Why nuclear resolution was sidetracked in Holts Summit

Members of the Holts Summit Board of Aldermen say they approve of nuclear power and construction of a second reactor at the Callaway Nuclear Power Plant. But a chain of circumstances prevented the board Monday night from approving a resolution endorsing proposed state legislation allowing utilities to recover costs for an early site permit for a second reactor at the Callaway Nuclear Power Plant.

The circumstances started when Holts Summit Mayor Lucas Fitzpatrick was unable to attend the Monday night meeting of the Holts Summit Board of Aldermen.

In his place First Ward Alderman Jason Michael presided over the meeting.

That left only three voting members of the board. They were First Ward Alderwoman Pamela Murray, Second Ward Alderman Thomas Durham, and Second Ward Alderman Paul Buckley.

Michael brought up the issue on the agenda in the form of a resolution endorsing nuclear site bills offered by Sen. Mike Kehoe, R-Jefferson City, and Rep. Jeanie Riddle, R-Mokane.

Durham moved that the resolution be approved. But when Michael called for a second to the motion, no one responded and the measure died for lack of a seconding motion.

Buckley said Tuesday he was pleased the issue didn’t come to a vote Monday night because he has taken a new job with the Office of State Courts Administrator that does not permit him to participate in political issues. If the issue had come up, Buckley said he would have been required to abstain from voting.

Buckley is winding up his time on the board and did not seek re-election. His successor will be chosen Tuesday in the April 5 election.

Murray said Tuesday she supports nuclear power and has testified in favor of the Callaway Nuclear Power Plant in Nuclear Regulatory Commission environmental site hearings in 2009.

“I think Ameren Missouri has been doing a great job operating the Callaway Nuclear Power Plant safely,” Murray said.

Murray said she did not second the motion Monday night because earlier she had asked for more information from the Ameren Missouri spokesman about the proposed legislation and he was going to get back with her with the information later. She did not want increased funding for the Office of Public Counsel to come from the budget of the Public Service Commission.

Murray said the resolution focused only on the Kehoe and Riddle bills and not on other nuclear proposals before the legislature.

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