Saying it is a local issue, a lake area congresswoman's request to a federal agency to take another round of comments on Ameren Missouri's proposal to resolve an ongoing property dispute has been turned down.
Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler had asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to require Ameren Missouri to take additional pubic comment.
The head of FERC said the agency understands Hartzler's concerns over the property issues between Ameren Missouri and the affected property owners at the Lake of the Ozarks.
According to the response issued by FERC, the agency does not have jurisdiction over the dispute between Ameren Missouri and the lakeshore residents concerning the ownership of lands. That is an issue that will have to be addressed by Ameren and homeowners.
What FERC does have authority over is the proposal to redraw the project boundaries surrounding Lake of the Ozarks. That issue is still pending.
The response from FERC said Ameren Missouri and the lakeshore residents must address these property disputes pursuant to state law..
"Because the Commission has provided ample opportunities for public comment and received numerous comments on the issues within our jurisdictional authority, it would not be appropriate to require an additional 30-day public comment period," said Chairman Jon Welington is his response to Hartzler.
In March, Hartzler requested FERC require Ameren Missouri to conduct an additional 30-day public comment period to allow all interested parties to weigh in on the project boundary revision.
Hartzler said although Ameren held a comment period in January, it did not notify affected citizens of the situation until March, 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 wanted FERC to hold an additional public comment period to allow these affected citizens to have their voices heard.
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.”
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 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.