Monthly Archives: May 2011

HEADS-UP FOR THE VERY IMPORTANT MAY 18, 2011 PARK BOARD MEETING

HEADS-UP FOR THE VERY IMPORTANT MAY 18, 2011 PARK BOARD MEETING

5:00 P.M. REGULAR BOARD MEETING. The meeting will be held in the boardroom at Park Board headquarters, 2117 West River Road, just north of Broadway Pizza.

5:30 P.M. OPEN TIME. Speakers need to sign up before 3:00 p.m. the day of the meeting.

The highlight of this meeting will be the vote on the Crown Hydro bait and switch agenda item. The latest bizarre twist to the Crown Hydro saga is the new, out-of-the-blue agreement for a joint venture–but not with Crown Hydro. Instead the joint venture to build a hydroelectric facility on MPRB parkland would be with a new, unknown third party.

All of our Park Board commissioners–especially Board President John Erwin–need to hear from their constituents that St. Anthony Falls and Mill Ruins Park are not to be bartered away by the Park Board for an ill-conceived and risky hydroelectric joint venture project with an unknown third party that could diminish St. Anthony Falls, have a negative impact on Mill Ruins Park and even bankrupt the Park Board. Commissioner contact information can be found below.

The link to the complete agenda, with staff reports, for the MPRB Board of Commissioners’ meeting on Wednesday, May 18, 2011 is at
www.minneapolisparks.org/default.asp?PageID=37&calid=737

MPRB meetings are telecast live from 5-9 p.m. on the City of Minneapolis Government Meeting Channel 79 on Comcast cable and online at www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/webcasts.

The regular meetings are re-telecast on Channel 79 at 1 p.m. Saturdays and 5 p.m. on the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month. Webcasts for the recent two months are posted two to five business days after the meeting and are available for viewing under “Webcast Archives” at www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/webcasts.

The Park Board’s website is www.minneapolisparks.org. The phone number is 612-230-6400.

Arlene Fried
Co-Founder of Park Watch

MINNEAPOLIS PARK AND RECREATION BOARD COMMISSIONERS:

John Erwin, Board President
Commissioner At Large
612-230-6443, Ext. 7
erwin@minneapolisparks.org

Bob Fine, Commissioner At Large
612-230-6443, Ext. 8
bfine@minneapolisparks.org

M. Annie Young, Commissioner At Large
612-230-6443, Ext. 9
ayoung@minneapolisparks.org

Liz Wielinski, Commissioner District 1
612-230-6443, Ext. 1
lwielinski@minneapolisparks.org

Jon Olson, Commissioner District 2
612-230-6443, Ext. 2
jolson@minneapolisparks.org

Scott Vreeland, Commissioner District 3
612-721-7892
svreeland@minneapolisparks.org

Anita Tabb, Commissioner District 4
612-230-6443, Ext. 4
atabb@minneapolisparks.org

Carol A. Kummer, Commissioner District 5
612-230-6443, Ext. 5
ckummer@minneapolisparks.org

Brad Bourn, Commissioner District 6
612-230-6443, Ext. 6
bbourne@minneapolisparks.org

HEADS-UP FOR THE VERY IMPORTANT MAY 18, 2011 PARK BOARD MEETING

HEADS-UP FOR THE VERY IMPORTANT MAY 18, 2011 PARK BOARD MEETING

5:00 P.M. REGULAR BOARD MEETING. The meeting will be held in the boardroom at Park Board headquarters, 2117 West River Road, just north of Broadway Pizza.

5:30 P.M. OPEN TIME. Speakers need to sign up before 3:00 p.m. the day of the meeting.

The highlight of this meeting will be the vote on the Crown Hydro bait and switch agenda item. The latest bizarre twist to the Crown Hydro saga is the new, out-of-the-blue agreement for a joint venture–but not with Crown Hydro. Instead the joint venture to build a hydroelectric facility on MPRB parkland would be with a new, unknown third party.

All of our Park Board commissioners–especially Board President John Erwin–need to hear from their constituents that St. Anthony Falls and Mill Ruins Park are not to be bartered away by the Park Board for an ill-conceived and risky hydroelectric joint venture project with an unknown third party that could diminish St. Anthony Falls, have a negative impact on Mill Ruins Park and even bankrupt the Park Board. Commissioner contact information can be found below.

