Ameren Missouri's proposal to redo the boundary lines to save more than 1,500 homes and thousands of other structures around Lake of the Ozarks drew hundreds of comments.
Some agreed with Ameren Missouri's proposal to redraw the boundary line to the 662 with provisions for homes below that mark; while others suggested more drastic measures that would lower the line to 660.
Comments on the proposal closed Jan. 15. Ameren Missouri is now in the process of putting together the final proposal that will be submitted to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for consideration.
"On behalf of Ameren Missouri, I would like to thank Lake of the Ozarks residents and others who provided comment on our project boundary proposal posted for public review. Since Dec.15 we have collected hundreds of comments regarding our plan to resolve the issues facing owners of property located on Ameren Missouri lands at Lake of the Ozarks," Shoreline Management Supervisor Jeff Green said. "The public meetings provided us the opportunity to meet with Lake residents and to directly respond to their questions and concerns. We very much appreciate the public's prompt response to this important issue facing some lake front property owners. We will review, respond and incorporate the comments in our final filing to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)."
Green said Ameren Missouri recognizes that all do not agree on everything that has been presented in their proposed plan, but that all do agree that they need to swiftly seek a solution that resolves the problems for property owners at the lake who are most impacted.
Ameren Missouri wants to assure the public that they will do just that, and ahead of the FERC's June deadline, he said.
Ameren Missouri will comprehensively address comments in the final filing, however, the company feels it is important to provide clarification to facts related to the most commonly held concerns:
Proposed Elevation Level
—A comprehensive lowering of the boundary to 662 plus carving out below for existing dwellings resolves over 1500 residential dwellings that are currently located on Ameren Missouri owned lands and within the project boundary. This is a necessary and critical step in resolving the uncertainty facing these dwelling owners.
—Over 500 miles of the lake's shoreline is currently subject to a project boundary level of 662. Ameren Missouri feels there is sound justification for managing shoreline development and protecting the lake's resources at 662, much like the 500 miles already at 662.
—There are no locations at the Lake where Ameren Missouri's current project boundary occurs at 660. In all instances the boundary is 662 or higher.
—The boundary amendment proposed is a reduction in elevation in all cases. There are no properties where the project boundary is being proposed at a higher elevation than it currently is today.
Page 2 of 2 - Lake Levels
—Ameren Missouri is not proposing an increase in Lake levels to 662 from 660. The full pool elevation of 660 as measured at Bagnell Dam will not change, nor will the normal operating range of lake levels throughout the year.
Ameren Missouri has maintained lake levels at or above 660 elevation in 23 of the last 35 years since the completion of Truman Dam. Only one time did the company exceed 662, therefore they feel theycan contain the majority of the lake's normal operation at 662.
Leasing, Fees, Public Access, Property Ownership
—No part of our proposal involves leasing back, increasing fees or significantly changing the way we handle permits for docks, seawalls, ramps and similar permitted facilities. Lake residents continue to receive misinformation on this point, according to Ameren officials.
—No part of Ameren Missouri's proposal grants individual permission to trespass or changes or increases public access to shoreline areas. All lake front properties have an Ameren Missouri controlled strip of land adjacent to the lake that is project land and accessible from the reservoir by the public.
—The proposed boundary change does not change current property ownership. No property rights are being taken away or acquired by Ameren Missouri.
This is not the first time Ameren Missouri has proposed lowering the project boundary. A similar request was made to FERC several years ago. It did not receive approval from the agency.