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RF to hold public hearing Jan. 15 on future of Kinnickinnic hydros

The City of River Falls Utility Advisory Board (UAB) will meet Monday, Jan. 15, 2018, at 6:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers (lower level) at City Hall, 222 Lewis Street to vote on a resolution to relicense or surrender the City’s two hydroelectric facilities on the Kinnickinnic River. There will be an opportunity for the public to speak at the beginning of the meeting during a public hearing session. Map courtesy of City of River Falls

The City of River Falls Utility Advisory Board (UAB) will meet Monday, Jan. 15, 2018, at 6:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers (lower level) at City Hall, 222 Lewis Street to vote on a resolution to relicense or surrender the City’s two hydroelectric facilities on the Kinnickinnic River. There will be an opportunity for the public to speak at the beginning of the meeting during a public hearing session. See meeting and background information here.

At the meeting, the UAB will consider three scenarios for relicensing including:

Option 1: Relicense the current hydro facilities, maintaining both the Junction Falls and Powell Falls hydro facilities. Any future hydro or dam related expenditures over $5,000 will be brought to the Utility Advisory Board and City Council for review and approval.

Option 2: Surrender the license, which would remove both the Junction Falls and Powell Falls hydro facilities and dams at some point in the future.

Option 3: Relicense the Junction Falls hydro facility, and remove the Powell Falls hydro facility and dam at some point in the future. Any hydro or dam related expenditures over $5,000 will be brought to the Utility Advisory Board and City Council for review and approval.

The resolution adopted by the UAB on Jan. 15 will be forwarded to the Kinni Corridor Committee to consider as part of its recommendation to the City Council. The Council will take a final vote on Feb. 27 to relicense or surrender the hydro facilities.

Upcoming decisions follow nearly two years of planning and citizen engagement through six community “Tech Talks” in 2017; online and in-person surveys, comment cards, and online feedback forms; community presentations and conversations; focus groups and stakeholder meetings; and discussions/exercises at the four-day community design charrette in October 2017.

Hydro relicensing decision-making timeline:

Jan. 11:  Kinni Corridor Committee meeting   

Jan. 15:  Regular meeting of Utility Advisory Board and public hearing

Jan. 25:  Kinni Corridor Committee meeting to finalize recommendation to Council

Feb. 13: City Council meeting: councilmembers receive committee’s report

Feb. 27: City Council meeting: decision to relicense or surrender is made

See complete project timeline here. For additional information about the Kinni Corridor Project, visit www.kinnicorridor.org.

Sarah Nigbor

Sarah J. Nigbor serves as a regional editor for RiverTown Multimedia, a position she began in April 2017. She joined RiverTown Multimedia in October 2013 as a news reporter for the New Richmond News, before being appointed editor of the Pierce County Herald in February 2015. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Spanish and French in 2001. She completed a minor in journalism in 2004. 

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