The link to the complete agenda, with staff reports, for the MPRB Board of Commissioners’ meeting on Wednesday, May 18, 2011 is at
www.minneapolisparks.org/default.asp?PageID=37&calid=737

MPRB meetings are telecast live from 5-9 p.m. on the City of Minneapolis Government Meeting Channel 79 on Comcast cable and online at www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/webcasts.

The regular meetings are re-telecast on Channel 79 at 1 p.m. Saturdays and 5 p.m. on the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month. Webcasts for the recent two months are posted two to five business days after the meeting and are available for viewing under “Webcast Archives” at www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/webcasts.

The Park Board’s website is www.minneapolisparks.org. The phone number is 612-230-6400.

Arlene Fried
Co-Founder of Park Watch

MINNEAPOLIS PARK AND RECREATION BOARD COMMISSIONERS:

John Erwin, Board President
Commissioner At Large
612-230-6443, Ext. 7
erwin@minneapolisparks.org

Bob Fine, Commissioner At Large
612-230-6443, Ext. 8
bfine@minneapolisparks.org

M. Annie Young, Commissioner At Large
612-230-6443, Ext. 9
ayoung@minneapolisparks.org

Liz Wielinski, Commissioner District 1
612-230-6443, Ext. 1
lwielinski@minneapolisparks.org

Jon Olson, Commissioner District 2
612-230-6443, Ext. 2
jolson@minneapolisparks.org

Scott Vreeland, Commissioner District 3
612-721-7892
svreeland@minneapolisparks.org

Anita Tabb, Commissioner District 4
612-230-6443, Ext. 4
atabb@minneapolisparks.org

Carol A. Kummer, Commissioner District 5
612-230-6443, Ext. 5
ckummer@minneapolisparks.org

Brad Bourn, Commissioner District 6
612-230-6443, Ext. 6
bbourne@minneapolisparks.org

A PARK WATCH COMMENTARY ON CROWN HYDRO'S LATEST SCHEME

A PARK WATCH COMMENTARY ON CROWN HYDRO’S LATEST SCHEME

The latest bizarre twist to the Crown Hydro saga is the new, out-of-the-blue agreement for a joint venture–but not with Crown Hydro. Instead the joint venture to build a hydroelectric facility on MPRB parkland would be with a new, unknown third party.

In reviewing the MPRB’s agenda materials for the May 18, 2011 Park Board meeting, one wonders why the Park Board would want to commit valuable Park Board resources to acquire a minority interest in a risky hydroelectric joint venture with an unknown third party in a business the Park Board knows nothing about. Furthermore, significant questions remain about the financial feasibility of the project. This complex agreement that Crown Hydro wants the Park Board to sign appears to be a recipe for disaster for the Park Board and the taxpayers.

All of our Park Board commissioners–especially Board President John Erwin–need to hear from their constituents that St. Anthony Falls and Mill Ruins Park are not to be bartered away by the Park Board for an ill-conceived and risky hydroelectric project that could diminish St. Anthony Falls, have a negative impact on Mill Ruins Park and even bankrupt the Park Board.

Arlene Fried
Co-Founder of Park Watch

Here is a contact list:

MINNEAPOLIS PARK AND RECREATION BOARD COMMISSIONERS:

John Erwin, Board President
Commissioner At Large
612-230-6443, Ext. 7
erwin@minneapolisparks.org

Bob Fine, Commissioner At Large
612-230-6443, Ext. 8
bfine@minneapolisparks.org

M. Annie Young, Commissioner At Large
612-230-6443, Ext. 9
ayoung@minneapolisparks.org

Liz Wielinski, Commissioner District 1
612-230-6443, Ext. 1
lwielinski@minneapolisparks.org

Jon Olson, Commissioner District 2
612-230-6443, Ext. 2
jolson@minneapolisparks.org

Scott Vreeland, Commissioner District 3
612-721-7892, Ext. 3
svreeland@minneapolisparks.org

Anita Tabb, Commissioner District 4
612-230-6443, Ext. 4
atabb@minneapolisparks.org

Carol A. Kummer, Commissioner District 5
612-230-6443, Ext. 5
ckummer@minneapolisparks.org

Brad Bourn, Commissioner District 6
612-230-6443, Ext. 6
bbourne@minneapolisparks.org

" ST. ANTHONY WET CEMENT "

“ST. ANTHONY WET CEMENT”

The following is an excerpt from a series of five excellent articles about the proposed Crown Hydro project written by David Tinjun, publisher of the Mill City Times.

Will “St. Anthony Wet Cement” be the new name of this iconic symbol of Minneapolis?

