Ameren will provide Franklin County with coal combustion residue to treat snow-covered roads, under an agreement approved by the county commission last week.

In exchange, the county will maintain at no cost a 1.7-mile stretch of Labadie Bottom Road owned by Ameren.

The five-year agreement is intended to provide the county with a ready source of cinders, also called bottom ash, to use on public roads.

The bottom ash is a byproduct of burning coal at the Labadie Energy Center.

“Cinders produced at Labadie are currently classified as nonhazardous solid waste,” the agreement states.

The section of the road the county will maintain leads into the Labadie Energy Center.

The county will be required to pick up, load and haul all the cinders. An account of all the cinders taken must be kept by the county and reported to Ameren each month.

County officials estimate that 5,000 tons of cinders will be taken from the Labadie plant each year.