Cass County officials have announced they’ve struck a deal with Aquila that would allow the utility to keep its South Harper power plant up and running.
Aquila built the $140-million plant in 2004 without county zoning approval – and lower courts, as well as the Missouri Court of Appeals - had ordered the plant removed. In other words, Aquila would have had to tear down the plant.
General Assembly lawmakers have been dealing with this issue, and this deal could move the process along. Cass County gets an acknowledgement from Aquila that the company was wrong to build the plant without approval … and the county gets a check for approximately $1.8-million to cover the county’s legal fees and a $1,000 a day fine for each day of the almost four years the plant was open in violation of the law. The agreement also requires Aquila to negotiate with homeowners over noise and lighting restrictions.
The deal has yet to be finalized.