton, McKinley and Eastmorland elementary schools, which double as gymnasiums, and Junge Field, which will double as a field house, are expected to be open within the next few weeks, according to Mike Johnson, the school district’s director of construction.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • Public hearing set on posed TIF district

    Financial details of a proposed new tax increment financing district for the Silver Creek Galleria area will be discussed in detail at an April 28 public hearing, members of the city’s TIF Commission were told Thursday. Chris Williams, a TIF attorney representing the city of Joplin, told the panel the Thursday meeting was intended to walk commissioners through the public hearing steps.

    April 17, 2014

  • 041714 Treble Makers.jpg Carl Junction ‘Treble Makers’ to sing at Springfield Cardinals’ stadium

    Next month, 75 Carl Junction sixth-grade students will sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” at Hammons Field before a Springfield Cardinals game. And with more than 600 parents, family members and other residents planning to attend, the May 3 event has been dubbed “Carl Junction Day.”

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Volunteer projects spark two bills in Jefferson City

     moving through the Missouri House and Senate were inspired by a volunteer project in Carl Junction last year that stalled over a question of whether those volunteers had to be paid prevailing wage under Missouri law. “This bill is very simple. All it says is if someone is a volunteer, they won’t be forced to be paid prevailing wage,” state Rep. Charlie Davis, R-Webb City, told lawmakers during a hearing on his bill last week.

    April 17, 2014

  • 3 To Get Ready

    Three things coming your way in Friday’s Joplin Globe.

    April 17, 2014

  • More volunteers, donations sought for ‘Victory 4 Haiti’

    The second meals-for-Haiti project, scheduled for April 26, is in need of donations and volunteers, organizers say. “Victory 4 Haiti,” a food-packaging event that will provide meals to the Haitian Christian Mission in the village of Fond-Parisien and elsewhere in Haiti, needs $60,000 to pay for about 280,000 meals.

    April 16, 2014

  • TIF proposal filed for development of area at 44th Street and Range Line

    Joplin’s Tax Increment Financing Commission will hold an informational meeting today on a proposal to establish a TIF district to pay for a wetlands project on property in the area of 44th Street and Range Line, where a developer wants to build a retail, office and hospitality district.

    April 16, 2014

  • 041614 MDOT5_72.jpg JATSO recommends 15 road projects for planning

    The reconstruction of the Highway 171/Interstate 49 interchange at Carthage and the construction of a limited-access highway on the west side of Joplin and Carl Junction are among the top highway projects to be identified by the Joplin Area Transportation Study Organization.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • PART TWO: Joplin City Council report documents continued

    As a result of a court order obtained by the Globe against the City of Joplin, and Thursday's waiving of appeal by the City Council, we have received a copy of the Thomas Loraine investigation report that led to the firing of former city manager Mark Rohr. Documents are converted for digital viewing.

    The amount of documentation we received is extensive, and testimonies are continued here.

    April 16, 2014

  • Joplin city attorney takes job in Lee’s Summit

    City Attorney Brian Head will leave his Joplin post next month for a job in Lee’s Summit in suburban Kansas City. Head submitted a letter of resignation Wednesday morning to Mayor Mike Seibert and the City Council. The council is his employer.

    April 16, 2014