Rather than being a year round attraction for walkers, runners, bikers (yes bikers) and tourists, seems we could have an amusement park type of attraction for the 3 months each year. Who’ll get to flip the switch to turn on the Falls each year on June 21? Maybe the developer can hold a lottery to increase his profits? Better yet, why not just move the whole attraction to Valley Fair, which happens to be in the district of Representative Michael Beard (R) District: 35A, sponsor of the Legislation that started this fiasco?

In all seriousness, St. Anthony Falls is the Historic Birthplace of Minneapolis, an iconic symbol of our City, and an important part of the daily lives of thousands of people both local and from all parts of the world. How did this absurd proposal even make it to this point? Will a dry falls be the legacy of MPRB Superintendant Miller, Board President John Erwin and the current Board?

OPEN TIME SPEAKERS REGARDING CROWN HYDRO AT THE PARK BOARD MEETING ON MAY 4, 2011

OPEN TIME SPEAKERS REGARDING CROWN HYDRO AT THE PARK BOARD ON MAY 4, 2011

At the May 4, 2011 meeting, the Board suspended the rules to allow for open time comments relating to an action item. The speakers and brief summaries are listed below:

Arlene Fried read a letter captioned “protecting parkland, ” and urged the Board to reject the Crown Hydro project.

Alex Hoag spoke against the Crown Hydro project, stated “this is a boondoggle” and asked that the Board not precede with a project that is bad for the Park Board.

Dick Gillespie spoke of changes he has seen at St. Anthony falls, initially supported the Crown Hydro project and now does not. Mr. Gillespie spoke of aesthetics, historical nature and design/project Uncertainty.

Lois Kelly and Rodger Ricketts spoke on behalf of the Sierra club, supported alternative energy, however did not support the Crown Hydro project because it would “in effect sell park land”. Other hydroelectric options were proposed.

Edna Brazaitis stated that the public has not had an opportunity to comment on the Crown Hydro Project since 2004 and urged the Board for additional public comment time. Ms. Brazaitis raised questions of financial viability and the spillway.

Commissioner Olson stated for the record that members of the public have had the opportunity to speak to the Full Board the first or third Wednesday of the month for the past seven years.

Tom Diamond posed two questions regarding appropriateness of a hydro project. Mr. Diamond spoke in regards to current legislation. Mr. Diamond closed, recommending that the Board not become involved in any situation that includes “threats” or “intimidation”.

Tom Balcom spoke of water flow, comparing Minnehaha creek to the Mississippi River and the control of water through a dam.

Shawn Fitzgerald spoke in opposition to the Crown Hydro project. Ms. Fitzgerald asked for a transparent process, citizen involvement, notice, a public hearing and to let the people be involved in this decision.

David Tinjum spoke against the Crown Hydro project. Mr. Tinjum compared risks to benefits, and felt that the risk was greater that its benefit. Mr. Tinjum then spoke in regards to the letter of intent and house bill 1440.

Former Commissioner Walter Bratt, spoke of a Northern State Power proposal to expand a hydroelectric facility. Commissioner Bratt stated that he is not opposed to hydroelectric power, but is opposed to the proposed Crown Hydro location, because of the falls. Commissioner Bratt continued, speaking of water quality, quantity and protecting the citizens of Minneapolis.

A CROWN HYDRO SURPRISE – BAIT AND SWITCH

A CROWN HYDRO SURPRISE – BAIT AND SWITCH

At the May 4, 2011 Park Board meeting the commissioners voted 6 to 3 to move agenda item 4.7 on the regular meeting to the May 18 meeting agenda to allow for more thorough review of the terms. Agenda item 4.7 was consideration of Crown Hydro’s Letter of Intent for its controversial hydro electric facility to be constructed on park property that was brought to the commissioners at the last minute at the May 4 meeting. For this reason, it was voted to be moved to the May 18 meeting. Following is the resolution under 4.7 that was voted to table by six of the commissioners at the May 4 meeting: Brad Bourn, John Erwin, Anita Tabb, Scott Vreeland, Liz Wielinski and Annie Young. The three commissioners who opposed tabling were the three perennial unwavering supporters of Crown Hydro, Bob Fine, Carol Kummer and Jon Olson.

