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Friday, Dec. 26, 2014

Pipeline, Farmers Market before commission

Thursday, January 31, 2013

A Canadian company's 600-mile crude oil pipeline from Flanagan, Ill., to Cushing, Okla., will boom Vernon County late this year and into 2014, county commissioners learned Wednesday.

Chamber of Commerce Director Gina Ensor said a representative of Enbridge Energy of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, had just visited her Nevada office to say hundreds of workers on the $2.8 billion project will need housing, food, clothing, dry cleaning, healthcare, fuel and other things.

"I'm excited because it will mean a huge economic boost," Ensor said after her appearance with two Cerner Corp. officials working in the Healthy Nevada program.

"The Enbridge lady said they will work in 200-mile segments, go two miles a day and finish in late 2014."

The Flanagan South Pipeline Project will lay a 36-inch line southwest across 11 Missouri counties, Lewis, Marion, Shelby, Macon, Randolph, Chariton, Saline, Lafayette, Johnson, Cass and the northwest corner of Bates, according to reports. It will be built parallel to Enbridge's Spearhead pipeline right-of-way.

The St. Louis Business Journal said the plan "is part of a larger Canada-to-Gulf Coast pipeline in partnership with Enbridge and the Houston-based Enterprise Products Partners.

"The company has proposed seven pump stations, one at the Flanagan terminal and six along the route," the Business Journal reported. "Enbridge said it would employ 1,000 people to work on the pipeline and hire an additional 100 to build facilities like the pump stations."

In other Wednesday business, the commissioners heard Healthy Nevada Program Director Jessica Hunt of Kansas City, local psychologist Tricia Bridgewater, who has joined Cerner, and Ensor suggest augmenting the success demonstrated by the Vernon County Farmers' Market last spring, summer and fall.

Told the market may have to follow more federal guidelines, Northern Commissioner Neal Gerster of Walker quipped, "If something's working, they want to mess it up."

Bridgewater said the market, organized by Nevada restaurateur T.J. James, might benefit from cooking demonstrations on the north side of the Nevada Square.

Gerster said it would help to have more vendors to accommodate "the long lines" of people who came downtown for fresh produce.

Starting before Bushwhacker Days last June 6-9, James and employees from his Backroads Steakhouse rented space to vendors who brought jams, pies, sweet corn, tomatoes, raspberries, blueberries, peaches and a variety of jalapeno jellies each Wednesday afternoon and Saturday morning.

Working with Heather Klingaman from the restaurant and Ricky McDonald from his one-acre vegetable farm, James last summer was setting up six to eight exhibitors from 4:45 to 6 p.m. Wednesdays and nine or 10 from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturdays.

"We're getting an early bunch of 50 to 60 customers, a later group of 35 and during the last two hours on Saturdays about 150," James said. "Everybody is loving the fresh produce. Dan Divine comes from Moundville to play and sing, so we always have live music."

Vendors came from Stockton, Hume, El Dorado Springs, Lamar, Fort Scott, Kan., and of course Vernon County with butternut and acorn squash, eggplants, okra, bell peppers, cut and dried flowers, potatoes, onions, okra, broccoli, all types of vegetables, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, fresh garlic, pickling cucumbers and blackberries.

"We're selling lots of blackberries and pickling cucumbers, small pickle gherkins and dill size," James said. "We sold 75 pounds in two days."

Vendors paid $5 a day for booth space or $50 for the season, which ran into October.

Contacted Wednesday, James said he is undecided about the market this year because of insurance and new regulations imposed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Environmental Protection Agency. "I'd love to do it, but my wife is trying to talk me out of it," said James, who may be reached at (417) 667-4455.

"I enjoy it because the healthier grown food is good for the community. I like all the people, but I have to incorporate to get insurance. The county should incorporate because it falls on county land. I can't incorporate on my own because I'd be taking on all the liability and accountability."

James said the events were hampered for awhile by vendors "who were not very nice people," but he got the Vernon County Sheriff's Office to shoo them away. "I had to get rid of some guys and it went real well after that," he said.

"There is no money in it for anybody who runs it. I love doing it, but I also have to run my restaurant and there is a quick turnaround on Saturday. It costs me more than I ever made, but I'm still willing to do it."



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