Ameren Illinois Division Director Jason Klein (left) hands the keys to a 2009 Ford F-550 bucket truck to Village of Bethalto Mayor Alan Winslow. Tim Brown (right) Building and Zoning Administrator, reached out to Ameren Illinois to request the donation of a truck.
 - Photo courtesy of Ameren Illinois

Ameren Illinois Division Director Jason Klein (left) hands the keys to a 2009 Ford F-550 bucket truck to Village of Bethalto Mayor Alan Winslow. Tim Brown (right) Building and Zoning Administrator, reached out to Ameren Illinois to request the donation of a truck.

Photo courtesy of Ameren Illinois

For the past four years, Ameren Illinois has donated a handful of bucket trucks to local communities instead of remarketing.

The initiative was started by Richard Mark, chairman and president, after he was contacted by the mayor of Caseyville, Ill., whose city was in need of a bucket truck.

 “Richard worked with our Fleet team to make the donation happen with a bucket truck that was being rotated out of our fleet,” explained Brian Bretsch, communications executive for Ameren Illinois.

Following the first donation, the utility company established a process in which local communities could write a letter to Ameren Illinois expressing the need for a bucket truck. Six to eight bucket trucks are donated per year — generally at least one from each of the utility’s six divisions — and it generally takes about two to three years for a city or county to receive a truck once it’s submitted a request.

The donated single-man trucks are usually fitted with a 37- or 41-foot boom. Communities often use these vehicles for trimming trees or hanging lights or banners around town.

Ameren Illinois serves 43,700 square feet in 89 counties. Its fleet consists of 3,300 vehicles which travel 24 million miles per year. Because it is an electric and natural gas utility, the company uses a variety of vehicles, including bucket trucks, line trucks, and natural gas vans. Fleet vehicles are generally kept for eight or nine years.

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