One year later - work continues below Taum Sauk Reservoir

One year later - work continues below Taum Sauk Reservoir
By: Ryan Tate
REYNOLDS COUNTY, Mo. - It has been one year since the devastating Taum Sauk Reservoir breach sent more than one billion gallons of water cascading down Proffit Mountain in Reynolds County. One year later, construction and controversy surround the rehabilitation of the park.
"We have cleared trees and rocks as one of the first phases of the clean-up," Natural Resource Manager Kimberly Burfield said. "Other aspects of the progress include planning and redevelopment and the park open this summer to help educate people as to what happened."
Turmoil between Ameren and the State of Missouri continues. On Tuesday, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources submitted a settlement proposal with the company. Thursday, the Associated Press reports part of the settlement includes $125 million in damages and fines.  This is on top of a $15 million settlement Ameren negotiators already reached with the Federal Emergency Regulatory Commission.
Reynolds County Commissioner Donald Barnes says he hopes Ameren builds back in his county, otherwise it would be a huge loss.
"If they do not come back, I do not think I would want to be Presiding Commissioner," Barnes said. "If they do not come back, we will feel the consequences."
Barnes says Reynolds County gets about $780,000 from Ameren. If the company rebuilds, the County could get as much as $1.3 million.