AmerenUE announced today that grant recipients have made significant progress on projects targeted at aiding communities near the company’s Taum Sauk Plant. $5 million was reserved to support community projects approved in April by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).
FERC approved these projects based on recommendations received from a seven-person independent panel of community leaders who evaluated more than 100 project proposals submitted by local groups, businesses and individuals. Full descriptions of the approved projects can be found on the Ameren Web site – www.ameren.com/taumsauk.
AmerenUE and its consultants, The Forrester Group, have provided project support to grant recipients to assist them in completing their projects.
Twelve of the 24 projects have already been completed:
· Lesterville School District installed a new roof to replace an old leaking roof.
· Reynolds County widened and improved the low water bridge on County Road 816 (a school bus route), making it safer and passable during heavy rains.
· Centerville School District replaced an old leaking roof.
· Reynolds County Road Department acquired a front end loader and two, heavy duty trucks for use in road and bridge repairs and construction.
· South Iron Community Betterment Association installed a new playground with a multi-level commercial play structure near the Annapolis Community Center.
· Arcadia Valley School District replaced old tennis courts with three newly constructed courts used by physical education class students, varsity athletes and members of the community.
· Reynolds County Sheltered Workshop expanded its operations by acquiring joiners, sanders, saws and other industrial woodworking equipment, as well as a large-scale quilting machine used by handicapped employees to produce products for sale.
· The new Iron County Hospital developed a strategic marketing plan and marketed hospital services to local residents and travelers.
· Bunker School District installed a drainage system that diverts water away from a community pavilion and picnic area built by students as a part of an experiential learning program.
· Reynolds County Assessor updated 25-year old aerial photography records of the county to increase the accuracy of property valuations and improve emergency services response times.
· Reynolds County Sheriff's Department acquired a four-wheel-drive patrol truck that will improve access to public safety services throughout the county.
· South Iron Community Betterment Association expanded and upgraded the kitchen at the Annapolis Community Center; this project will serve the needs of the Senior Meals Program, the Black River Area Veterans Organization (BRAVO), and the entire Annapolis community.
Significant progress has also been made on the largest and most complex project approved by FERC, the Emergency Management System (EMS) project. Under the EMS project, the following work is progressing:
· Reynolds County Ambulance District has ordered a new ambulance and a cardiac monitor for the ambulance.
· North Reynolds County Fire Protection District has purchased and taken delivery of a four-wheel drive, all-terrain search and rescue vehicle. Additional equipment will be installed.
· North Reynolds County Fire Protection District has begun construction of a new firehouse on Route J near Oates, MO. Two new fire trucks have also been ordered.
· Iron and Reynolds Counties have begun work on mapping and addressing projects that will allow 911 callers to be identified by a dispatcher and more easily located by emergency responders.
· Iron and Reynolds Counties are working to complete computer system upgrades, data migration and equipment installation required for Enhanced 911 system capabilities that will serve both counties.
· Reynolds County has begun improvements to the radio communications system used by emergency services personnel; new towers will be constructed near the intersection of Highways 21 and 72 south of Centerville and near the new EOC building in Centerville, to eliminate gaps in radio reception and transmission in northern portions of the county.
· Reynolds County Emergency Management has ordered equipment to address emergency management and coordination needs in the county.
· Construction of a new Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in Centerville for the Reynolds County Sheriff's Department has begun and will include a new backup electric power generator.
Reynolds County Sheriff Gary Barton said, "We're glad the walls and roof of the Emergency Operations Center are up. It won't be too long now, and we'll be finished with construction. Ameren's help with this grant lets us set up an efficient Emergency Operations Center and improve communications in the county. "
Meanwhile, major progress has been made on the remaining projects:
· Our Town Tomorrow has begun renovating and equipping the Whistle Junction Depot in Arcadia Valley for use as a visitor’s center and historical museum.
· Arcadia Valley Sports Complex has acquired mowing and maintenance equipment and continues to construct upgrades to the outdoor nature classroom.
· Ozark Trail Association has purchased a van, hired staff, and completed mapping and route testing; shuttle service is operational for trail users and an on-line trip planner is in development.
· South Iron School District has begun building a picnic pavilion and concession area near the athletic fields, playground and hiking trail in Annapolis.
· Advanced Healthcare Medical Center in Ellington has ordered a new CT Scanner.
· Reynolds County Public Water Supply District #1 (Lesterville) has begun an engineering feasibility study to determine wastewater treatment needs for a proposed centralized sewer system for Lesterville.
· The City of Bunker has acquired and will install an emergency electric power generator for the municipal drinking water supply pump.
· Reynolds County Public Water Supply District #1 (Lesterville) has begun developing the engineering plans for drinking water supply system upgrades.
· The River Valley Region Association has developed a project to promote travel and tourism in the Arcadia Valley Region and the Black River Recreation Area, using Web pages and search engine advertising and placement.
· Whole Health Outreach received funding to support continuation of the Healthwise for Life Senior Visitor Program that provides home healthcare visits, medication assistance, health education, referrals and other support to the elderly and handicapped near the Taum Sauk project.
Sister Rita Marie Schonhoff, SSND, founder of Whole Health Outreach said, "We're very grateful for the grant. It's always difficult to fund the outreach programs. This grant has allowed us to expand the offerings in Iron and Reynolds Counties and increase the number of blood pressure clinics, exercise groups, and home visits conducted. Nearly 375 home visits have been made in Iron and Reynolds Counties since the grant was funded."
AmerenUE is a subsidiary of St. Louis-based Ameren Corporation. Ameren companies serve 2.4 million electric customers and one million natural gas customers in a 64,000-square-mile area of Missouri and Illinois.
Built in 1963, AmerenUE’s Taum Sauk Plant is a “pumped-storage” hydroelectric plant. It stored water from the Black River in an upper reservoir, built atop1,590-foot-high Proffit Mountain, and released the water to generate electricity when power was needed. The water flowed down a mile-long tunnel inside the mountain, turning turbine-generators to produce electricity. When power demand was low, the same turbines ran in reverse to pump water back to the upper reservoir.
On December 14, 2005, the AmerenUE Taum Sauk Plant experienced a breach in its 1.5 billion-gallon upper reservoir that caused flooding in the Johnson’s Shut-Ins area.
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CONTACT: Susan Gallagher, +1-314-554-2175, or Tim Fox, +1-314-554-3120,
both of AmerenUE