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t. I BIG TIMBER, SWEET GRASS COUNTY;“MONTANA — : M'OKT/Jiit. U Í á Í Ú Í Ík^ÍÍ^Í^é>^ p P i o n e e r WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 14,1983 Centennial Year Edition *T NO. 15 - TRIANGLE REFUNDS CUSTOMERS “ With Christinas just around the corner, Triangle Telephone Co operative subscribers will receive a little extra money to make their shopping easier,” Home Service Advisor Betty Maxwell said this week. The Cooperative is refunding $767,892.96 worth of capital credits to its subscribers in a total of 11,958 checks. Since Triangle Telephone is a non-profit organization, all of the revenue left over after expenses belongs to members. The capital credits system provides a method of allocating to the individual mem bers higher share of these excess revenues or margins. The term “ Capital Credits” is used because the actual money rep resented by net margins is invested in capital of the Cooperative, for setting up reserves and purchasing equipment This money belongs to the subscribers, but the bylaws of the Cooperative provide for its use for capital purposes until the Board of Trustees feel the financial condi- tion of the Cooperative is such that general retirement of capital can be made. Capital credits are earned by all subscribers and are accumulated in direct proportion to the amount of business done with Triangle Tele phone. “This will be the first time Tri angle Telephone has refunded cap ital credits since it acquired the Big Timber area properties of Big Tim ber, Molt, Melville, Broadview, Rapeljc, and Reed Point in Septem ber of 1980,” Ms. Maxwell said The capital credit refund for the subscribers in these areas will cover 10 percent of unrefunded capital credits for the years 1980 through 1982. In the case that an account was discontinued in 1982 oreariicr, if the unrefunded balance of capital credits is less than S30, the full amount is refunded “ Capital credit refunds are not taxable, if you have not deducted your telephone bill as a business expense on your Income Tax Re turn,” she added MONTANA POWER ASKS FOR LOWER GAS RATES - Montana PoWer'tias siibfhlttied'h' natural gas filing to the Public Ser vice Commission (PSQ which would lower rates for consumers, the company said in a news release this week. The innovative proposal, which the company wants to implement January 1, 1984, on an interim basis while awaiting final PSC ac tion, would produce a basic rate of $4.48 per thousand cubic feet (one Mcf) of natural gas, according to Jack Burke, executive vice presi dent. That compares to the $4.68 in effect last winter for MPC custo mers-a figure that was reduced to S4.58 last spring when Canadian prices dropped slightly. For the Montana Power custo mer who uses 25,000 cubic feet of natural gas in a winter heating month (when there is a 25 percent discount on the first 15,000 cubic feet), this winter's monthly heating bill would be $95.21 compared to last winter’s $99.50. Jack Haffey, M P C s manager of regulatory affairs, said the filing made Friday with the PSC is inno vative because it combines several elements which ordinarily might be treated separately. \By combining these elements into one package,” Haffey said \ we are able to offset items which would result in higher rates with other items which reduce costs.” The filing for lower rates includes the addition of nearly 100 miles of MPCs new 16-inch gas pipeline from Morel Junction to Augusta, an investment of $12,972,899 which ordinarily would cause rates to rise. “ But this is largely offset by revis ing our gas supply mix,” Haffey said “ and using an average pricing method for gas taken out of storage as part of our supply mix. The storage withdrawal serves to reduce rate base while the average pricing method instead of LIFO (Last In First Out) provides lower-cost gas to the Montana market Under LIFO accounting the gas most re cently placed in storage would re sult in a higher cost than the average pricing approach. “ A third element in the package involves unrefiected gas costs pres ently being amortized with an un collected balance of about$ 1.8 mil lion, and another unrefiected bal ance of about$3.5 million yet to be collected” Haffey said “ Because of MPCs success in a petition before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), $5.4 million which had been col lected as a severance tax accrual can offset those uncollected bal ances,” Haffey added “That ao- crual, between August 1979 and March 1981 would have covered severance taxes on productioa But on Oct 12, 1983, FERC ruled that MPC is not obligated for those amounts.” The combination of factors, Haf fey concluded would mean a reduc tion in revenue required for the natural gas utility, and