2017-04-07 / Letters

Four reasons district can work with town

To the editor:

A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

There are four reasons I believe Kennebunk Light and Power District can be more constructive in working with the town to transfer the dams to Kennebunk.

The instructions for filing the Notice of Intent (NOI) with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is a one page checklist of questions including No. 8: “Names and mailing addresses of: (IV) Any parties affected by the project or who would likely be interested in the project.” KLPD should have added the town of Kennebunk as an “interested” party when it filed the NOI on March 29.

The lawyers and KLPD omitted the town of Kennebunk to mislead possible investors and FERC. KLPD has established a confrontational relationship forcing the town to notify FERC that Kennebunk voters and KLPD’s consumer owners in November of 2016, spoke overwhelmingly in three hydro/dam citizen initiated referendums, to keep the dams and generate hydropower.

To be truly proactive, KLPD should correct the NOI, including Kennebunk and Surge Hydro as interested parties.

Surge Hydro has provided a proposal to KLPD and the town to operate the hydropower and to file for a new license with FERC.

A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

The power district, as a business decision wants to stop generating hydropower as soon as possible, as the electricity generated represents only 1.5 percent of the total electrical demand.

They want to walk away from the license, believing that decommissioning the dams will only cost $3,796,054 (with omissions) as estimated by Wright– Pierce and GZA.

Even with these numbers, KLPD would save $1,000,000 contracting with Surge Hydro to file for a new license with FERC and operating the dams for $2,800,000 through the current license.

This alternative is a win-win for KLPD and the town of Kennebunk.

This is the bird in the hand.

Albert Kolff

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