MPRB Letter to FERC in Response to Crown Hydo 09-02-2011


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MPRB Letter to FERC in Response to Crown Hydo 09-02-2011

  1. 1. 20110908-0022 FERC PDF (Unofficial) 09/08/2011 Posted by RICE, MICHELS & WALTHER LLP Attorneys and Counselors at Law Brian F. Rice ~ James P. Michels ~ Ann E. Walther ~ Korin E. Peterson ~ Michael J. Salchert Writers Direct Dial: (612) 676-2303 Email: briceta ricemichels. corn September 2, 2011 7 r . rn cled Ms. Kimberly D. Bose Secretary co c . Federal Energy Regulatory Commission I Ib 888 First Street NE Washington, DC 20426 Re: Crown Hydro LLC, Crown Mill Hydroelectric Project FERC Project No. 11175 Dear Secretary Bose: I am the General Counsel for the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board ("MPRB"). I am writing in response to the letter dated August 25, 2011 from Donald H. Clarke, the attorney for Crown Hydro, LLC, regarding the recently concluded Minnesota special legislative session. There are several assertions in that letter that I believe are misleading and inaccurate. First, on June 23, 2011, Crown Hydros attorney sent a letter to FERC asking you to delay action on the proposed termination of their license based on their promise that they would obtain passage of legislation in a special session of the Minnesota legislature that would give them site control over MPRB public parkland Crown Hydro needed for their operation. The Minnesota legislature did convene in special session on July 19" to deal with budget and other matters. In the course of that special session, no legislation to benefit Crown Hydro was passed or even introduced, despite Crowns assurances legislative action would occur. The session ended and Crown Hydros promise of legislation to give them site control did not materialize. In light of those events, FERC should be highly suspect of any claims by Crown Hydro about their ability to enact legislation during a special session. Second, Crown Hydros representative asserts that only budget matters were dealt with during the 2011 special session. That statement is factually incorrect. In addition to passing eleven budget and tax bills, the legislature also enacted a policy bill dealing with pension reform. The excuse Crown Hydro uses that only budget bills were enacted is not accurate. In calling the special session, Governor Dayton specified that the legislature consider twelve pieces of legislation. The legislature considered and passed those twelve bills. Crown Hydros legislation was not one of those bills. In Minnesota, only the Governor can call a special session, and it is the Governor who establishes the agenda for the session. 206 East Bridge - Inverplace ~ 10 Second Street Northeast ~ Minneapolis, Minnesota 55113 Phone (612) 676-2300 ~ Fax (612) 676-2319 ~ rvsssv. ricemichels. com
  2. 2. 20110908-0022 FERC PDF (Unofficial) 09/08/2011 Posted by Crown Hydro is now urging FERC to forego action on termination of their license with yet another promise to enact legislation during a yet to be called special session of the legislature. At this point, there is no need for a special session of the legislature as all budget bills have been enacted. The Governor could call a special session later this year; however, the entire discussion about another special session has focused around a new stadium for the Minnesota Vikings. At this point, there is no certainty another special session will be called. Further, there has been absolutely no public attention on the question of Crown Hydros desire to obtain public parkland for its project such as would necessitate the need for special legislative action. Lastly, FERC should know that the MPRB is opposed to legislative action that would take away the Park Boards control of its property. The Minnesota Constitution prohibits special legislation of the type Crown Hydro has proposed. FERC should also be aware that the League of Minnesota Cities and the City of Minneapolis are opposed to the strategy that Crown Hydro is employing to obtain site control to this property. Any legislative effort by Crown Hydro would be met with strong opposition and would likely face constitutional problems as well. I would urge FERC to give no credence to the mistaken and misleading information that Crown Hydros attorneys are providing. Very truly yours, Brian F. Rice cc: Minneapolis Park Commissioners Peggy Harding, FERC Regional Engineer
  3. 3. 20110908-0022 FERC PDF (Unofficial) 09/08/2011 Posted by http://MillCityTimes.comDocument Content(s)12758973.tif..........................................................1-2