Complete Katy Trail: Summary of recent news events

The effort to connect the Katy Trail state line to state line has been pursued by trails advocates since the Katy Trail was first envisioned.

The recent Taum Sauk disaster has opened up the opportunity to negotiation with Ameren, which owns the Taum Sauk dam, about the possibility of using the Rock Island Railroad corridor, which Ameren controls, as the connecting link between the current Katy Trail and the Kansas City metropolitan area.

Here is a summary of some of the recent developments in the Katy Trail Connection issue:

1. The Governor recently met with AG Jay Nixon, DNR Director Doyle Childers, and Dept. of Conservation Director John Hoskins to work on a unified plan to move forward to resolve the Taum Sauk issue. (Previously the AG and DNR had been disagreeing on fundamental issues--one of the reasons the whole settlement process has not been moving forward.)
Governor's press release, Attorney General's press release, Legal Newsline reports 1 and 2, Springfield News-Leader report, Columbia Tribune report, St. Louis Post-Dispatch report
2. Nixon decided not to pursue criminal charges against Ameren. Apparently the criminal charges, filed late in 2006, have been one thing making Ameren balk at pursuing any kind of negotiated solution.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch report
3. Negotiations with Ameren have been making progress.

Legal Newsline report
Forbes report
4. The Katy Trail Connection to KC has been included in negotiations between DNR and Ameren so far. The basic idea of including the trail agreement as part of the settlement has been accepted by both sides, but important details remain undecided.

Original documents obtained by MoBikeFed showing negotiations between DNR and Ameren
5. There was a recent decision by a judge that DNR could not intervene in a lawsuit filed by the Attorney General against Ameren. This is partly what helped the recent agreement between the AG and the DNR move forward.
Attorney General press release
6. A recent development means that utility regulators will re-open their investigation into possible criminal wrongdoing in the Taum Sauk case. Unfortunately, this could stall settlement talks with Ameren again until the matter is resolved one way or the other.
Kansas City Star report
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