On October 6, 2014, five families from Adair County, Missouri, represented by Paul Henry of the Denlow & Henry law firm, filed to intervene in Ameren Transmission Company of Illinois' lawsuit against the Missouri Public Service Commission. The lawsuit filed by Ameren Transmission Company of Illinois ("Ameren") against the Missouri Public Service Commission seeks to obtain a declaration from the Cole County Circuit Court that Ameren is not subject to Missouri Public Service Commission jurisdiction in that Ameren may use eminent domain powers in conjunction with its Mark Twain Transmission project and the Illinois Rivers project in Missouri.
According to an article in the Chicago Tribune about the Grain Belt Express Clean line, wind energy from Iowa and Kansas could help eastern states meet their renewable energy goals. Illinois has the goal of deriving 25% of its energy from renewable sources by 2025. However, the same energy lines that carry the so-called "clean" wind energy may also carry energy from coal-powered electricity plants.
A hearing has been set in the Cole County Circuit Court to hear arguments regarding a 2012 lawsuit file by Ameren Illinois against the Missouri Public Service Commission (PSC). The lawsuit asks the court to rule that the PSC has no jurisdiction over Ameren's proposed 345,000 volt powerline through northeast Missouri. The project, called the "Mark Twain Tranmission Project" is proposed to run from Iowa to near Kirksvile and then to a substation near Palmyra. From there, a seperate, but related, project called the "Illinois Rivers Project" will take the line across into and through Illinois.
Landowners from northeastern Missouri gathered to discuss Ameren's "Mark Twain Transmission Project." The project calls for 345kv line from Hannibal to Kirksville and eventually up to Iowa. Residents near the proposed project are concerned about issues such as health and property values. The group is planning future meetings. As with such projects many questions remain until a final route is selected. Ameren conducted open house meetings in August and according to their website are planning more during the week of October 27.
The North Central Missouri Regional Water Commission has received funding to help finalize the East Locust Creek Reservoir project. This reservoir would provide water for residents in the ten following north central Missouri counties: Adair County, Chariton County, Grundy County, Linn County, Livingston County, Macon County, Mercer County, Putnam County, Schuyler County and Sullivan County. The new funding was a grant from the Natural Resources Conservation Service coordinated by United States Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri. When complete, the East Locust Creek Reservoir will be capable of producing seven million gallons of water per day. Approximately 80% of the land needed has been acquired. The reservoir requires a total of approximately 4,300 acres. Eminent domain could be used to acquire the remaining properties. The reservoir will reduce flooding on the floodplains of East Locust Creek, and will also serve as a recreational area.
Ameren Transmission Company of Illinois plans to build a 345 kv electric transmission line from Palmyra to the Iowa border in northeast Missouri, and a new substation in Kirksville. There will be a slight increase in rates for Ameren customers, but Ameren claims that benefits will be construction jobs, access by local residents to athe grid, and increase in grid security. The counties that the line may go through are Adair, Knox, Lewis, Macon, Marion, Schuyler, and Shelby.
The federal wind production tax credit had spurred the growth of more than 12,000 megawatts of new wind power in 2012. However, the lack of the tax credit in 2014 has stalled the industry. This year, a coalition of Republicans and conservative Democrats, many backed by the fossil fuel industry, prevented the renewal of the wind energy tax credit. The wind industry counters that the cost of wind energy production is all up front. To build and install a wind turbine can be as much as $4 million each, and also requires transmission lines, utility poles, and transformers to bring the power to market, but once the investment is made, there are no more costs associated with getting the wind to market. To read more, see http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2014/07/17/dead-air-end-to-tax-credits-takes-big-bite-out-of-wind-power .
Missouri voters rejected a proposed tax increase to fund road buildings and repairs on the August 5, 2014, election, but Missouri as well as states throughout the U.S. are facing the challenge of how to maintain and upgrade their road infrastructure in the face of congressional stalemate of the federal Highway Trust Fund.
St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley recommended blighting Jamestown Mall in Florissant to enable the vacant mall site to become redeveloped as mixed use. Proposed new uses would be housing offices, and retail buildings. For more information, see story at http://flcas.findlaw.com/auth.jsp?tk=9x739KsnpwB5GyDFKOEIjDZFd9ugepat&app=3021&r=2
The City of St. Charles is widening and improving Fifth Street, adding an arch and planted sidewalks, and medians. The project will improve safety for vehicles and pedestrians, and will improve aesthetics of Fifth Street from I-70 to Washington Street. For more information see: http://www.stcharlescitymo.gov/Departments/PublicWorks/FifthStreetGatewayProject/tabid/1109/Default.aspx.