VI. REPORT OF PLANNING COMMITTEE
4.7 Crown Hydro
Resolution
Resolution Approving the execution of Letter of Intent, attached hereto as Attachment 1, to enter into an Agreement with Crown Hydro, LLC for the use of Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (“MPRB”) land for the construction and operation of a Hydroelectric Facility, Approves holding Public Hearings Regarding the potential Hydroelectric Facility on May 18 and June 1, 2011; and Authorizing and directing Superintendent Miller to negotiate with Crown Hydro, LLC in an effort to bring to the MPRB a proposed draft of a definitive Agreement with Crown Hydro, LLC for Review and Approval.

The preceding resolution is what was expected to be moved to the May 18 agenda, but that is NOT what is on the May 18 agenda. Instead, an entirely new resolution has magically and mysteriously appeared on the agenda. It is an agreement for a joint venture with an unknown third party–not Crown Hydro–to build on MPRB property at Mill Ruins Park a hydroelectric facility that would siphon water from the historic St. Anthony Falls. Here is the new, out-of-the blue resolution: It is 8.1 under Unfinished Business on the regular May 18 meeting agenda:

VII. UNFINISHED BUSINESS
8.1 That the Board adopt resolution 2011-095 captioned as follows:
Resolution 2011-095
RESOLUTION APPROVING THE EXECUTION OF LETTER OF INTENT,
ATTACHED HERETO AS ATTACHMENT 1, IN ANTICIPATION OF A JOINT
VENTURE OF MINNEAPOLIS PARK AND RECREATION BOARD (“MPRB”) AND
THE PURCHASER OF CROWN HYDRO, LLC’S INTERESTS FOR THE
CONSTRUCTION AND OPERATION OF A HYDROELECTRIC FACILITY,
APPROVING HOLDING PUBLIC HEARINGS REGARDING THE POTENTIAL
HYDROELECTRIC FACILITY ON JUNE 1 AND JUNE 15, 2011; AND
AUTHORIZING AND DIRECTING SUPERINTENDENT MILLER TO NEGOTIATE
WITH CROWN HYDRO, LLC IN AN EFFORT TO BRING TO THE MPRB A
PROPOSAL IN THE FORM OF A JOINT VENTURE AGREEMENT WITH THE
PURCHASER OF CROWN’S INTERESTS FOR MPRB REVIEW, CONSIDERATION
AND APPROVAL
Related Files: Staff Report

So the Park Board is now scheduled to vote at the May 18 Park Board meeting on an agreement for a joint venture with an unknown third party. How did this occur? Apparently this complex, risky, over-the-top new agreement that would create a joint venture with an unknown third party–not Crown Hydro–is a result of the private discussions that MPRB President John Erwin had with representatives of Crown Hydro after the May 4 Park Board meeting. But now, because the original agreement has been transformed into a new agreement, the new agreement has to go back to the Planning Committee for review and approval BEFORE coming back to the full board for a vote. Therefore, 8.1 can not be voted on at the May 18 Park Board meeting.

Arlene Fried
Co-Founder of Park Watch

THE MAY 4 CROWN HYDRO LETTER OF INTENT

THE MAY 4 CROWN HYDRO LETTER OF INTENT

The Crown Hydro proposal was received by the Park Board less than 24 hours before the May 4 Park Board meeting which did not allow sufficient time for it to be reviewed by the commissioners or the public before being voted on. So no action was taken and it will be on the agenda for the May 18, 2011 meeting. Here is Crown Hydro’s Letter of Intent, preceded by a memo from Supt. Miller:

MEMORANDUM

To: Full Board
From: Jayne Miller, Superintendent
Date: May 4, 2011
Re: Crown Hydro, LLC Letter of Intent

For a number of years Crown Hydro, LLC (“Crown”) has been interested in securing site control of land owned by the MPRB for the use of a hydroelectric facility. The MPRB property Crown is requesting to use is adjacent to the Falls of St. Anthony, the “birth place of Minneapolis”, and contains several national historic sites, e.g. the James J. Hill Stone Arch Bridge, the Washburn Crosby Mills and the Pillsbury “A” Mill. The Park Board has created “Mill Ruins Park”, an area which contains numerous historic building sites and building foundations. Mill Ruins Park is immediately adjacent to the historic sites and the James I. Rice and West River Road Parkways.

Crown has a license issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) to construct and operate a hydroelectric facility. If Crown is to use MPRB land, the FERC license would need to be amended identifying the MPRB land as the site for the facility. Crown may only amend its license if it enters into a land use agreement with the MPRB for the site.

