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Ameren's tree-trimming improved, PSC says

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By Bill Raack, KWMU

St. Louis, MO – A state utility regulator in Missouri says AmerenUE has made changes since last summer's costly storm knocked out electricity to thousands and reliability should improve over time.

Warren Wood with the Public Service Commission says a big storm will still cause power outages in the St. Louis area but the utility has improved its tree-trimming efforts over the past year.

"A year ago I would have seen trees at a certain cut clearance, a certain pattern," Wood said. "You come through now, there's a different cutting approach, increased side clearances, more overheads being cut back and overhanging lines being removed. Yes I think things are better."

AmerenUE says it will spend 45-million-dollars on tree-trimming this year. That's nearly twice as much as the company spent in 2004.

Wood was a guest on KWMU's St. Louis on the Air.

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