thus a reduc tion in rates. TENNIS COURT FUNDS UNTOUCHED Sweet Grass County has re quested emergency runds ofS3,000 from the City of Big Timber to help defray the expenses of a new high band radio system. This money will not come from tennis court funds, as was first sug gested City Clerk Wayne Reed told the City r^incil at a special meeting Monday evening the Public Works fund has $10,000 budgeted for the coming year. The $3,000 could be transferred from there to the Public Safety fund for the emergency ap propriation, he said Emergency Services Director Joe Hansen said tne $3,000 would be used to purchase materials and labor for the concrete building to be built on Tin Can Hill as a part of the new high band radio system. DUFF BERGUIST (33) holds lightly to the ball against the Livingston Rangers’ press at the opening game of the boys basketball season last Friday night The Herders won the match 79-68 but lost the following evening to Laurel by only one point 50-49 Both opponents were Class A schools. (Photo courtesy Dean Hendrickson) GOETSCH OUT At Goctsch was released on bail from the Sweet Grass County jail Tuesday morning He faces felony charges of passing bad checks and common scheme in this county and a federal charge of giving false state ments to a bank. Bond which was posted yester day, was set at $40,000. The case has been bound over to District Court from the local Justice Court Goctsch is scheduled to appear before Judge Byron Robb on Thurs day. December 15, and may enter a plea to the check writing charges then. The former California resident announced last fall his plans to develop a paramedic school on two Dccr Creek ranches he had com mitted to buy from Sonny Todd The specialized training course, which he said was to open in mid- January, already had contracts to teach Park Service and non-defen se paramedics plus students from Saudi Arabia and Nigeria, the promoter noted Goetsch was arrested by Under- sheriff George Ames last Thursday. At the time he was driving east from Big Timber in a U-Haul truck, Ames told The Pioneer. The charged man was taken by FBI authorities to Billings last Friday to face the federal charge. Goetsch allegedly gave false state ments to the First Security Bank in order to secure a $10,000 loan. Goetsch pled innocent to that accusation before U.S. Magistrate Jack Shanstrom Monday. The bad check charges stemmed from insufficient funds in the bank, Ames said. Checks amounting to$4,200 had been recorded as of Tuesday after noon, Biglen said FIVE HERDERS NAMED TO ALL STATE TEAM Five members of the 1983 Her der Distnct first place football team were selected at a Montana Coaches Association meeting in Great Falls as members of the All- State Team. Dufi’ Bcrgquist, son of Ed Berg- quist, was named first team defen sive end for the second consecutive year. The versatile athlete is a member of the Herder basketball team and carries a 3.6 grade point average. He has aspirations of play ing football in college. Brett Todd son of Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Todd was picked on the second team All-State both offen sively and defensively. The tough Herder senior is an offensive guard and a defensive interior lineman. Brett is an outstanding rodeo per former in the summer. Tim Stephens, son of Marvin and Darlene Stephens, won a spot on the second team All-State with a super year at defensive linebacker. The all-around performer is also an honorable mention selection as a kicker. He was one of the better lackers in the state and was the District 4 B’s leading scorer. Tim is an outstanding hitter both offensive ly and defensively. Rob Hcnthom, son of Pat Hen- thorn, won recognition as a fullback on the second team. He was an outstanding blocker and a powerful runner in the Herder ground attack. Rob, also an honor student, ex celled as a leader and is an outstand ing all-around athlete. He lettered for four years in the SGHS football program. Don Beer, son of'Mr. and Mrs. Dennis Beer, was named as an honorable mention center on the All-State Team. He was a unani mous choice on the All-Conference Team this year, and was a two-year starter as the offensive snapper for the Herders. These players will receive All- State Football Certificates, a cour tesy of the Montana Coaches As sociation, at the Awards Night ceremonies in May. FIRE TRUCK » PUT ON HOLD Purchasing and financing a new fire truck for the City of Big Timber was the subject of a special meeting of the City Council Monday night The issue was tabled at the conclu sion of the discussion Councilman Vince Kunda re ported First Security Bank and Citi zens Bank and Trust would be wil ling to finance the purchase of a new truck. Two payment options men tioned by Kunda were for semi annual payments of $7,175.68 for seven years, atotalofSIOO,459.52; and semi-annual payments of $5,545.70 for ten years totalling $110,914. These figures are based on a purchase price of approximate ly $95,000 and allow for the sale of a used fire truck bringing$ 15,000 to $20,000 as a down payment mak ing the actual amount financed a- round $75,000. Such a purchase plan would re quire a mill levy increase of 8-10 mills to pay for the truck, or an average of $18 per homeowner. City Attorney Tom Biglen's o- pinion is the City is at its “ bonding limit” due to water and sewer obli gations. At the state level the sta tutes regulating municipal borrow ing are conflicting and would re quire an Attorney General’s opin ion to determine the legality of such borrowing according to Biglen A reserve fund to save money towards a future purchase, which could earn interest that might also be applied toward a purchase of the needed fire fighting equipment, is unlawful in the State of Montana, Mayor John Drivdahl explained. Financing is a 'problem at this time. Fire Chief Doug Lowry told the Council Big Timber's Insurance Services Office (ISO) rating, upon which property owners’ insurance rates are based is currently a 5. If Big Timber could qualify for a 4 rating the savings would pay for the fire truck in one year by the resulting reduction in property owners’ in surance rates. An ISO rating of4 would probab ly be difficult to get- only one City in Montana, Libby, has that rating Lowry indicated he would look into the requirements to sec if there was a chance Big Timber might qualify with some changes in training and record-keeping of the local fire de partment Chief Lowry added the recently revised ISO point system for de termining a city’s rating no longer includes the age of a fire depart ment’s No. 1 pumper as a factor. He emphasized the urgency of the pur chase was thus lessened, though a new truck is still needed because of lacks in capability of the present equipment The proposed new fire truck would have foam on board for fight ing oil and gas fires, such as could occur at a filling station, said volun teer fireman Tom Schriver. He also said the present fire truck would probably not be capable of handling an airplane accident fire. Buying a used fire truck with late model features was mentioned as a money-saving possibility by Lowry. Another alternative was to bring the ixtue to the voters again in the June primary elections Some of Bev Josephson’s miniatures on display at the Kirby Gallery. An Open House is planned there Dec. 16 at which time Mrs. Josephson will be present to visit with guests BEV JOSEPHSON SHOWS WORK Bev Josephson of BigTimbcr will be the featured artist at a special Christmas Showing at the Kirby Gallery beginning Wednesday, December 14. Be Vs work will re main in the Gallery through De cember 24. Mrs. Josephson will be on hand to greet guests and visitors at a special open house on Friday, December 16. Mrs. Josephson has shown her work extensively throughout Mon tana and has won a number of artists awards. Of special interest is her work with miniature pencil sket ches, drawings and oil paintings. Bev won the Best of Show Award at the Montana International Min iature Artists’ Show in 1979 fol lowed by a first place in oil painting and a second place m drawings in 1980, the Best Western Subject Award given by ART iVEST Magazine in 1982 and a first place 11 « Uiv dluW in^.b i « i « ,,.4. was further honored in 1983 when one of her works was selected for the International Miniature Travel ing Show. Bev and her husband Richard live on the banks of the Yellowstone River below Big Timber, a setting that provided the inspiration for many of her works now on display. While Bev actually prefers a larger format in which to work, she has pursued the miniature mediums due to its rapidly increasing popularity both here in Montana and around the world “All the problems of the larger format, including color, value and detail - are present in miniatures”, said Bev. “ The reduced format greatly increases the difficulty. But I do enjoy it!” When you stop by the Kirby Gallery this coming week to view some of these outstanding works we think you’ll agree! SPECIAL NIGHT SET A special recognition dinner will be held for six Big Timber men who thwarted an attempt to kidnapp Jennifer Fikc last month The no-host celebration will begin at 7:00 at Fryt’s Cafe next Tuesday evening, Dec 20. The public is invited to attend Starr Ford employees Bill Kin sey and Jim Esp plus SUHS stu dents David and Dan Roys, Jess Berg and Mike Mauland will be honored Roll Allcs, U.S. Marshall is expected to be present and Con gressman Ron Marlenec has been invited It was not known by press- time, however, if Marlenee’s sche dule would allow him to attend