City Council grants Ameren permanent land easement

By Sarah Schneider

In the 1970s when the City of Carbondale was constructing Cedar Lake, city officials granted Ameren Illinois Company, then Central Illinois Power Company, a land easement to run transmission lines over the lake.

At the time, though, a formal easement was not established. City Council members approved a city ordinance at Tuesday’s City Council meeting to grant a permanent easement to Ameren Illinois Company for the electrical lines that cross the Cedar Lake property.

The city’s staff report for the proposed ordinance states in the 1970s the city requested Ameren relocate their then existing transmission lines so the city could build the main dam for Cedar Lake.

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“The city’s consultants designed and planned for this relocation in the Cedar Lake project and the necessary relocations were accommodated. However, it appears that formal easements were never prepared or executed to formalize the relocation transmission line locations,” the staff report for the proposed ordinance states.

In order to clear up the rights and conditions between the city and Ameren, an agent from Shawnee Surveying and Consulting, Inc. contacted the city as an Ameren representative to request any information the city had regarding the original easement.

Councilman Lance Jack asked if the city could charge Ameren more than what they were for using city property.

“These companies are making an exorbitant amount of money and we are giving them an easement for $10,000 for running their lines across city property,” Jack said.

Publics Works Director Sean Henry said if another company came to the city asking for the easement now, it would hear a different answer.

“But now we are trying to formalize something and say what can happen on our property,” Henry said.

Councilman Don Monty said at the time he was with the planning department and he thought there was some documentation of what was discussed with Ameren about the easement.

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Henry said city staff had not found any documentation.

Council members agreed to grant a permanent easement to Ameren Illinois Company for the transmission lines that cross the Cedar Lake Property.

The next Carbondale City Council meeting is 7p.m. Nov. 19 at Carbondale City Hall.

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