Over the last several years a number of Crown proposals for a land use agreement with the MPRB have been put forth in an effort to secure the site for a hydroelectric facility. Recently, Crown has approached the MPRB to renew discussions that may lead to a land use agreement. At the April 20, 2011 Planning Committee meeting, Crown Hydro presented their new proposal. Upon completion of the presentation and discussion, the Planning Committee directed the President and Superintendent to begin negotiations with Crown Hydro and present a proposal on the project to the full Board at the upcoming Board meeting on May 4, 2011. The Committee also directed Crown to submit a full proposal to the Superintendent and President Erwin by April 25. Despite not meeting this deadline, Crown did submit a proposal for review. The Superintendent immediately began negotiating the terms and conditions important to the MPRB that had been communicated to her.

The negotiated terms and conditions resulting from the discussion from Crown were organized into a Letter of Intent for MPRB consideration. This was optimal because the Letter of Intent does not bind the Board to the Crown project, allows for modification of the terms and conditions after board review or other input, and also provides a reasonably detailed form for MPRB consideration.

If the MPRB approves the Letter of Intent, the final review, consideration, and possible approval of the MPRB of an agreement with Crown will occur on June 15, 2011.

(Note: It is legal counsel’s opinion that the approval of the resolution of the letter of Intent requires a simple majority, whereas a final approval for the use of the property by Crown will require a super majority as per the Minneapolis City Charter).

Prepared by: Michael Salchert, Legal Counsel, Rice, Michels & Walther, LLP
Approved by: Jayne Miller, Superintendent

RESOLUTION

Resolution Approving the execution of Letter of Intent, attached hereto as Attachment 1, to enter into an Agreement with Crown Hydro, LLC for the use of Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (“MPRB”) land for the construction and operation of a Hydroelectric Facility, Approves holding Public Hearings Regarding the potential Hydroelectric Facility on May 18 and June 1, 2011; and Authorizing and directing Superintendent Miller to negotiate with Crown Hydro, LLC in an effort to bring to the MPRB a proposed draft of a definitive Agreement with Crown Hydro, LLC for Review and Approval

WHEREAS, the City of Minneapolis acting by and through its Park and Recreation Board (Park Board) is the fee owner of parcels of land adjacent to the Mississippi River ideally located for the construction and operation of a Hydroelectric facility;

WHEREAS, Crown Hydro, LLC has a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission license to build and operate a Hydroelectric facility. Said license is amendable with FERC approval for the USE of MPRB land;

WHEREAS, Crown Hydro, LLC and the MPRB have entered into negotiations to arrive at an agreement for Crown Hydro, LLC use of MPRB land;

WHEREAS, Attachment 1 to this resolution is the Letter of Intent representing the non- binding material terms and conditions Crown Hydro, LLC and the MPRB must successful negotiate before entering into a definitive agreement for the use of MPRB land; and
WHEREAS, the MPRB desires to direct its Superintendent to negotiate with Crown Hydro, LLC to, if possible, prepare a proposal in the form of a definitive agreement with Crown Hydro, LLC for the use of MPRB land for MPRB review and consideration for approval;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT THE MINNEAPOLIS PARK AND RECREATION BOARD hereby authorizes the execution of the attached letter of Intent by the Secretary and President;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board will hold Public Hearings Regarding the potential Hydroelectric Facility on May 18 and June 1, 2011; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board hereby authorizes and directs Superintendent Miller to negotiate with Crown Hydro, LLC in an effort to bring to the MPRB a proposed draft of a definitive Agreement with Crown Hydro, LLC for review and approval.

Adopted by the Park and Recreation Board in formal meeting assembled May 4th, 2011.

_______________________
John Erwin, President
_______________________
Karen Robinson, Secretary

Approved:
________________________
R.T. Rybak, Mayor

May 4, 2011

Ms. Jayne Miller
Superintendent
Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board
2117 West River Road
Minneapolis, MN 55411

Re: Letter of Intent – Crown Hydro Project

Dear Superintendent Miller:

This Letter of Intent sets forth certain (i) non-binding understandings by and between the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board and Crown Hydro, LLC for the purpose of developing a hydroelectric power production facility with a maximum capacity of 3.2 megawatts on the Mississippi River in the City of Minneapolis and which facility will use property owned and/or controlled by the Park Board, and (ii) binding agreements regarding the rights and obligations of the parties upon execution of this Letter of Intent.

The parties acknowledge and agree that, although this Letter of Intent describes their current intent, nothing contained in this Letter of Intent constitutes a legally binding agreement other than the provisions contained in paragraphs numbered 1 through 6 below under the heading “Binding Agreements,” which will be binding on the parties. Except for the Binding Agreements, there are no other legally binding obligations of any party relating to the subject matter of this Letter of Intent unless and until the parties mutually execute definitive agreement(s) related to the Crown Hydro project.

