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Posted on 2013 May 16

Important Town Council Meeting Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Town Council Meeting
Tuesday, May 21, 2013  6-7 PM
Mississippi Mills Town Hall
Agenda item: motion with respect to Enerdu proposal

The Mississippi RiverWatchers would like to inform members that an important motion with regards to the Enerdu Generating Station Expansion and Redevelopment proposal will come before the Mississippi Mills Town Council during the upcoming Council meeting, Tuesday, May 21, 2013 starting at 6:00 PM, at the Town Hall. The meeting usually runs for an hour.

In the motion, the Town asks that the Province not approve the Enerdu project unless five key issues are satisfactorily resolved (see motion below). Please consider attending the meeting to listen to the discussion amongst the Councillors, learn firsthand what the outcome of the vote will be, and most importantly, show (by your attendance) that you are concerned about this project.

We have included a link to the Millstone News, http://millstonenews.com/, for the recent post by Councilor Shaun McLaughlin pertaining to the motion (The place to be on May 21, 2013, is the Mississippi Mills Town Hall).

The motion – to be voted on at the Council meeting on Tuesday, May 21:

WHEREAS although Council of the Town of Mississippi Mills recognizes that it has no formal approval authority in the matter of the Enerdu hydroelectric project in Almonte, Council does have a responsibility to represent the interests and well being of its residents;

AND WHEREAS several significant issues remain unresolved and there is great concern in the community over this controversial project;

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT Council wants the following issues satisfactorily resolved before the Province approves this project:

Issue 1: Re-evaluate the operating water levels permitted in the Mississippi River Water Management Plan (MRWMP).  On November 22, 2012, the Standing Advisory Committee of the MRWMP recommended that the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) reopen the water management plan for Reach 18 of the Mississippi River to determine the cause of the wetland die-off upstream from Almonte and to adjust the water management plan where appropriate.  No reply to this request has been received.  The zone of influence for the proposed hydroelectric plant is supposed to be 250 metres, while it now seems to back the water up several kilometres.

Issue 2: Perform hydraulic modeling to determine any potential for the project to increase flood risk beside and below the power house.  Sandbagging was required to prevent flooding of the downtown in 1998 and this remains a major concern.

Issue 3: Determine if the scale of the proposed project is appropriate.  The proposed project claims to be an expansion of existing infrastructure but the scope of the project implies a new project.  It entails construction of an entirely new power house at a different location, and replacement of the existing dam and weir with an entirely new dam and weir.

Issue 4: Determine if water management of the existing plant and the proposed plant fits the definition of run-of-river.  The project is presented as a run-of-river hydroelectric plant but flow is currently turned on and off to take advantage of daily FIT pricing.

Issue 5: Evaluate the potential loss of natural and heritage assets and the resulting degradation of the community’s character.  The project site is located in the heart of Almonte’s historic downtown and is valued, greatly by both businesses and citizens. Many new residents and visitors, notably, day trippers from Ottawa, are drawn by the picturesque river scene with its grand waterfalls.  There is a major concern that the new structures in the river, including the large generation building, new dam and large weir will compromise this scene.  The applicant will give no firm assurance about the location of the dam and the resultant effect on the look of the stepped waterfall.  Further no assurances about consistent water flows over the falls have been given.

AND FURTHERMORE THAT Council of the Town of Mississippi Mills directs staff to forward this motion to the following:

Hon. Kathleen Wynne
Premier of Ontario

Hon. Jim Bradley
Minister of the Environment

Hon. David Orazitti
Minister of Natural Resources

Jim Fraser
Regional manager
Ministry of Natural Resources Kemptville Office

Paul Lehman
Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority

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