Council opposes route of Ameren transmission line project through South Quincy Development District

Posted: Jan. 7, 2013 11:33 pm Updated: Jan. 22, 2013 12:15 am

Herald-Whig Staff Writer

The Quincy City Council approved a resolution Monday night in opposition to the proposed route of Ameren's Illinois Rivers Transmission project through the South Quincy Development District.

Both the primary and alternative routes would cut through the district, potentially limiting future growth in the district.

Rick Ehrhart of Kohl Wholesale told aldermen the proposed route would run across land the company owns within the district.

"(The property) is intended to be used for future expansion, as well as additional employment within the community," he said. "As it stands now, Ameren Transmission intends to locate a power line across our property that will make at least one-third of the parcel unusable."

Ehrhart said it did not make sense to run a line through the middle of the district with the public infrastructure projects completed.

Mayor John Spring said the city has spent millions in sewer and water upgrades.

"We're hopeful that the Illinois Commerce Commission, as well as Ameren, will take another look at this look at the alternatives that do exist," he said.

The 345,000-volt line will run between Sugar Creek, Ind. and Palmyra, Mo., and is expected to cost between $890 million and $1.4 billion. If approved by the Illinois Commerce Commission, construction is expected to start in 2015. The project has a completion date of 2019, though a portion of it should be complete in 2016.

While the proposed route does not cut through city limits, Chuck Bevelheimer, director of planning and development for the city, said it runs along the edge of the city's zoning jurisdiction. An alternative route developed by the Great River Economic Development Foundationn suggests that the transmission lines run south of the district.

Aldermen approved the resolution by a 12-0 vote. Alderman Tony Sassen, R-4, abstained from the vote because he works for Ameren. Alderman Mike Rein, R-5, was absent.

The Adams County Board approved a similar resolution in November.

In other business, the City Council approved an ordinance that would allow the city's Revolving Loan Committee to provide grants of up to $300,000 from one of its funds. Companies that apply for a grant would have to go through the same requirements as receiving a loan.

Aldermen also approved the purchase of 500,000 garbage stickers from Midland Paper Packaging and Supplies for $5,260. The city typically orders 2 million garbage stickers, but Marty Stegeman, the interim director of Central Services, said the department doesn't have enough to last for the remainder of the fiscal year, which runs through April 30.

"We thought we were going to be able to make it," he said. "We didn't budget for a large purchase, so we're just buying a stopgap until we can budget for additional (stickers)."

The City Council also:

º Agreed to submit an application for a Public Transportation Capital Assistance Grant through the Illinois Department of Transportation.

º Awarded two-year contracts to Ron's Tire and Summy Tire for various types of tires.

º Approved an ordinance increasing the city's capital fund by $45,751 to account for design work of the T-hanger taxiway project at the Quincy Regional Airport.