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Hydroelectric relicensing scenarios to be discussed

The fourth in a series of "Tech Talks," part of the Kinnickinnic River Corridor community planning process, will be held 6:30-8 p.m. Thursday, May 18, at St. Bridget Catholic Church, 135 E. Division St., River Falls. Titled "Hydro Facilities and Relicensing," the event is open to the public. Refreshments will be served. Approximately 150 community members are expected to attend.

The Tech Talk is part of the City of River Falls' comprehensive, multi-year planning process to determine the future of the Kinnickinnic River Corridor. The discussion Thursday will feature a three-part presentation regarding hydroelectric generation, a description of the city's two hydroelectric facilities, and a review of the federal relicensing process.

Presenters include:

• Lesley Brotkowski, a senior ecologist with TRC, a national engineering, consulting, and construction management firm. She will provide a primer on hydroelectric facilities and review the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission process for relicensing the city's two hydro facilities. Lesley has worked on hydroelectric projects from Nebraska to Maine, including projects in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan. In 2014 she was a key member of the TRC team who provided analysis to the City of River Falls to help determine a course of action for the future of the two hydroelectric facilities. She specializes in FERC hydroelectric regulatory processes, including licensing and surrender, and ecological assessments for renewable energy projects.

• Mark Lobermeier, a senior principal with SEH Inc., an engineering, architecture, environmental and planning firm. He is the program manager assisting the city with the Kinnickinnic Corridor Planning effort. Lobermeier has 34 years of industry experience as a design engineer, project manager and principal in charge. He will present information specific to the city's two hydroelectric facilities.

The evening will include ample time for questions from the audience. Future Tech Talk dates and topics include "Dam Removal Alternatives" on July 20 and "Recreation and Tourism" on Sept. 7.