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The Lake News Online
  • Hartzler wants longer commenting period

  • Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler wants the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to take another round of public comments on Ameren Missouri's proposal to redo the project boundary surrounding Lake of the Ozarks.


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  • Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler wants the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to take another round of public comments on Ameren Missouri's proposal to redo the project boundary surrounding Lake of the Ozarks.
    Hartzler says she is worried some residents impacted by the project boundary dispute may not have had sufficient opportunity to voice their opinions.
    In a release, hartzlers said she is moving quickly to address the latest action by electric utility Ameren that is causing great concern among many Lake of the Ozarks homeowners. Ameren’s proposed revision of its Lake of the Ozarks Project Boundary, filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in January, created uncertainty over who owns the land between the current project boundary and the new proposed boundary.
    Hartzler said although Ameren held a comment period in January, it did not notify affected citizens of the situation until last week, when it sent letters to more than 1,500 homeowners formally claiming ownership over land the citizens believed they owned. Since Ameren filed its petition with FERC two months after closing its public comment period, Hartzler wants FERC to hold a public comment period to allow these affected citizens to have their voices heard.
    ”One of my largest concerns with the way this proposed boundary revision has unfolded is that Ameren did not notify all affected property owners of the potential impact to property until just last week, on March 9, 2012,” Hartzler writes in a letter to FERC Chairman John Wellinghoff. “Last fall I encouraged Ameren to notify the affected people prior to seeking public comments for its plan, but Ameren chose instead to conduct and close its comment period before notifying affected individuals.”
    The letter said: “I am requesting that the Commission require Ameren to conduct an additional 30-day public comment period to allow all interested parties to weigh in on the project boundary revision.
    While Hartzler appreciates Ameren’s effort to revise its previous project boundary proposal, she believes constituents must have the right to be heard when their property rights, which are precious to Americans, are threatened by a governmental overreach.
    Ameren’s submitted plan to FERC creates a 662 foot boundary, except in the case where an existing home sits below the 662 line. In that case, the line moves to accommodate the structure.
     Ameren Missouri officials filed an amended shoreline management plan with the FERC that the utility company believes will solve any property boundary disputes on the shores of the Lake of the Ozarks.
    The new shoreline management plan that Ameren filed sets the lake's project boundary, a small strip of land along the shoreline that a reservoir operator holds legal rights to, at 662' above sea level. In cases where an existing house sits below 662, the boundary shifts below 662' to accommodate the structure.
    Page 2 of 2 - The new plan was filed 4 months ahead of deadline.
     A FERC order issued in July, 2011 created the perception that approximately 1,200 lakefront homes sit on property that Ameren would legally control in order to operate and maintain the lake. FERC found that an initial draft of the plan declared more than 4,000 structures as "non-conforming."
    FERC raised concerns about encroachments and blamed Ameren Missouri for faulty Lake of the Ozarks stewardship.
     
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