The Osage Beach Board of Aldermen have done a good job of boiling a complicated issue down to its essentials in their recommendations regarding the AmerenUE property line.


The Osage Beach Board of Aldermen have done a good job of boiling a complicated issue down to its essentials in their recommendations regarding the AmerenUE property line.

In the months since it became apparent that a combination of 70 years of doing whatever worked and the myopic interference of a government regulatory agency had turned a matter of deeds and elevations into a quagmire, there have been a lot of solutions put forward.

Like the bears' porridge, some have been way too hot and some, like the initial word that homes, decks and assorted improvements would have to be removed from the waterfront, have been way too cold.

Now the confrontation between property owners, AmerenUE and the Federal Energy Regulatory Agency has settled into the kind of trench warfare that produces daily shelling but rare movement of the line.

Into this fray have come the Osage Beach aldermen. In a letter to the FERC chairman, official Osage Beach calls for a quick resolution to the project-boundry mess based on a reasonable boundry level, grandfathering existing structures and balancing the requirements of power production and the recreation industry. The letter proposes that no new fees be imposed in conjuction with the adoption of the management plan and that property titles be respected. 

While this is unlikely to satisfy those who see this as an issue about government overreach as opposed to martini decks, a solution based on this kind of common-sense thinking would get the ball down the field. It also should allow the 1,000 or so property owners directly effected by the matter to sleep through at least most of the night.
For the tens of thousands of lake property owners on steep lots this has been a tempest in a teapot to some extent. For those in the line of boundry-elevation fire it has been a blitzkreig that threatened to ruin their financial lives. It is these last who must be made whole by the final resolution of the matter.

The community needs to stay aware of the needs of those in the line of fire while supporting a compromise that protects the lake, assures property rights and, very importantly, allows realtors and title companies to operate in a climate of certitude. The days of running the property line from the big rock to the bent oak tree are gone.

The  fight against government overreach will continue, as it certainly should. The community should support the efforts of those working to keep unreasonable government regulation at bay and making sure property rights, which are a linchpin of the social contract, are always and firmly protected.