Ameren agreement and police business discussed

Linda Trest

Every so often, the City of Gerald signs an agreement with Ameren Missouri concerning street lighting within the city limits. It is usually a routine matter. 

At last Thursday’s meeting of the Gerald Board of Aldermen, the latest renewal agreement was discussed. 

Steven Lucas, the attorney for the city, advised the board to not enter into the proposed agreement.

One concern Lucas cited was the life span of the contract. The old agreement was signed ten years ago. The proposed agreement would last for 20 years. 

Lucas was also unhappy with some of the language concerning right of ways. 

Public Works Director Nick Grube noted that under the current agreement, if street lights needed to be moved to accommodate a street project, Ameren bore the cost. Under the new agreement, according to Grube, the city would be financially responsible for moving the lights and poles. The cost to move several poles could reach $100,000. 

Lucas told the aldermen that other municipalities, such as Fenton, had also declined to sign the new agreement with no immediate repercussions.

If the city does not sign the proposed agreement, it would automatically be entered into a month-to-month continuation of the current agreement.

Electric rates for individual Ameren customers, or even the City’s electrical rates, will not be affected if the city does not sign the new proposal.

Police Chief Jim Helton reported that he has taken the department’s Crown Victoria out of service. The vehicle is being evaluated to determine if necessary repairs make economic sense for the older vehicle.

Helton also reported that he is currently culling the list of reserve officers maintained by his department. Those officers who are not fulfilling their obligation of providing eight hours of service per month will be dropped from the rolls.