A local landowner may have to pay Ameren Missouri for damage done to a utility pole that was, unbeknownst to him, stored on his land.
Landowners in Macon County received letters from Ameren in January stating that they would be doing maintenance on transmission lines running through properties until June. However, they did not let those landowners know that equipment would be stored on their property.Pat Malone owns land with a fishing pond near Elmer. The pond had tall weeds growing around it and Malone hired a handy man to burn those weeds down.
"I thought this spring I'd like to burn the weeds off around that pond, so I made some phone calls and I located a guy in La Plata that does that type of thing," said Malone.
What Malone didn't know was that a maintenance pole was being stored in the tall weeds surrounding the pond.
"A few days later I received a call from Ameren stating that a pole had been burned. Had some burn damage," added Malone.
Now Malone says Ameren plans to charge him $20,000 for the damage done to the pole.
"I have not received that invoice, but I'm assuming if they call and tell me, that I'm going to receive it someday," said Malone.
Malone says he doesn't have a problem with Ameren doing work on his property, however, he says it would have been nice to have some communication to know they were storing equipment on his land.
"I think they should have a spirit of cooperation with the land owner and tell us especially if you're going to hold the land owner responsible for material on our land, a simple two minute phone call and let us know it's there," added Malone.
Malone and neighboring land owners feel as though Ameren is taking advantage of their property.
"It seems as though this huge corporation is coming in here and doing what they want, when they want, and how they want. They have bulldozers and are moving dirt and have all sorts of equipment in here, just doing whatever they want, whenever they want," said Malone.
At this time, Ameren Missouri did not wish to comment regarding the $20,000 invoice. Malone hopes that other large corporations that plan to do work on land will notify property owners about potential supplies and equipment that may be stored so that damage can be avoided.