Proposed project still in hands of Public Service Commission

With assent agreements from five northeast Missouri counties in hand, Douglas Aeilts, CEO at Northeast Power, is visiting the commissioners in Marion, Lewis, Schuyler, Adair and Knox counties to say “thanks” for supporting Ameren Transmission Company of Illinois' (AXTI) Mark Twain Transmission Project. On Oct. 16 Aeilts was in the Marion County Courthouse in Palmyra.

“Things are moving along in a positive direction,” he said.

The proposed 100-mile project that will feature the construction of a 345,000-volt transmission line is before the Public Service Commission (PSC), which must issue a certificate of convenience and necessity before construction can begin.

Before the PSC renders a decision it will host a number of public hearings in the counties that are in the project's footprint. Aeilts anticipates the schedule of hearings will be announced soon.

Acknowledging there are still a “lot of hypotheticals” surrounding the project, Aeilts suggested that the earliest any construction work might begin is the last quarter of next year.

“I think they'll start north of Kirksville first and then work their way in this direction,” he said. “They won't likely be in Marion County until 2019 would be my guess.”

In other business:

• The commission approved accepting bids for the following tax delinquent properties in Hannibal: 1501 Turn St., Jack and Joy Livingston Family Trust, $100; 1505 Turn St., Jack and Joy Livingston Family Trust, $100; 316 N. Seventh St., Paul Tomko, $101; 1421 Market, Paul Tomko, $441; 213 Broadway, Jack and Joy Livingston Family Trust, $401.

According to Presiding Commissioner Lyndon Bode, each of those properties had gone through the tax sale and received no bids. They were then turned over to the county trustee, who offered them for bid again.

Bode added that the new owners are not responsible for the back taxes that were owed on the properties they have acquired.

• The commission approved ordering 300 new plat books. According to Teya Stice, county coordinator, that's how many that were ordered the last time and the supply lasted about a year. Stice added there is already a waiting list for the new books.

Reach reporter Danny Henley at danny.henley@courierpost.com