Non-Binding Intentions

1. Form of definitive agreement(s). The parties will endeavor to prepare and execute a development and use agreement or lease agreement which will allow Crown Hydro to use defined Park Board property, consistent with the property as outlined in Exhibit A, and including the First Street Tunnel for a spillway, which agreement(s) will contain, in addition to those matters specifically set forth in this Letter of Intent, customary representations, warranties, indemnities, and agreements of the parties and other customary provisions of contracts of a similar nature. The definitive agreement(s) will specifically describe, by appropriate legal description, the Park Board property to be used for the project, on both a temporary and permanent basis, such property to be verified by an appropriate title review.

2. Term of agreement(s). The term of the agreement(s) would be coterminous with the project’s license from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

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3. Park Board Compensation. Crown Hydro will pay the Park Board (1) $500,000.00 at the project’s commercial operation date, and (2) a minimum annual license/use fee in the amount of $100,000.00, which base amount can increase based upon increased energy production (i.e., kilowatt-hours) over a certain amount to be agreed on by the parties. Final compensation to the Park Board is subject to Park Board approval.

4. Minimum flows over St. Anthony Spillway. Crown Hydro recognizes the Park Board’s interest in maintaining a minimum of 2000 cfs over the St. Anthony Spillway, particularly during the prime viewing periods. The Park Board recognizes Crown Hydro’s interest in maximizing energy production. In that regard, Crown Hydro will commit to not operate its facility where the flow of the river as measured at the St. Anthony Spillway is less than 2,000 cfs during the prime viewing periods, such best viewing periods to be worked on by the parties and set forth in the definitive agreement(s). The minimum flow plan will be set forth in an annual schedule and will be set forth in the definitive agreement(s) and is subject to final approval by the Park Board. In addition, the intent of the parties is that the Park Board will close its existing aesthetic diversion in order to maximize energy production and aesthetics over the spillway. The increased energy production from the diversion will be factored into the final compensation referred to above in paragraph no. 3.

5. Operation and Maintenance Plan. Definitive agreement(s) will be conditioned upon final approval by the Park Board of a Crown Hydro operation and maintenance plan.

6. Financing Plan. Definitive agreement(s) will be conditioned upon final approval by the Park Board of a definitive financing plan from Crown Hydro.

7. Tunnel Integrity/Facility Engineering. Definitive agreement(s) will be conditioned upon final approval by the Park Board and other agencies with jurisdiction of (1) all appropriate First Street tunnel structural modifications and engineering and public protection; and (2) site plan, and (3) facility design and engineering plans and/or drawings.

8. Noise and Vibration. Definitive agreement(s) will be conditioned upon final approval by the Park Board of a noise and vibration plan, with the intent that if the facility exceeds certain pre-determined levels, Crown Hydro will shut the facility down until it can be brought into compliance with the noise and vibration plan.

9. Historical/Cultural Resources. Definitive agreement(s) will be conditioned upon Crown Hydro’s compliance with the 1998 Programmatic Agreement that governs cultural and historic resources and such agreement (or its terms) will be included in the definitive agreement(s).

10. Insurance. Crown Hydro will acquire general public liability insurance, and insurance necessary to address any potential claim, liability, property damage, casualty or personal injury associated with the facility, in commercially reasonable amounts and to be approved by the Park Board. To the extent practicable, Crown Hydro will also supplement its insurance coverage, in amounts approved by the Park Board, to insure the protection of any historic property assets and adjacent property interests.

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11. Option to Purchase/Right of First Refusal. For as long as Crown Hydro owns the facility, the Park Board will have a non-exclusive option to purchase the facility at a price to be negotiated by the parties, and if the parties are unable to agree on a price, a price will be determined by a mutually agreed upon independent, third party appraiser. In addition, for as long as Crown Hydro owns the facility, the Park Board will have a right of first refusal to purchase the facility upon terms and conditions substantially similar to a verified competing offer. Any transfer of the facility to the Park Board is subject to the consent of the FERC, Xcel Energy, and other applicable third parties (if any).

12. Regulatory Permits/Legal Compliance. Crown Hydro will be responsible for obtaining all remaining environmental and regulatory assessments and/or permits, at its cost, with the support and reasonable assistance of the Park Board, including but not limited to any environmental assessment worksheets (and any environmental impact statement), water appropriation, NHPA Section 106 requirements, and any FERC amendment. Estimated schedules for completion of such remaining permitting will be included as part of the definitive agreement(s).

