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Johnson's Shut-Ins will stay closed this year

By Matt Sepic, KWMU

St. Louis – Johnson's Shut-Ins State Park will remain closed this summer.

The park flooded in December 2005 when Ameren's Taum Sauk hydroelectric reservoir failed.

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources re-opened parts of Johnson's Shut-Ins last summer, but DNR Deputy Director Kurt Schaefer said that will not be possible this year.

"At this point, because all of the park restoration work needs to be done throughout the park, the entire park itself will be a construction zone.

The DNR wants Ameren to pay the state more than $125 million. But DNR officials say the company has refused to settle until Attorney General Jay Nixon makes a decision about criminal charges.

Ameren is not commenting on the settlement talks. But in a statement, the company said it is possible that parts of the park could open this summer if Ameren, its contractors and the state all work together.