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Letters to the editor: Hydros are profitable; Dam facts I need to know

Hydros are profitable


Our River Falls dams and hydros are a profitable, local source of renewable energy!

The River Falls "2016 Committed Net Position Hydro Analysis" reports a total net revenue (profit) of $378,000 from hydro generation for the current five-year report period, 2012-2016. Our hydros today are a profitable, renewable energy source.

In 2016, the hydros produced 2.1 million kWh of electricity. This was over 85 percent of all renewable energy produced in River Falls. We currently benefit from our earlier investments in the solid infrastructure of our dams and hydros.

Looking to the future, the poster "Economics of Continued Hydro Operation" form the Kinni Corridor Project Session 5, Page 11, projects a net revenue (profit) of $1.9 million for the 30-year period 2017-2047. With license renewal, we can continue providing local electricity using the sound infrastructure we have here today.

The Nov. 2, 2017 RF Journal article regarding the Kinni Planning Charrette reports that our consultants envision one possibility for the use of Lake George as part of a "downtown lake park" and a Lake Louise option connected to the Glen Park master plan. Build on these unique, local, existing lake resources.

Referring to the Oct. 26, 2017 RF Journal article "Willow River dam is a go," the Willow was "freed" in 2015 and now $19 million state tax dollars will be spent rebuilding its dam. State Park Manager Aaron Mason is quoted as saying that breaching the dam reduced the Willow River "to a meandering riverway snaking its way to remnants of the old dam." This is similar to the situation we would have here with the proposed removal of our structurally sound Powell Dam and the draining of Lake Louise.

Our dams were recently inspected and found to be safe. They are not failing!

Keep our local, profitable, dams, lakes and hydros!

William Hansen

Town of River Falls

Dam facts I need to know


I have been following the discussion of the dam removal vs. not with a good deal of interest. I have three questions that haven't (to my knowledge) been addressed or answered.

• Is it true that dredging of Lakes George and Louise are a given whether the dams are removed or stay?

• If we keep the dams and the 1 to 2 percent of total city electrical usage, what are the estimated costs associated with this electrical generation versus the income from the output?

• What is the cost of dam removal?

Why is nothing being discussed about these very important dollars and cents figures?

John B.Hill

River Falls

Options for Women letter


In response to Juliet Tomkins' letter, "Don't be misled by Options," I appreciate the information comparing the providers of pregnancy and reproductive health counseling in the River Falls area.

It is clear that Pierce County Pregnancy and Reproductive Health's clinic in fact offers complete and unbiased counseling and care for women with reproductive health concerns.

Loral Keil

River Falls

How is this happening?


I went with a friend to court this week and what I heard was unbelievable. Today was the third hearing about the same abuse case. How is this happening? A child is being sent to the abuser's house without outside protection. I do not understand how this still keeps happening.

Instead of protecting the abused it seems as if the abuser is protected.

We need to educate our court officials on domestic abuse.

Mary York


Veterans Christmas gift shop


The River Falls American Legion Auxiliary Unit 121 is again appealing to the community to donate new items to the annual Christmas Gift Shop held at Freeman Drug, 104 S. Main St., Nov. 4-30.

The gifts will be for hospitalized Veterans at the Minneapolis V.A. Hospital to give to their loved ones at no cost to the Veterans.

Auxiliary members will box and wrap gifts in time for Christmas. Items needed are sweatshirts, hats/scarfs/mitten sets,socks, three-piece bath towel sets, games for all ages, stuffed animals, toys, cars and trucks dolls, movies and more. There are more ideas posted at Freemans.

Monetary donations are also accepted anytime at Freeman's. Thank you for your Christmas Spirit.

Betty Swenson

Town of Kinnickinnic

Tax cut and Jobs Act


Did you vote for Donald Trump? OK. But did you donate over $1 million to his campaign? No?

The Koch brothers did donate millions and now the biggest heist of the U.S. Treasury is about to materialize right before your eyes. With the proposed repeal of the federal estate tax, (which already permits a $10.98 million tax exemption) hedge fund managers and billionaires will soon be exempted from any federal estate tax. On a $50 billion estate, at 40 percent flat rate, the Koch brothers will now save $20 billion. The President and a couple of his ultra rich cabinet members will also save over $2 billion each.

Meanwhile, Medicaid funding for the poor and disabled will be on the auction block.

Federal aid to public schools will be slashed and funding of the Environmental Protection Agency and federal aid to cities and states to combat terrorism will be drastically cut.

Given the robust economy that the prior administration resurrected from the near collapse that had existed, and given the fact that businesses can already write off any investment they make in equipment or training of employees, why does the GOP tax cut provide such a huge tax break for large corporations and professional organizations like my own law firm? It will not incentivize any further job growth, but instead will permit the pay out of more profits to shareholders. Mr. President, few working poor own much publically traded stock. But the Koch brothers do.

No surprise here, the super rich are now being paid for their political contributions. Any Trump voter that thought the President would speak up for them should now open their eyes to this robbery of our U.S. Treasury. Sad.

Roy Sjoberg