13. Grid Interconnection Underground. Crown Hydro will be responsible for interconnecting the facility to the Xcel Energy grid. Crown Hydro also commits to making sure that all major facility components, including any grid interconnection, are below ground, and not visible or accessible by the public.

14. Crown Hydro Utility Obligations. Crown Hydro has the burden to comply with all obligations imposed on it by Xcel Energy, including those imposed by the power purchase agreement and renewable development fund. Crown Hydro has the burden to comply with all utility obligations imposed on it by the Park Board.

15. Park Board Consultant and Staff Costs. Following execution of the definitive agreement(s), Crown Hydro will pay for the costs of Park Board staff and consultants, including reasonable attorneys’ fees, up to a total cap of $50,000.

16. Park Board Public Hearings. The Park Board will hold two public hearings with respect to the Crown Hydro project (May 18 and June 1, 2011), according to the Park Board’s public hearing requirements.

17. Liens/Liabilities. Crown Hydro agrees not to encumber, or cause to be encumbered, any Park Board property, and agrees to indemnify the Park Board in the event the Park Board is required to remove any such encumbrances. Crown Hydro will assume all liabilities for construction and operation of the facility, and agrees to indemnify Park Board for liabilities not caused by the Park Board.

18. Sale to Third Party/Assignment. Crown Hydro may assign the definitive agreement(s) only upon consent of the Park Board, such consent not to be reasonably withheld. Where Crown Hydro sells the facility to any party other than the Park Board, Crown Hydro will pay the Park Board 10% of the sale price, after accounting for any applicable taxes and closing

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costs (i.e., the Park Board would agree to be responsible for any costs/taxes associated with 10% of the sale).

19. Disclosure of Information. The parties recognize the requirements that the Data Practices Act, Minn. Statutes Chapter 13, imposes on the Park Board to make information available to the public. The parties agree that during the negotiations of any definitive agreement, the parties intend to keep all non-public data (as recognized in the DPA) as non- public, and any public data (as recognized in the DPA) as public. Within 30 days of any request by the Park Board, Crown Hydro will provide to the Park Board any non-public information related to the project, including financial information, engineering plans and/or drawings, or information related to operation and maintenance, regulatory compliance, and contracts.

20. Pending Legislation. Provided the parties are able to execute the definitive agreement(s), Crown Hydro agrees to suspend all efforts to have the Legislature enact HF 1440 and SF 1191 and will undertake its best efforts to have the bills removed from legislative consideration.

21. Agreement Not to Sue on the LOI. Provided the Park Board acts in good faith, and without waiving any other rights in law or equity outside the scope of this Letter of Intent, Crown Hydro agrees not to sue the Park Board on the sole basis that the parties are unable to execute definitive agreement(s) as contemplated by this Letter of Intent.

22. Miscellaneous.

(a) Car Charging Stations. Crown Hydro will provide one or more (depending on costs) metered vehicle electric charging stations for patrons of the Mill City Ruins parking lot, with revenue to be shared equally by the parties.

(b) Lighting of the Spillway. Crown Hydro will prepare at its expense a feasibility study for the purposes of lighting enhancements at the spillway.

(c) Education. Crown Hydro will provide appropriate educational/historical signage or interpretive exhibit(s), subject to Park Board approval.

Binding Agreements

1. Financing Plan. For purposes of its due diligence, the Park Board and its representatives are entitled access to Crown Hydro’s properties, books, records, personnel, business and other commercial relationships related to the project.

2. Termination. This Letter of Intent will terminate on June 16, 2011, subject to any mutually agreed extension.

3. Expenses. The parties will bear their respective expenses and costs related to this Letter of Intent and up to execution of any definitive agreements contemplated , including, without limitation, attorneys’ fees, accounting fees and disbursements, whether or not definitive agreements are ultimately consummated.

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4. Confidentiality. Except as required by applicable law, the parties agree not to disclose the existence or terms of this Letter of Intent or information about the project considered confidential by Crown Hydro to any third party (other than its representatives on a need to know basis).

5. Governing Law. This Letter of Intent shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of Minnesota applicable to agreements made and to be performed therein without giving effect to conflict of law principles.

6. Counterparts. This Letter of Intent may be executed in counterparts, each of which shall be deemed an original, but all of which together shall constitute one and the same instrument.

Very truly yours,

CROWN HYDRO, LLC

By:________________________

Its:

If the foregoing accurately sets forth your understanding, please execute where indicated below and return a fully executed copy of this Letter of Intent to my attention.

Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board

By: ________________________
Name:
Title:

By: ________________________
Name:
Title:

c: Jayne Miller, Superintendent, Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board
John Erwin, Chair, Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board
Don Siggelkow, Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board
Michael Salchert, Esq.
Brian Rice, Esq.
Tim Keane, Esq.

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Todd Guerrero, Esq.
Joel Toso, Wenck Associates, Inc.

4920415_2.DOC

-7-

EXHIBIT A

(This property description is subject to change based on a comprehensive title search and/or land survey as necessary for the proposed Hydroelectric project).

A STRIP OF LAND 30 FT WIDE ADJ THE NELY LINE OF LOT 1 AUD SUB NO 32 EX
HWY

THAT PART OF GOVT LOT 10 IN SEC 23 TWP 29 RG 24 LYING NWLY OF THE NLY EXTENSION OF CTR LINE OF PORTLAND AVE S AND LYING SELY OF 3RD AVE S

BEG AT MOST SLY COR OF LOT 6 AUD SUBD NO 32 TH NWLY TO MOST SLY COR OF LOT 2 THOF TH ON AN ASSUMED BEARING OF N 29 DEG 23 MIN 40 SEC E ALONG SELY

COM AT MOST SLY COR OF LOT 2 AUD SUBD
NO 32 TH ON AN ASSUMED BEARING OF N
29 DEG 23 MIN 40 SEC E ALONG SELY
LINE OF SAID LOT 2 DIS 22.4 FT TH N

PARK BOARD DELAYS CROWN HYDRO VOTE AGAIN

The following article by Nick Halter was published May 5, 2011 in the online edition of the Downtown Journal after the May 4 Park Board meeting:

PARK BOARD DELAYS CROWN HYDRO VOTE AGAIN

Crown Hydro will have to wait until May 18 to find out if the Park Board will allow the company to install hydroelectric turbines above St. Anthony Falls.

The Board voted 6-3 to postpone a decision on a letter of intent that would have set the framework for a contract with Crown Hydro.

At-large Commissioner Annie Young and others said that because they didn’t receive the letter until the afternoon of the May 4 board meeting, they wanted more time to review the document’s details.

New Park Superintendent Jayne Miller drafted the letter of intent after meeting with Crown Hydro.

Provisions of the letter include:

— Crown Hydro paying the Park Board $500,000 up front and at least $100,000 a year.

__ Crown Hydro would have to close off the turbines if the flow over the St. Anthony spillway ever dipped below 2,000 cubic feet per second during “prime viewing periods.”

— The facility would have to operate at a not-yet determined noise and vibration level.

— Crown Hydro would have to install one or more electric car charging stations above the facility — a request made by the Park Board.

The meeting brought out a couple dozen neighbors of the falls, who wore “Save the Falls” stickers and testified that the benefit of the 3.2-megawatt facility did not outweigh the risk of ruining a cultural landmark in Minneapolis.

Meanwhile, two bills that would force the Park Board to give Crown Hydro authorization for the project are moving through the Minnesota Legislature (H.F. 1440 and S.F. 1191).

A few house and senate committees have given the bills public hearings and they could go to full vote before the Legislature adjourns on May 23.

Those bills originally had eight DFL sponsors, but six of those legislators have removed their support and about two-dozen Republicans remain as authors.

Crown Hydro Update

The following article by Nick Halter was published in the Downtown Journal following the May 4, 2011 Park Board meeting:

Crown Hydro Update

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board was scheduled to vote on an offer from Crown Hydro at its May 4 meeting, a few hours after this issue of The Journal went to press.

Crown Hydro has been trying for a dozen years to build a 3.2 megawatt hydroelectric facility above St. Anthony Falls on the west bank of the Mississippi River. The private company needs to get authorization from the Park Board to construct the underground facility, although it is also attempting to get the state Legislature to pass a bill that will force the Park Board to do so.

At the Park Board’s April 20 meeting, Crown Hydro lawyers and engineers gave a two-hour presentation to commissioners in hopes of getting them to sign off on the project.

Several Park Board commissioners, as well as Minneapolis City Council members, state legislators and neighbors oppose the project because they say it could dry up St. Anthony Falls and put public infrastructure at risk.

For an update on the Park Board’s decision, go to http://www.journalmpls.com.